Preparing the Army in the Pacific for the 21st Century
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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In August 1898 Admiral George Dewey had to wait 90 days after defeating the Spanish at Manila Bay for a 15,000-strong Army force from California to put boots on the ground and secure his victory in the Philippines. As U.S. Army Pacific USARPAC celebrates 100 years of service in the Asia-Pacific region, it can account for two-thirds of the Army campaign streamers awarded for action outside North America. It also reflects the changing role of America as a Pacific power. Today, U.S. Pacific Command PACOM relies upon trained and ready forces to support military operations and peacetime engagement. As we near the 21st century, USARPAC has the vision and direction to keep the Army component of PACOM relevant, responsive, and ready. The American commitment to the Pacific over the last century can be divided into two major periods Japanese expansionism and confrontation with the Soviet Union. These two experiences challenged the Army to assume various rolesexpeditionary, occupation, counterinsurgency, and deterrent in a theater where vast ocean spaces and faraway land masses presented another passive but significant force, the tyranny of distance. The central strategic issue for our military in the Pacific during the first half of this century was maintaining a credible presence in the Philippines and countering the growing power of Japan. The United States could not defend the Philippine Islands because the American people would not commit the needed assets until the eve of war. Consequently Hawaii became the center of gravity for our strategic position in the Pacific. It was home to Army and Navy commands as well as the industrial facilities which supported operating forces that would be projected into the Pacific.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics