US names new Pacific Command chief


CAMP SMITH, Hawaii—The commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led operations that helped Libyan rebels overthrow Moammar Gadhafi took over Friday as the top US military commander in Asia and the Pacific.

Adm. Samuel Locklear’s new role with the US Pacific Command comes as the United States places more emphasis on its military presence in the region in response to the area’s growing economic importance and China’s rise as a military power.

The Pacific Command is responsible for an area stretching from the US West Coast to India, including the Philippines.

It oversees some 325,000 military and civilian personnel—about one-fifth of the US military’s payroll.

America’s future depends on the peace and prosperity of Asia and the Pacific, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the audience at Friday’s ceremony, at which Locklear assumed command from Adm. Robert Willard.

“When I look across the world to the threats and challenges that we face as a nation—from terrorism, natural disasters, proliferation of weapons of nuclear destruction, to rogue nations and the rising powers of the Pacific—this region has most of those threats here,” Panetta said.

Panetta said the position required not just a great warrior but also “a great diplomat.”

Locklear last month told the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing that China’s military buildup was a source of strategic uncertainty. He described the current military relationship as “cooperative but competitive.”

“It would be my plan to, in every way possible, improve our military-to-military relationship, with the recognition that there are things we won’t agree on, that greater transparency is for the good of all of us to avoid miscalculation,” Locklear told the committee.

Willard, the outgoing commander, has said that US-China military ties have been maintained at a senior level but China is reluctant to have tactical and operational ties with the US.

In the past, Beijing has stymied bilateral military exchanges in response to US arms sales to the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

Locklear most recently commanded the US Navy in Europe and Africa.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • mangtom

    Good news to us on this side of the International Dateline. 

  • PHtaxpayer

    The US merely considers the PH as its forward operating base or FOB, in the Pacific, which the US considers as its imperial territory.  That is bad news if there is a China(or other Asian power)-US War or a terrorist group looking for US targets that are withing reach.

    But the biggest threat to ordinary Filipinos is the corruption of PH govt officials to serve the military and political interests of the US which are conflicting with our national development and regional peace.  

    It happened in the 1950’s with the Korean War (to support a US-backed govt) and the Huk Wars, which was a campaign to suppress farmer’s rights to own their own land, and the declaration of martial law by Pres. Marcos, which was disguised as a campaign to support America’s anti-communism policies in South East Asia.

    • joeldcndcn

      come on, whose gonna help you against those communist chinese, ha? the Ph has suffered so much because of the “hypocrisy” of its citizens, while Japan & S Korea and Taiwan prospered because the US Forces protected them from the communist chinese aggressions,  READ THE HISTORY TO NOT APPEAR IGNORANT?

      • PHtaxpayer

        haha talk about being ignorant…communist China never attacked “Japan, S. Korea or Taiwan.”

        The Korean War was caused by the Americans supporting a Japanese puppet government in South Korea.  Kim Il Sung was the General Aguinaldo or Ho Chi Minh of Korea who was fighting to unite the 2 Koreas after foreign colonial rule, having been occupied by China then the Japanese Imperial Army in the 1930’s-1945… 
        Korea, for your proper education, was divided up by the USSR and the US after the Japanese defeat in WW2.  Kim Il Sung attacked the South to unite the country because the South political leaders were former puppets of the Japanese Imperial Army who then served American imperial interests.  Look it up outside of the US mainstream media if you want to know the truth.  The US broke its UN agreement with the USSR by pushing Kim’s forces past the 38th Parallel all the way to the Yalu River, or the border of China.  China had warned the US it would join the war if the US threatened its borders.  But the US ignored China, thinking that Mao’s peasant army would not dare attack a nuclear power.  China joined forces with the North Koreans and attacked the US army (It did not “attack Korea” because the  Koreans who wanted a united Korea were their allies), and drove them back across the 38th Parallel which stands to this day.  Without US military occupation, the South would have fallen to the North.  Thousands of SOuth Koreans, many innocent citizens have paid dearly with their lives with the corrupt leaders and political purges over the past years.  Until now they live in fear of a nuclear North Korea.What about Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Somalia, Lebanon, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nigeria, all had US military protection or military occupation but are poor countries or embroiled in civil war and sectarian violence?

        Communism is just an ideology like Capitalism.  If Communists are so evil why is the US so friendly with communist China since 1975 and communist Vietnam since 1993?  They were the same communists govts as before, you know.

        Who killed more Filipino’s in HISTORY, Americans or Chinese?

        Study REAL history, not US imperialist propaganda. 

      • batangpaslit

        Well said, Kabayan. You can say it again…

      • PHtaxpayer

        Oh to answer your question, who is going to help us fight…we always fight for ourselves and others.  We fought the Spanish, Americans, Japanese and Chinese.  We also fight for the Americans and the UN.  As if Filipino’s need someone to fight for us.  You forget it was the American Gen. Wainright who surrendered the PH islands to General Yamashita of the Japanese Imperialist forces, not the Filipino’s.  

      • batangpaslit

        Japan is already an economic and military power before WWII.
        Japan even “conquered” Russia, Chia, and U.S.A. at the onset of the global war.
        Japan’s technology occupied U.S. Mainland—Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi

        Taiwan? Why do you think Mainland China embraced Mao Ze Dong? Who undid China?

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos