The Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare, with participation from the U.S. Army Pacific, presents the inaugural 2013 AUSA ILW LANPAC Symposium and Exposition, to be held 9–11 April 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The theme for the event will be “Land Forces: Assuring Stability and Security in the Pacific.”
The National Defense Strategy and the Army’s strategic planning articulate that even as large-scale military campaigns recede, America will still face a growing array of security challenges. These new priorities focus on the continuing threat of violent extremism, the proliferation of lethal weapons and materiel, the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea, the rise of new powers across Asia and an era of uncertainty in the Middle East. For the foreseeable future, the United States will continue to take an active role in countering these threats by monitoring the activities of non-state threats worldwide, working with allies and partners to establish control over ungoverned territories and directly striking the most dangerous groups and individuals when necessary. It will use a whole-of-government approach, leveraging all elements of national power, to succeed. In particular, U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities. This is in addition to the long-standing unrest in Northeast Asia and the evolving confluence of South American countries that border the Pacific theater.
American land forces—Army, Marines and special operations forces—have played and continue to play a critical role in protecting the vital interests of the United States. In addition to their unprecedented contributions in Afghanistan and Iraq, Army, Marine and special operations forces have continued to conduct operations across the globe, especially in the Pacific, to prevent conflict, shape the environment and win decisively. Nearly 20,000 Soldiers remain stationed on the Korean Peninsula, providing a credible deterrent and investing in the U.S. Army’s partnership with the Republic of Korea Army. U.S. Marines are forward-deployed in several locations in the Pacific, serving as a viable deterrent against aggression. Simultaneously, special operations forces continue to provide advice and support to the Philippine Armed Forces, enhancing that robust alliance. These are just a few examples of strategic investments in a region that is home to seven of the world’s ten largest armies.
This unique biennial symposium is designed to highlight the role of land forces in the Pacific theater both in peace and war. In addition to perspectives from U.S. military leaders and chiefs of service of countries in this region, there will also be presentations from key senior leaders within the U.S. interagency team, capturing the importance and essence of a whole-of-government approach to ensuring the nation’s security. Industry will participate, providing a perspective on how it is meeting the needs of the U.S. military together with cooperating and assisting other countries’ land forces in the Pacific theater. The panels and presentations will cover such topics as team building and partner growth; information warfare and cyber activities; leveraging training with technology; partnerships with nongovernmental organizations; and humanitarian assistance and disaster response, to name a few. The two-and-a-half-day symposium will demonstrate the importance of land power in the Pacific, especially engagement with allies to build partner capacity, and its effectiveness in response to requirements of the combatant commander, Commander U.S. Pacific Command, as part of the joint force.