HIGH RANKING U.S. DEFENSE OFFICIAL VISITS GUAM

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By Oyaol Ngirairikl

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 17) - Douglas J. Feith, a Department of Defense undersecretary for policy, arrived on Guam yesterday and is expected to leave sometime today.

Feith met with Rear Adm. Arthur Johnson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, toured the island's military facilities and met with island officials.

During a 10-minute press conference yesterday, Feith said Guam continues to play an important role as the United States military works to "realign our defense posture around the world."

Feith's visit is the most recent in the line of visits from high-level U.S. military officials within about a year.

Last November, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld took an aerial tour of the island, and while he didn't grant interviews to local media, he did meet with more than 100 local military representatives.

Feith also visited Japan, meeting with U.S. military officials at the U.S. bases there along with top defense officials from the Japan government.

Japanese troops cooperate closely with the U.S. military under a joint security treaty that has some 50,000 American troops based in Japan, The Associated Press reported. The two countries recently revised a security agreement to extend the scope of their military cooperation.

"The Asia-Pacific region is increasingly important and we have an interest in increasing our capabilities ... in fulfilling our commitment to allies and protecting our security. So we've been looking at various ways to make sure that we have the capabilities in place to do the kinds of military operations that are going to be required of the coming decades," Feith said.

President Bush appointed Feith in July 2001. His responsibilities include the formulation of defense planning guidance and forces policy, Defense Department relations with foreign countries and the department's role in inter-agency policy-making, according to the Pentagon Web site, www.defenselink.mil.

November 18, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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