The U.S. secretary of defense tied his visit directly to the National Security Strategy that places huge power competition with Russia and China and the chief threat to American interests globally. Mark Esper talked to journalists, in Sydney, visiting the ‘2+2’ talks with their allies from Australia.
The name ‘2+2’ implies the meetups between the United States secretary of defense and secretary of state with their Australian counterparts. Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, and Mark Esper met with Marise Payne, the Australian Foreign Minister, and Linda Reynolds, the Defense Minister.
Mark Esper also has plans for visiting various other regions such as Mongolia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.
He stated how he wishes to visit most of America’s oldest allies and its newest partners and express to them the commitment the United States has towards this region.
Mark Esper started his tour with a short visit to Hawaii to meet with the commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Philip S. Davidson.
While the defense secretary was visiting the Pacific, the U.S. backed up, following many years of noncompliance from Russia with the 1987 agreement, from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. He stated how he hopes the U.S. will construct and field preventive forces to the Russian hazards soon.
Esper also stated how he wishes the new treaties that may form, to be multilateral.
He said, “We firmly believe no one nation can or should dominate the Indo-Pacific and we are working alongside our allies and partners to address the region’s pressing security needs.”
Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo stated how he was very sure that the U.S. would be able to shape a maritime coalition in the Gulf, in spite of a halfhearted reply from European and Asian allies.