Future Posture in the Indo-Pacific

Releasing the US Department of Defense Indo – Pacific Strategy Report Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region on 01 June 2019, the US Department of Defence said that to achieve US strategic objectives in the Indo-Pacific, the US seeks to evolve its posture and balance key capabilities across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania to have a more dynamic and distributed presence and access locations across the region.

To achieve US strategic objectives in the Indo-Pacific, the report said that the US seeks to evolve its posture and balance key capabilities across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania to have a more dynamic and distributed presence and access locations across the region.

The US Department of Defence said it will continue to ensure a force posture that enables the United States to undertake a spectrum of missions including security cooperation, building partner capacity, collaboration on transnational threats, and joint and combined training.

The National Defense Strategy clearly articulates that the Department will prioritize and strengthen its alliances, identifying the U.S.-Japan Alliance as a critical relationship.

Within South Asia, the report said that the US is working to operationalize its Major Defense Partnership with India, while pursuing emerging partnerships with Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

The DoD said that in June 2016, the United States designated India a “Major Defense Partner,” a status unique to India. The designation seeks to elevate the U.S. defense partnership with India to a level commensurate with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners.

The report said that since 2015, DoD has strengthened its relationship with Sri Lanka and increased military engagements significantly, particularly with the Sri Lankan Navy. In 2017, we conducted the first port visit in 30 years by a U.S. aircraft carrier – the USS NIMITZ Carrier Strike Group – and the first ever bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise. In 2019, we increased cooperation on mutual logistics arrangements in support of Indian Ocean security and disaster response.

DoD notes that Sri Lanka, whose strategic location in the Indian Ocean through which 70 percent of maritime traffic passes, has outlined a vision to become a regional hub for logistics and commerce.

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