Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement at today’s hearing:Rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific Region and Implications for U.S. National Security”:

“I would like to welcome our witnesses and to thank them for being here with us this morning.  I look forward to their testimony on this important topic.” 

“The diverse Asia-Pacific region is vital to our national interests, and it includes many allies and partners that are essential to those interests.  Without question, U.S. service men and women play crucial roles in maintaining these relationships and in promoting peace in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“Current strategic guidance emphasizes a renewed focus on the region.  It is both timely and appropriate for the United States to reevaluate and to carefully hone its Asian-Pacific strategy as that dynamic region continues to flourish.  Strategic rebalancing will undoubtedly affirm the critical roles played by the U.S. military in support of, and in concert with, broad U.S. diplomatic, economic, and assistance goals and other efforts in the region.”

“Rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region will require the United States to weigh a wide variety of risks and to establish and implement numerous national and regional priorities and objectives.  This is, and will continue to be, a significant undertaking, especially in the immediate context of sequestration.”

“As it rebalances, the United States should continue to promote shared interests, to mitigate concerns, and to perpetuate multi-lateral cooperation in the region. We should: work to cultivate a secure and mutually beneficial relationship with China, continue to contain and marginalize the recalcitrant North Korean regime, continue to develop our relationship with India, and endeavor to strengthen enduring relationships with partners like Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore.”

“Transnational threats, such as violent extremism, cyber-threats, and illicit trafficking in persons, narcotics, and weapons continue to menace the region.  Unfortunately, disease, malnourishment, environmental degradation, resource scarcity, and natural disaster also persist.  The more we can do to defuse tensions through cooperative efforts with our many allies and strategic partners in the region, the more we can help to realize the immense potential for growth and prosperity in the region.”

“The United States will continue to lead in the Asia-Pacific and to offer assurances through our forward military presence in the region, because the United States will continue to play a fundamental role in surmounting security challenges now and in the future.” 

“I look forward to receiving our witnesses’ testimony and to expanding our dialogue on these and other important issues.  I would especially appreciate our witnesses’ views on how the United States might effect a rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region in this era of fiscal constraint.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

 

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