The United States continues to be committed to the peace and security of its allies in the Indo-Pacific region, a Pentagon official said Monday.
The remarks come amid an ongoing review of the US defense posture that the Pentagon official said will determine where more US troops are needed or less.
“We will continue to maintain our security commitments to our allies and partners there,” Press Secretary John Kirby said when asked if the ongoing defense posture review would lead to an increase in US military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Kirby noted the review may decide where more or less US troops will be needed but said such decisions will likely be made after the review is completed.
“I think that will greatly inform an inter-agency discussion and decision-making process about where we have troops — where we need more, where we need less — and I would not want to get ahead of that decision-making process,” he told a press briefing.
The Pentagon official earlier said the review will likely be completed in mid-summer.
“I mean I am just not going to get ahead of decisions that secretary hasn’t made yet, and that the whole reason we’re doing a posture review is to get a better sense of the lay-down around the world, match it to the strategy and the mission sets,” he added.
The US currently maintains some 28,500 troops in South Korea.
The Biden administration has named North Korea as one of the most serious challenges facing the US, while also calling China as its largest competitor in the region and world.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon press secretary said President Joe Biden will visit the Pentagon on Wednesday to meet senior defense officials there.
The trip, if made, will be Biden’s second trip to a Cabinet department following his visit last week to the State Department.
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