Admiral: US Will Remain Committed to Allies in Asia

Downplays Chances of Trump Following Through With Campaign Talk

by Jason Ditz, November 15, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on some major changes to US foreign policy, and one of the biggest things was dialing back the costs of massive US deployments abroad, particularly saying Asian allies need to pay more of the cost of their own defense.

That’s been a topic of discussion for those nations, but Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris today insisted there would be no real changes, saying he is confident the US will retain its “steadfast commitment” to its military support for its Asian allies.

Harris, who was talking at an event held by Defense One, insisted that the US military interest in Indo-Asia-Pacific is “proven” over decades of history, and appeared to be comfortable in “assuring” the Asian nations that the US was not heading toward any real regional changes.

It’s not unusual for Pentagon commanders to say exactly what allies want to hear, but he appears to be out on something of a limb in this case, suggesting the stated policy of an incoming government isn’t going to ultimately happen.

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