February 12, 2019
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, gave opening remarks this morning at a SASC hearing to receive testimony on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
Witnesses included Admiral Philip S. Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and General Robert B. Abrams, Commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
As prepared for delivery:
Good morning. The Committee meets today to receive testimony on the posture of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea. I’d like to welcome our witnesses:
Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and
General Robert Abrams, Commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s top priority is to ensure the effective implementation of the National Defense Strategy.
That means we need urgent change at significant scale to address the challenge of strategic competition with China.
Our military advantage and deterrent edge in the Indo-Pacific is eroding. The Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing senses weakness. They are testing our resolve. And if we do not act urgently, they may soon conclude that they can achieve their goals through force. We can’t take peace for granted.
Admiral Davidson: I look forward to hearing from you about strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific—in other words, how we and our allies can achieve the capabilities, capacity, and posture necessary to prevent a war by convincing Beijing it cannot win.
General Abrams: As another U.S.-North Korea summit approaches, I look forward to hearing from you on how we ensure that our military is prepared to add strength to our diplomacy, deter conflict, and win if necessary.
Finally, I hope today’s hearing will serve as a reminder of one of the greatest sources of America’s power—our alliances and partnerships.
Whether its strategic competition with China or addressing the threat posed by North Korea, America cannot do this alone. Strategic success in the Indo-Pacific simply is not possible without allies who share our values and our interests, and who share the burden of common security.
I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses. Senator Reed.