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Indo-Pacom Commander Discusses Regional Threats

May 23, 2019 | BY David Vergun
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State and nonstate adversaries are threatening peace and prosperity in the vast area of land and water stretching from Hawaii to Australia, Japan and India, the U.S. military's top officer in the region said.

Man at lectern speaks.
Keynote Address
Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, delivers the keynote address at the Pacific land forces symposium sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army in Honolulu, May 22, 2019.
Photo By: Army Pvt. Michael Bradle
VIRIN: 190522-A-RN631-0004C

Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, delivered the keynote address at the Pacific land forces symposium sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army in Honolulu yesterday.

Over the last seven decades, the region has by and large been peaceful, mainly because of the willingness and commitment of free nations to work together and the credibility of combat power in Indo-Pacom, the admiral said.

Airplane lands on ship
Aircraft Landing
A CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from the 353rd Special Operations Group lands on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay during Exercise Cobra Gold 2019 in the Gulf of Thailand, Feb. 18, 2019.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Anaid Banuelos Rodriguez
VIRIN: 190218-N-DX072-1914D

"That peace and the resulting prosperity are now threatened by the likes of the People's Republic of China, by Russia, by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and by violent extremist organizations across the theater," Davidson said. "I believe we are facing a serious threat to all of us, a fundamental divergence in values that leads to two incompatible visions of the future when we speak of the People's Republic of China, especially.

"Through fear and coercion," he continued, "our adversaries are seeking to bend, break and replace the existing rules-based international order. In its place, they seek to create a new international order, one that is closed and authoritarian, ones where nations large and small subordinate their own sovereignty to the interests of just one country, an outcome that displaces the stability and peace of the Indo-Pacific that has endured for some 70 years now."

Diver rests on ship.
Underwater Ops
A Navy diver assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 1 positions for underwater cutting operations with divers from Underwater Construction Team 2 on the “Big Blue” mooring system in Apra Harbor, Guam, Dec 11, 2017. UCT-2 provides construction, inspection, maintenance, and repair of underwater and waterfront facilities in support of the Pacific Fleet.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez
VIRIN: 171211-N-CW570-0067C

Allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific region stand united by a desire for continued peace and prosperity, Davidson said.

The U.S. and its allies and partners must continue to train together and ensure interoperability and interdependence should armed conflict become necessary, the admiral said, noting that building personal relationships are also just as important.

A Marine aims a rifle.
Infantry Assault
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joseph Hinders, an infantry assault Marine with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, uses his M4A1 carbine during a drill aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha in the Pacific Ocean, May 9, 2019.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Israel Chincio
VIRIN: 190509-M-ET529-0003C

"We will deter escalation to armed conflict, but if deterrence fails, we will be able to dominate any adversary and win in any conflict should any adversary choose that path," he added.

Click here to watch the admiral's complete keynote address.