Obama Says U.S. Will Maintain Pacific Presence

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2011 — Cost-cut­ting ini­tia­tives to impact the armed forces won’t come at the cost of the U.S. pres­ence in Asia and the Pacif­ic, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said today in Can­ber­ra dur­ing an address to the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment.

“My guid­ance is clear,” the pres­i­dent told the assem­bly dur­ing his two-day vis­it to Aus­tralia. “As we plan and bud­get for the future, we will allo­cate the resources nec­es­sary to main­tain our strong mil­i­tary pres­ence in this region. We will pre­serve our unique abil­i­ty to project pow­er and deter threats to peace. We will keep our com­mit­ments, includ­ing our treaty oblig­a­tions to allies like Australia. 

“And we will con­stant­ly strength­en our capa­bil­i­ties to meet the needs of the 21st cen­tu­ry,” he con­tin­ued. “Our endur­ing inter­ests in the region demand our endur­ing pres­ence in the region. The Unit­ed States is a Pacif­ic pow­er, and we are here to stay.” 

Oba­ma praised plans to expand the U.S.-Australian alliance, cit­ing new ini­tia­tives he said will bring their two mil­i­taries clos­er together. 

“We’ll have new oppor­tu­ni­ties to train with oth­er allies and part­ners, from the Pacif­ic to the Indi­an Ocean,” he said. “And it will allow us to respond faster to the full range of chal­lenges, includ­ing human­i­tar­i­an crises and dis­as­ter relief.” 

Oba­ma said the expand­ed U.S. pres­ence will have impact through­out the region: in Japan, Thai­land, the Philip­pines, South Korea and Indone­sia, and against threats such as North Korea. 

The pres­i­dent said the Unit­ed States will con­tin­ue efforts to build a coop­er­a­tive rela­tion­ship with China. 

The Unit­ed States and Aus­tralia have main­tained a decades-long secu­ri­ty alliance evi­dent today in Afghanistan and else­where around the world. 

“From the trench­es of the First World War to the moun­tains of Afghanistan, Aussies and Amer­i­cans have stood togeth­er, we have fought togeth­er, we have giv­en lives togeth­er in every sin­gle major con­flict of the past hun­dred years,” Oba­ma told the assem­bly. “Every sin­gle one.” 

This sol­i­dar­i­ty, he said, has sus­tained the two coun­tries through a dif­fi­cult decade since the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks on the Unit­ed States. 

“In the Unit­ed States, we will nev­er for­get how Aus­tralia invoked the [Aus­tralia-New Zealand‑U.S.] Treaty for the first time ever, show­ing that our two nations stood as one,” the pres­i­dent said. “And none of us will ever for­get those we’ve lost to al-Qaida’s ter­ror in the years since, includ­ing inno­cent Australians.” 

Oba­ma not­ed that Aus­tralia is the largest troop con­trib­u­tor out­side of NATO to the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan. Australia’s com­mit­ment in Afghanistan, he added, is a key com­po­nent in achiev­ing suc­cess there. 

A tran­si­tion is tak­ing place in Afghanistan, Oba­ma said, with Afghans assum­ing increas­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for their secu­ri­ty so coali­tion forces can return home. 

“With part­ners like Aus­tralia, we’ve struck major blows against al-Qai­da and put that ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion on the path to defeat, includ­ing deliv­er­ing jus­tice to Osama bin Laden,” the pres­i­dent said. 

Oba­ma also empha­sized the two coun­tries’ com­mit­ment to peace and pros­per­i­ty in the Asia-Pacif­ic region. 

“As two glob­al part­ners, we stand up for the secu­ri­ty and the dig­ni­ty of peo­ple around the world,” he said. “This is the alliance we reaf­firm today, root­ed in our val­ues, [and] renewed by every generation.” 

Oba­ma said the U.S.-Australia alliance has nev­er been stronger. 

The pres­i­dent vis­it­ed the Roy­al Army Air Force Base in Dar­win lat­er in the day to thank Aus­tralian mil­i­tary mem­bers and a con­tin­gent of U.S. Marines who he called the back­bone of their two coun­tries’ 60-year alliance. 

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 →