Washington, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)—Retired Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s defense chief pick, underscored on Thursday the need to maintain the US military posture in the Asia-Pacific region.
“As this is a primarily maritime theater, our naval forces, supported by other elements of the military, should be the centerpiece of the Department of Defense’s integrated strategy for the region,” Mattis said in prepared documents for his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing.
“Additionally, our alliances and partnerships in this region will be vital in preserving international law and deterring conflict,” the former commander of the US Central Command went on to say.
Mattis also noted that “the United States is stronger when we uphold our treaty obligations, and when we stand by our allies and partners,” in contrast to Trump’s remarks during the presidential campaign that suggested the possibility of withdrawing US forces from Asian allies.
In particular, the Pentagon chief nominee underscored the importance of close cooperation with Japan and South Korea to cope with the “volatile” situation on the Korean Peninsula caused by North Korea’s “continued provocative statements and actions” including repeated nuclear tests and missile launches.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]