Ernst Stresses Need for New Technologies and Partnerships to Counter Threats in the Asia-Pacific Region

“…active engagement between the United States and our partner countries is very critical to maintaining stability in the region.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran and Chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, today questioned Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of the United States Pacific Command (PACOM), in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the strategies and technological developments needed to give the United States a competitive edge in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Iowa Senator expressed her frustration with the often slow and expensive defense acquisition process, and questioned Admiral Harris about the importance of efficiently developing cutting edge technologies to combat the advancing technological capabilities of North Korea and China. Admiral Harris said that overregulation can often slow down the acquisition process, preventing our servicemembers from utilizing new technologies when it is necessary to move rapidly to defend ourselves from our adversaries.

Additionally, Senator Ernst asked Admiral Harris to detail the importance of engaging with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region to advance mutual interests such as countering ISIS, specifically the growing threat in Southeast Asia. Admiral Harris praised our longstanding partnerships in the region as well as Special Operations Command Pacific for their active engagement providing assistance to vulnerable countries, specifically noting their work in the southern Philippines.

Senator Ernst has continually warned of the threat posed by ISIS in Asia and has stressed the importance of strengthening our global partnerships to defeat ISIS.

Click here or on the image below to watch Senator Ernst’s full exchange.