The Department of Defense is wrapping up 2023 with billions of dollars in investments in capability building and stronger partnerships with international allies to maintain peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon published a fact sheet that enumerates steps the department has taken to advance the U.S. Indo-Pacific defense strategy and deter adversarial activities in the region.
“In this decisive decade, 2023 will be remembered as a decisive year for implementing U.S. defense strategy in Asia,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, a three time Wash100 Award winner.
This year, DOD released its “most strategy-driven defense budget” in history, including a $9.1 billion allocation toward the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
The PDI funds programs to strengthen force posture in the Pacific amid the United States’ strategic competition with China. Earlier in December, Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said China is the only nation with interest and increasing capability to “reshape the international order.”
Throughout the year, the U.S. military also conducted numerous multinational exercises with allies within and beyond the Pacific.
For instance, Exercise Pacific Vanguard brought together naval forces from the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Australia to bolster interoperability at sea.