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.
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.
"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."
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.
"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.