In symbolic nod to India, U.S. Pacific Command changes name

By Idrees Ali PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move underscoring the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, U.S.

Reuters May 31, 2018 03:05:22 IST
In symbolic nod to India, U.S. Pacific Command changes name

In symbolic nod to India US Pacific Command changes name

By Idrees Ali

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Wednesday renamed its Pacific Command the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move underscoring the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, U.S. officials said.

U.S. Pacific Command, which is responsible for all U.S. 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," U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in prepared remarks.

"In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. 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 President 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 recognises 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 defence ties as they seek to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

The United States is also keen to tap into India's large defence market. It has emerged as India's No. 2 weapons 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 defence and intelligence sectors would face sanctions.

"I think India and the relationship with the United States is the potentially 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 U.S. follows through with a significant array of initiatives and investments that reflect a wider aperture," said Abraham Denmark, a former deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia under President Barack Obama.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
World

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities

Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up
News & Analysis

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field
News & Analysis

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field

By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.