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U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, USN (Retired)

Notwithstanding the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. maintains five treaty alliances in the Indo-Pacific. Japan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand have militaries with varying capacities, capabilities, and interoperability with the U.S. Armed Forces. This lecture will examine these treaty alliances through the lens of a former U.S. Seventh Fleet Commander and discuss their utility in the twenty-first century. It will apply these alliances to tests in five zones of interest: the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Oceania. The operative question of today: will the U.S. be the preferred security partner in the future?

Instructor: Vice Admiral Robert Thomas retired from the Navy in early 2017. His final operational assignment was as Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet. As a career submarine officer, he previously commanded attack submarines and a submarine squadron at Point Loma; he was also the operational commander for all submarines operating in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of responsibility. He received a BS from UC Berkeley and has an MA in National Security Studies.

Coordinator: Steve Clarey

Course Number: OSHR-70047   Credit: 0 units

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