Expanding the United States Coast Guard's Role within the Indo-Pacific Theater of Operations
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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The Department of Defense is evaluating how to expand its Indo-Pacific presence in the era of great power competition. The Departments theater strategy report outlines a range of efforts for preparedness, promoting a networked region, and partnerships to achieve the United States vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the Department shifts its focus to the Pacific to maintain the United States influence, what should the Coast Guards role be within the Indo-Pacific region Currently, the Coast Guard has only contributed to a limited role in supporting the Department of Defense objectives. Research findings indicate that by using white cutters instead of gray warships, the Coast Guard could help the Department achieve its objectives by lowering the risk of escalation. To expand the United States presence in the Indo-Pacific region, the Coast Guard should increase its operational footprint overseas, dissuade maritime gray zone activities, and improve theater security cooperation to preserve the international rules-based order. Finally, the paper draws conclusions concerning the use of the Coast Guard and recommends further assistance to Pacific island nations. By supporting the development of their capabilities and increasing capacity, they can protect their sovereign interests and defend against threats in the region.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics