Mullen: Partnerships Vital to Pacific Security Strategy

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2011 — America’s nation­al secu­ri­ty strat­e­gy pri­or­i­ties for the Asia-Pacif­ic region encom­pass both a bur­geon­ing rela­tion­ship with Chi­na and endur­ing secu­ri­ty com­mit­ments to oth­er coun­tries there, the nation’s senior mil­i­tary offi­cer said today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the For­eign Press Cen­ter here that his recent vis­it to Chi­na and the trip his Chi­nese coun­ter­part, Gen. Chen Bingde, made here in May form “a basis for ongo­ing dia­logue and some very tan­gi­ble, com­mon chal­lenges we can con­tin­ue to work on togeth­er — things like pira­cy and ter­ror­ism and dis­as­ter relief operations.” 

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao have agreed to advance mil­i­tary rela­tions between the two coun­tries, Mullen said, while acknowl­edg­ing that “very real, very sub­stan­tive issues” inhib­it close coop­er­a­tion and part­ner­ship between the two nations. 

The Chi­nese object to U.S. arms sales to Tai­wan and U.S. recon­nais­sance flights in inter­na­tion­al air­space, Mullen said, while the Unit­ed States objects to the use of coer­cion in set­tling dis­putes in the South Chi­na Sea, or any attempt to inhib­it free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion and access to the glob­al com­mons — inter­na­tion­al waters and air­space — as well as cyberspace. 

Dis­agree­ment is a healthy part of any rela­tion­ship, the chair­man said, express­ing the hope that a bet­ter rela­tion­ship between the U.S. and Chi­nese mil­i­taries would help to improve the lev­el of trust between the two nations. 

We have a long way to go in our rela­tion­ship with Chi­na,” Mullen said, “and no recent his­to­ry of strate­gic trust upon which to build it.” 

But build­ing a bet­ter mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship with Chi­na can­not dom­i­nate U.S. plan­ning and force pos­ture deci­sions in the Asian-Pacif­ic region, the admi­ral said, cit­ing the U.S. rela­tion­ships with South Korea and Japan as vital. 

South Korea has stead­fast­ly sup­port­ed U.S. secu­ri­ty efforts around the world, includ­ing in Afghanistan, and “our com­mit­ment to their defense and to secu­ri­ty on the penin­su­la remains unwa­ver­ing,” the chair­man said. 

Mullen added that he believes the North Kore­an regime will again attempt to pro­voke hostilities. 

Thus far, [South Kore­an] lead­ers have shown com­mend­able restraint, but I think it would be a grave mis­take for the North to per­ceive this restraint as a lack of resolve or, in fact, of the capa­bil­i­ty of our alliance to defend itself,” he said. 

Mullen said the Unit­ed States will con­tin­ue to work with Japan­ese Self-Defense Forces to improve their oper­a­tional capabilities. 

This was my first vis­it back to Japan after the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake and tsuna­mi last March, and I was struck by just how fast and how well the hard­est-hit areas were recov­er­ing,” he said. “I was also glad to hear from Japan­ese lead­ers that U.S. mil­i­tary con­tri­bu­tions to the relief effort were of the size and scale they most needed.” 

Mullen said the Unit­ed States-Aus­tralia alliance is anoth­er mod­el for “inter­op­er­abil­i­ty, trans­paren­cy, and mean­ing­ful com­bined full-spec­trum capabilities.” 

We will make it bet­ter with more joint oper­a­tions, exer­cis­es and exchanges,” he added. 

U.S. strat­e­gy also includes seek­ing expand­ed mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion with India on non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, safe­guard­ing the glob­al com­mons and coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism, the chair­man said. 

And we will expand our mil­i­tary secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion and exer­cis­es with the Philip­pines, Thai­land, Viet­nam, Malaysia, Pak­istan, Indone­sia, Sin­ga­pore and oth­er states in the region,” he said, “work­ing with them to address com­mon threats to their sov­er­eign­ty and security.” 

The Unit­ed States also encour­ages oth­er nations to strength­en part­ner­ships with their neigh­bors, he said. 

Rela­tion­ships mat­ter — not just bilat­er­al rela­tion­ships, but col­lec­tive ones, whether they include the Unit­ed States or not,” Mullen said. Mul­ti­lat­er­al rela­tion­ships improve under­stand­ing, sharp­en inter­op­er­abil­i­ty, strength­en region­al norms and encour­age respon­si­bil­i­ty in address­ing shared secu­ri­ty chal­lenges, he added. 

The U.S. mil­i­tary will increase its empha­sis on work with the Asso­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Nations and oth­er mul­ti­lat­er­al forums, he said. 

We are and will remain a Pacif­ic pow­er,” Mullen said. “Our mil­i­tary is and will remain the long arm of that pow­er. We will not shrink from old or new respon­si­bil­i­ties. And we most cer­tain­ly will not shrink from every oppor­tu­ni­ty to enhance peace and sta­bil­i­ty in this vital part of the world.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →