The Kadena Conundrum: Developing a Resilient Indo-Pacific Posture

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The long-standing debate over whether the United States is prioritizing China and the Indo-Pacific region has reignited once more. The debate centers on U.S. posture — the forces, bases, and agreements that constitute America’s overseas military presence and make up the backbone of the U.S. Department of Defense’s deterrence strategies — in the Indo-Pacific.

The U.S. Air Force decision in October 2022 to remove two squadrons of aging F-15C/D fighters at Kadena Air Force Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa and replace it with a temporary detachment to cover the Kadena fighter mission sparked a firestorm.

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