The Pentagon is renaming its oldest and largest military command to reflect the growing importance of the Indian Ocean in US strategic thinking, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday. From now on, the storied US Pacific Command, or PACOM, which was formed after World War II, will be known as the Indo-Pacific Command. The name change is largely symbolic for now, and won’t immediately result in any shifts in the command’s boundaries or assets across the vast area stretching from the western part of India to America’s Pacific coastline. “In recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command,” Mattis said in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. “Over many decades this command has repeatedly adapted to changing circumstance and today carries that legacy forward as America focuses west.” The name change is part of Washington’s efforts to counter China’s growing influence across the Asia-Pacific domain, even though critics say President Donald Trump has ceded considerable regional leadership. Trump has pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreed in 2015 by a dozen nations that accounted for 40 percent of the global economy. The remaining 11… Read full this story
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