|June 26, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA MEETS WITH ADMIRAL THOMAS B. FARGO, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND|
Faleomavaega announced today that Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, Commander in
Chief, U.S. Pacific Command requested an appointment to discuss regional
security in the Asia Pacific region. Admiral Fargo was in Washington
DC to testify before the International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and
the Pacific on Thursday June 26, 2003.
“As the Ranking Member of the International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, I am pleased that Admiral Fargo requested a meeting with me prior to today’s hearing to discuss U.S. security interests and the deployment and relocation of our troops throughout the region,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Admiral Fargo is the Commander of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) which is geographically the largest unified combatant commend in the U.S. defense structure.”
“USPACOM stretches from the west coast of the Americas to the east coast of Africa, and from the Artic to the Antarctic. Its area of responsibility includes the Pacific, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the India Ocean. As Commander of USPACOM, Admiral Fargo leads approximately 300,000 personnel or about one-fifth of the total U.S. Armed Forces. More than 100,000 U.S. troops are forward deployed in the region, including soldiers from American Samoa. These troops act as a deterrent to aggression and keep the peace in a region that teeters on the edge of conflict,” Faleomavaega said.
“The U.S. has already fought three wars in the region and North Korea continues to be a concern. China is also pointing missiles at Taiwan and India and Pakistan have yet to resolve a dispute about Kashmir. In December of 2001, India and Pakistan amassed nearly one million soldiers along their common border and had the U.S. not intervened it was feared that the dispute over Kashmir could have led to the first use of nuclear weapons since World War II.”
“While the war on terrorism has taken center stage, the tensions in the Asia Pacific region remain serious. The U.S. is moving U.S. troops away from the border of North and South Korea and relocating them in Seoul. The U.S. is also aggressively working to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. As an aside, U.S. businesses conduct more than $500 billion in trade and have invested more than $150 billion throughout the region,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Simply put, the Asia Pacific region is of critical importance to the United States and everything that happens in this region influences the future of American Samoa. Given the importance of our military and trade interests, I am pleased that American Samoa has a voice in what happens in this region. As a result of your continued support and prayers, we now have the seniority we need to make a difference for the future of American Samoa.”
“Once again, I want
to thank American Samoa’s warriors for their service and commitment to
our nation in these uncertain times. I also want to thank the people
of American Samoa for their continued support. Today’s hearing was
just one more example of how we should stand united especially when there
continues to be new security threats throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
The U.S. believes extremist elements may be planning additional attacks
targeting U.S. interests in our region. However, I am confident that
the U.S. has the defense resources it needs to address these threats and
I am certain that our military presence will be a stabilizing factor for
regional security,” the Congressman concluded.
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