Friday, December 19, 2008

PACOM Commander Briefs at Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C.

Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), highlighted key points of the PACOM Strategy and took questions from reporters representing a number of Asia-Pacific nations, and others, at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C. Dec. 18.

The Admiral was in Washington, D.C. in the midst of a trip to the U.S. East Coast that included a series of meetings and updates.

During his opening remarks at the Foreign Press Center, Adm. Keating highlighted three important points at the centerpiece of the strategy – partnership, presence, and military readiness.

The Admiral noted it is important everyone in the PACOM area of responsibility (AOR) understand the U.S. military is committed to security, stability, and prosperity throughout the region, which covers over half of the earth’s surface. He also noted the U.S. military is going to remain present and engaged throughout the AOR and that we will be there in the years ahead, as we have been there for decades in the past. He emphasized that it is important that our friends and allies remain confident and comfortable in our ability to respond across the entire spectrum of operations, should the need arise.

The Admiral then responded to questions from the media on a broad range of topics related to the PACOM AOR. Topics included China’s announcement of possible deployments of its navy ships to the coast of Somalia as part of an ongoing international effort to counter piracy, India’s reaction in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and the health of North Korea’s leader.

The Admiral expressed optimism that China’s possible deployment to support anti-piracy efforts in waters off Somalia could potentially be used as a springboard for the resumption of dialogue and other military-to-military engagement between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and U.S. Pacific Command.

Adm. Keating also noted that he was encouraged by the progress being made between China and Taiwan in reducing tensions across the Taiwan Strait through the recent cross Strait agreements.

The transcript of the event, from the Foreign Press Center, a Defenselink story, and the video, courtesy of the Pentagon Channel are provided for your interest.

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