The Softer-Sided PACOM

There’s been no public release, per se, but US Pacific Command last month issued a new strategy, which it says is “based on partnership, presence, and military readiness.” No where in the strategy does the term “military preeminence” appear, even though as late as this summer, PACOM boss Adm. Timothy Keating was still using it to describe the command’s view. In his cover letter to the new strategy, Keating writes: “The emphasis on security cooperation and capacity building does not signal a departure from our primary responsibility to fight and win. Instead, it acknowledges the complexity of our security environment and the importance of proactively employing forces in ways that strengthen partnerships and support conditions that preclude the necessity for combat operations.” However, lest any potential foes read too much into the new softer-sided PACOM strategy, it does end with these words: “We will be an engaged combatant command committed to being a trusted partner and preeminent warfighter.”