A day after it renamed its military’s Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command, the Pentagon today said that it looks forward to working with the countries in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure peace and stability and rule of law. “The United States is a Pacific nation, and the Indo-Pacific region will remain a priority as we continue implementing our National Defense Strategy, acknowledging challenges while signaling resolve and a lasting commitment to our allies and partners in the region,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said. “It (renaming) means that we understand the importance of our alliances and our partnerships, not only in the Pacific, but those also in the Indian Ocean. This demonstrates how strategically important this region is,” she said in response to a question.
In the National Defence Strategy, the Pacific is the priority theatre. “So, by renaming it, it really shows, as the secretary says, the connectivity between these two oceans. We look forward to working more closely with building those partnerships as we move forward,” White said. Lt Col Christopher B Logan, a Pentagon spokesperson, the name INDOPACOM is aligned with the language used by the US in its strategic framework for the region and conveys a more comprehensive, accurate and useful representation of the command’s focus and responsibilities. “America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific is strong and unwavering. The re-designation does not affect the missions, responsibilities, or areas of responsibilities of any combatant commander,” Logan told PTI.
The announcement in this regard was made by Defence Secretary James Mattis during this change of command a day earlier in Hawaii. “In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command. Over many decades this command has repeatedly adapted to changing circumstances and today carries that legacy forward as America focuses west,” he said. “A significant portion of the Indian Ocean and the land and people east of the India-Pakistan border, have been part of the USPACOM AOR since 1983. The term ‘Indo-Pacific’ resonates and demonstrates the ranging regional and global dynamic as well as the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean,” Logan said.