ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT -- Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left Washington today for meetings in Asia, Joint Staff officials said.
Dunford will visit Japan, Singapore and Australia on the trip, officials said.
Dunford will attend the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. The dialogue, begun in 2001, has grown to be the preeminent foreign affairs and defense forum on Asia. Leaders from around the Asia-Pacific region will participate or listen to the discussions.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be one of the keynote speakers and is expected to discuss the Trump administration’s policies toward the region. The IISS lists the title of Mattis’s presentation as “the United States and Asian-Pacific Security.”
Dunford will participate in the discussions and will use the conference to meet with counterparts from across Asia.
IISS officials expect discussions about the situation with North Korea. They also expect discussions of the situation in the South China Sea.
The chairman moves from Singapore to Australia where he will attend the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations. Often called the “two-plus-two” meeting it will bring together Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australian Defense Minister Marise Ann Payne and Mattis to speak about the Australia-U.S. alliance. Dunford will meet with Australian Chief of Defense Forces Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.
Australia is one of America’s closest allies and has been with the United States in every conflict since World War I. The United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense treaty in 1951.