Are we really there to "balance" the power in the region, and do "many countries" really want us to take on that role. Two things, helping the countries in the region develop their own strength seems like a more sustainable path. Second, an increase in American force in the region is likely to encourage China to increase its force, which would make other countries in the region more vulnerable, not less.
The Tomahawks' arrival "is part of a larger effort to bolster our capabilities in the region," Glaser says. "It sends a signal that nobody should rule out our determination to be the balancer in the region that many countries there want us to be." No doubt Beijing got the signal.