Webb joins senators in letter on Asia-Pacific basing
U.S. Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) today sent the following letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding a new agreement with the Government of Japan on U.S. force posture in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sens. McCain, Levin and Webb, all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also released the following statement:
“We remain committed to working with the administration to reach a mutually beneficial, militarily effective, and fiscally sustainable agreement regarding the realignment of U.S. forces on Okinawa and Guam. This agreement comprises the very crux of the vital national security interest of both our countries. The upcoming visit of Japanese Prime Minister Noda to the United States is an important opportunity to make additional progress toward this goal. We welcome Prime Minister Noda to Washington and view his visit as an opportunity to reaffirm and deepen the U.S.-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of our mutual security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
“At the same time, we have serious questions that have not been fully addressed regarding the emerging agreement between the administration and the Government of Japan. These questions pertain to the core details of this or any basing arrangement, including cost estimates, military sustainment and force management, and how it would support a broader strategic concept of operations in this increasingly vital region. Congress has important oversight and funding responsibilities beyond its traditional consultative role for this basing agreement, and any new proposal should not be considered final until it has the support of the Congress.”