In symbolic nod to India, US changes name of Pacific Command
PEARL HARBOR: The US military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the US Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move underscoring the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, US offi als said.
US Pacific Command, which is responsible for all US military activity in the greater Pacific region, has about 375,000 civilian and military personnel assigned to its area of responsibility, which includes India.
"Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Ocean allies and partners have proven critical to maintaining regional stability," US defense secretary Jim Mattis said in prepared remarks.
"In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command," Mattis said.
He was speaking during a change of command ceremony. Admiral Philip Davidson was assuming leadership of the command from Admiral Harry Harris, who is Presi nt Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to South Korea.
The renaming does not mean additional assets will be sent to the region at this time, but rather recognizes India's increasing military relevance for the United States.
In 2016, the United States and India signed an agreement governing the use of each other's land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply, a step toward building defense ties as they seek to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of .
The United States is also keen to tap into India's large defense market. It has emerged as India's No. 2 wons supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals over the last decade.
Mattis has been pushing for a waiver for countries like India, after Trump signed a law last year which said that any country trading with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors would face sanctions.
"I think India and the relationship with the United States is the pentially most historic opportunity we have in the 21st-century and I intend to pursue that quite rigorously," Davidson, the incoming head of the command, said last month.
However, experts said the name change would mean little unless it was tied to a broader strategy.
"Renaming PACOM is ultimately a symbolic act ... (it) will have a very limited impact unless the US follows through with a significant array of initiatives and investments that reflect a wider aperture," said Abraham Denmark, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia under Presi nt Barack Ob.
Good-2 hours ago
So now remove the hurdles for our business of S400 with the russians.We didnt cry when you were supplying porkistanis with billions of $ in aid and wons.Grow up donald duck
Maverick-New Delhi-3 hours ago
This is really Big news. I know Modi haters might not appreciate the move by US but it must be giving some sleeess nights to our enemies.
Aam Aadmi-3 hours ago
USA can''t ignore India, neither as a partner nor as a customer !
Chintu Mon-3 hours ago-Follow
Modi all the way man..haters will hate him and higher heâ ll go
Rajesh Iyer-3 hours ago-Follow
To counter the US, is creating a new naval pact with Pakistan and has named this ChiPak. Pakistan has promised to ''stick'' to this agreement.
Gururaj Narayan-Bengaluru-2 hours ago-Follow
After PM Modi took charge of India, India may be liked or disliked, but it cannot be ignored. Renaming is more than symbolic. It shows US''s desire to strengthen its influence in Indian Ocean region also.
Ankit-New Delhi-2 hours ago-Follow
A small step for a long run
Nitin-Philadelphia-2 hours ago-Follow
It looks like this KING (NAMO) can't do no wrong
Mickey-2 hours ago-Follow
Modi is making India a US puppet....we cant buy defense stuff because US put sanction on Russia... has its stand at least on ots own..