By Jim Garamone DOD News
WASHINGTON — The Indo-Pacific is a vast complicated region with nations of varying capabilities, capacities and needs, and U.S. strategy in the region must be equally varied, said Lindsey W. Ford, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia.
At the Center of Strategic and International Studies 2023 Indo-Pacific Conference today, Ford emphasized that the United States’ network of allies and friends are the basis for maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the region.
Ford directly pushed back on the idea that U.S. troops in the Indo-Pacific are somehow destabilizing and provocative. “I would say the United States military has been forward and present in the Indo-Pacific region for decades,” she said. “I think you can look back, historically, and that there is solid evidence for the fact that the presence has helped … maintain peace and stability in the region.”
Changes to U.S. force posture in the Indo-Pacific are “a response to changes in the security environment, not forcing changes in the security environment,” she said. “And I think if that were not true, we would not have allies and partners who are so interested in having the United States there more.”
Spotlight: Focus on Indo-Pacific
Globally and regionally, China is “the pacing threat” for the United States. China is actively seeking to overturn the international rules-based order that has kept the peace in the region since World War II. The United States works with allies and partners to maintain security and stability in the region.