Difficult Year Ahead for US Military in the Pacific
Military experts believe 2017 will be a difficult year for the American military in the Pacific area.
They note that China has become more aggressive in the area and that countries like the Philippines and North Korea are also a threat.
Michael O'Hanlon studies military issues at the Brookings Institution, a research group.
"North Korea, President Obama has just said to Mr. Trump, that this is in fact perhaps the sort of least-appreciated danger out there."
Experts say North Korea is building up to six nuclear weapons each year. A senior U.S. military official says North Korea now has the ability to launch these weapons, although the warheads may not yet be able to hit a set target.
The Philippines has been an ally of the United States for many years. But Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to limit ties with the U.S. since taking office earlier this year.
U.S. Navy and Marine officials have told VOA they will not take part in joint defense training exercises with the Philippine military. They will only train for disaster relief.
U.S. Army Lieutenant General Stephen Lanza says the Army may also change its planned training with the Philippine military next year -- from combat preparation to humanitarian assistance.
"We're still working with the Philippines right now. We may have to make some adjustments based on operations in the Philippines, and we're prepared to do that."
The U.S. still has a large military presence in the Pacific. The Navy has four aircraft carriers in the area. The Army is taking part in military exercises with South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and, for the first time, Cambodia.
Lanza says Vietnam has also asked to take part in the exercises.
"You want to be there to deter. You want to be there to avoid conflict and, really, to avoid miscalculation. And I know our partners appreciate the fact that we are engaged with them in the Pacific."
Lanza says the militaries of many countries should work together to prepare for difficult times.
I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.
1.engaged with 与...商谈（接洽）
Our ships have engaged with the enemy.
2.aircraft carriers 航空母舰
Some of Japan's naval ships can also perform as aircraft carriers.
3.military exercises 军事演习
Soldiers are supposed to follow the instruction manual during military exercises.
4.the Pacific area 太平洋地区
We agreed that we are opposed to the domination of the Pacific area by any one power.
1.Lanza says Vietnam has also asked to take part in the exercises.
take part in参加；参与
If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality.
You can take part in activities from canoeing to bird watching.
2.But Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to limit ties with the U.S. since taking office earlier this year.
taking office 上任
Within a few days of taking office he had become the most unpopular man in the company.
Four days later, the despised leader finally stood down, just 17 days after taking office.
迈克尔·欧汉龙（Michael O'Hanlon）在布鲁金斯学会研究军事问题 。
专家称，朝鲜一年可造6枚核武器 。美国一位高级军事官员表示，虽然弹头可能无法准确击中既定目标，但是朝鲜已经具备发射这些核武器的能力 。
多年来，菲律宾一直与美国保持着盟友关系 。然而，年初菲律宾总统罗德里戈·杜特尔特上任以来，一直试图僵化与美国的关系 。
美国海军及海军陆战队官员向美国之音透露，他们不会参加与菲军队的联合防御作战演习 。他们只会参加救灾演习 。
美国陆军中将斯蒂芬·兰扎（Stephen Lanza）称，陆军可能更改明年与菲联合进行的从战斗防御到人道主义援助的训练计划 。
“我们仍然与菲律宾政府友善合作 。只不过可能需要根据菲律宾的动向做一番调整，我们准备这样做 。”
美国仍然在太平洋地区安排大量的军事力量 。美国海军在太平洋地区部署了4架航母 。美国陆军则分别与韩国、菲律宾、泰国进行联合军演，并首度与柬埔寨开始军事演习 。
“你想要在那里阻止事态发展 。你想要在那里避开冲突、避免错误判断 。我深知我们的合作伙伴非常感谢我们在太平洋地区所做的努力 。”