US Pacific Command gets renamed, INDOPACOM
U.S. Pacific Command is renamed as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, as a strategic counterweight to Chinese economic and military pressure in the region. Secretary Mattis directed the name change, saying that “all nations large and small are essential to the region, in order to sustain stability in ocean areas critical to global peace.” While Mattis stressed that the change was not meant to be combative, it did signal America’s commitment to ensure that every country “no matter its size …. [is] not bound by any nation’s predatory economics or threat of coercion.”
The renaming of INDOPACOM stands on the shoulders of President Barack Obama's strategic "pivot to Asia", which moved the country's focus from the Middle Eastern/European sphere and began to invest heavily in East Asian countries, some of which are near China. The Obama strategy emphasized "strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers, including with China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights."
As China projects its influence in maritime areas surrounding U.S. allied countries, there is an enduring need for U.S. military support.
These missions require complex understanding of many different cultures. If you or someone you know is getting ready to deploy to the region, be sure to check out our culture training resources at CultureReady.org!