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Asia-Pacific Security.

Asia-Pacific Security

By Admiral Timothy Keating, Cmdr. U.S. Pacific Command



As part of a series of "commanders" speakers for the Atlantic Council, Pacific Commander Admiral Timothy Keating addressed a Washington audience on June 29. Keating opened by briefly providing the context of his command (50 percent of the global surface and over 50 percent of its population; a trillion dollars in trade). He then reviewed the revised operating strategy for PACOM as "partnership, readiness, and presence," providing illustrative context for each.

1. Regarding "partnership," Keating noted the "DIME" (diplomatic, intelligence, military, and energy and environment) concept and said, "we're looking to cobble all this together in an increasingly tightly woven fabric that emphasizes multilateralism." In this regard, he noted the dramatic change from the 1980s in our relationship with India, with a current level of unprecedented cooperative military exercises.

2. Illustrating "readiness," Keating cited "Cobra Gold," an annual military exercise held in Thailand, which this year had five participants plus10 observer nations including the PRC, demonstrating the capability to shift between humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and United Nations peacekeeping operations.

3. Characterizing "presence," Keating cited the maxim that "virtual presence means actual absence" to the effect that to have the appropriate effect you must be physically present in the area and its component countries.

He concluded that the United States is the "indispensable partner" and that regional states recognize and appreciate this reality. They do not want us there every minute, but want us "nearby" for emergencies--and that is the strategy that we can anticipate employing for the immediate future to "ensure regional peace and stability."

Reviewed by David T. Jones, co-author of Uneasy Neighbo(u)rs
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Title Annotation:United States Pacific Command
Author:Jones, David T.
Publication:American Diplomacy
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 21, 2009
Previous Article:THINKING AGAIN: Asia's rise.
Next Article:U.S.-India Relations.

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