This report presents background information and discusses potential issues for Congress relating to U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. These efforts pose several potential policy, funding, and oversight issues for Congress. Decisions that Congress makes on these issues could affect U.S. defense funding requirements and military capabilities, and U.S. relations with countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and Australia.
The United States military has been building up forces on the U.S. territory of Guam to increase deterrence and power projection for possible responses to crises and disasters, counter-terrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia. But the defense buildup on Guam is moderate. China has concerns about the defense buildup. Guam's role has increased with plans to withdraw some U.S. forces from Japan and South Korea. This report describes in brief detail the various cooperative efforts, including financial efforts, undertaken by the U.S. and the above nations.
This report provides background information on the deployment of nuclear weapon systems in South Korea in the past, explores the options that might be available for the redeployment of nuclear weapons to South Korea now to deter the North Korean threat, and discusses the potential implications of doing so for South Korea, North Korea, Japan, and the U.S.
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