US pivot to Asia must come with reassurances
UNDER sunny skies, the USS Freedom - the US Navy's newest littoral combat ship (LCS) - cut a sleek silhouette as it approached Changi Naval Base last week.
The warship's arrival marked the start of an eight-month deployment to South-east Asia. Under a Singapore-United States agreement, up to four of these ships will be put on rotational deployments through Singapore.
Speaking to reporters on the deck of the USS Freedom last Thursday, US Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman said the arrival of the ship marked a "new chapter" for the US Navy in the Asia-Pacific.
Indeed, the deployment of the LCS - together with the move of 60 per cent of the US Navy's assets to the Pacific and the deployment of 2,500 US Marines in Australia - forms part of America's much-heralded "pivot" or "rebalance" to Asia.