Building Relationships in the Pacific: Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle said continuing and even increasing military-to-military engagements will be crucial in the coming years. However, he cautioned that the relationship has got to be one of mutual trust. “I worry about reciprocity. We invite [the Chinese] to the US a lot. We need to see the same in reverse,” said Carlisle during AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Sept. 18. “By nature, we have a tendency to be more open. We have to continue to work that reciprocity as we move forward.” Carlisle said China also has a tendency to resist multilateral engagements, but he sees “a lot of value” in such engagements, especially with critical US allies such as Australia and Singapore. “I see us moving toward multilateral, if possible,” he said. However, he cautioned, “I think that will be a tougher hill to climb” with the Chinese.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.