Top US commander calls for Asia-Pacific security environment
Washington: The top US commander in-charge of the Pacific Command stretching from California to India has called for creation of a security environment in the region, which he said is facing a series of challenges that need to be addressed tactfully.
"The future structure of regional institutions, and whether international relations in the region will be characterised more by conflict, competition, a balance of power, or collective security is unclear," PACOM Commander, Admiral Samuel J Locklear III, said in a speech yesterday.
"But we must work together to create a security environment that is resilient and can withstand the inevitable shocks and aftershocks of our complex security environment," he said.
Locklear said if not managed properly, these challenges can significantly stress the security environment.
Among the challenges he listed climate change and transnational, non-state threats including pandemics, pirates, terrorists and criminal organisations.
"Historic and emerging border and territorial disputes will no doubt continue and will stress the security environment. Access and freedom of action in the shared domains of sea, space and cyberspace will be increasingly challenged," he said.
"The rise of China and India as global economic powers and their emergence as regional military powers will continue. And finally, one of our challenges that must be addressed is the fact that no single governance mechanism, like NATO, exists in the Asia-Pacific to help manage relationships and provide a framework for conflict resolution," he said.
He said that instability on the Korean Peninsula will persist as North Korea continues to threaten the regional and global security environment with their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"It can be a tough neighbourhood with nationalistic tendencies that can split and divide us and can lead to a weak system of security environments," he added.
The security environment consists of a patchwork of interwoven security relationships that have been shaped by history, shared interest, and are increasingly driven by economic interconnectivity, the PACOM commander said.