What defines the strategic environment today is not individual threats, but the uncertainty presented by a multi-polar world of four revisionist powers (Iran, North Korea, China and Russia) actively challenging the rules-based international order, or what Admiral Harris refers to as the Global Operating System. The Global Operating System represents the norms and standards that enabled 75 years of relative peace and unparalleled prosperity since the end of World War II. Each of these revisionist powers - accumulating military capability at different rates, scales and varying levels of sophistication - are designed to assert behavior that sharply reduces or eliminates America's contributions and thus undermine global security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Admiral Harris will describe how we can reinforce the Global Operating System and deter revisionist powers to ensure access to the air, sea, space and cyber domains by demonstrating credible combat power and the resolve to use it.
Admiral Harris assumed command of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) on May 27, 2015. He is the 24th Commander since USPACOM was established on Jan. 1, 1947 with headquarters at Hawaii.
Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and designation as a naval flight officer (NFO), he was assigned to VP-44. His subsequent operational tours include tactical action officer aboard USS Saratoga; operations officer in VP-4 at Barbers Point, Hawaii; three tours with Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1 at Kami Seya, Japan; Director of Operations for U.S. 5th Fleet at Manama, Bahrain; and Director of Operations for U.S. Southern Command.
Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region, and participated in the following major operations: S.S. Achille Lauro terrorist hijacking incident, Attain Document III (Libya, 1986), Earnest Will (Kuwaiti reflagged tanker ops, 1987-88), Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Willing Spirit (Colombia hostage rescue, 2006-7), and Odyssey Dawn (Libya, 2011). For Odyssey Dawn, he served as the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander afloat.
Harris’ graduate education focused on East Asia security. He attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and Oxford University. He was a MIT Seminar 21 fellow.
This event is co-sponsored by the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative and the Hoover Institution