China With the backing of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Fallon has nurtured a gradual expansion of military exchanges with China. Those contacts are intended to assure the Chinese that the US is not planning to attack them but also to caution them not to miscalculate US military power.
An intriguing question: In his new assignment, will the admiral, who has visited China three times, seek help from China in Iraq or Afghanistan or in the war on terror? He declined to speculate on specifics. He noted that tensions between China and Taiwan had been reduced and that Pacific Command had been "working with Taiwan to build a credible defense."
Terror and Piracy In the southern Philippines, Fallon said, US special operations forces had achieved some success in helping the Filipino armed forces in their fight against Muslim terrorists known as Abu Sayyaf.
In the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean forces have reduced piracy and, so far, prevented a tie-up between pirates and terrorists. "They are doing it," Fallon said, "and we are helping in the background."
Contingency Plans The admiral said he had ordered the command's contingency plans, such as sending reinforcements to South Korea to fend off a North Korean invasion, to be overhauled and tested "to make sure we can do it."
Fallon said he had placed renewed emphasis on what military planners call "Phase Zero," which is to engage both friendly nations and potential adversaries in an effort to head off open conflict. "We did this so we would not have to employ the kinetic parts of the plan--not have to shoot'em up."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Admiral William Fallon moves to CentCom and has a few thoughts on this PacCom tour, noted as "works in progress" he leaves for Admiral Keating here: