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The New Head of the U.S. Pacific Command Talks to TIME About the Pivot to Asia and His Asian Roots
US Navy's Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Harry Harris (L) speaks to journalists during his visit to USS Spruance (DDG 111), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer which docked in Sembawang wharves in Singapore on January 22, 2014. Admiral Harris, the US Navy's most senior officer in the Pacific region, identified North Korea as its "number one security concern". AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The New Head of the U.S. Pacific Command Talks to TIME About the Pivot to Asia and His Asian Roots

On May 27 Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. becomes the U.S. Navy’s highest-ranking Asian American ever when he assumes leadership of the U.S. Pacific Command at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Harris will be responsible for all military operations in a region stretching from California to the Indian Ocean, and from the Arctic Sea to Antarctica. He takes over at a critical time, as the U.S. “rebalances” to Asia and confronts an erratic and nuclear-armed North Korea and an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

It’s a job that takes Harris, 59, full circle. He was born in Japan to a Navy-enlisted man and Japanese mother, and raised on a subsistence farm in Tennessee. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Harris did postgraduate studies at Harvard, Georgetown and Oxford and spent much of his career as a naval flight officer aboard P-3 patrol planes, including three tours in Japan. Affable, direct and with a confessed weakness for “both kinds of music — country and western,” Harris talks to TIME contributor Kirk Spitzer about taking on one of the most challenging jobs in the U.S. military.

Source: The New Head of the U.S. Pacific Command Talks to TIME About the Pivot to Asia and His Asian Roots | TIME

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