Perspectives on the role of the US Military in a dynamic Indo-Pacific

Crawford School of Public Policy
Indo-Pacific map and USPACOM

Event details


Date & time

Friday 08 June 2018


Weston Theatre, JG Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU


Lieutenant General David H. Berger, Commander of US Marine Corps Forces, Indo-Pacific Command


Vivienne Seedsman

The strategic significance of the Indo-Pacific has been a focus of heightened debate in recent times. In the past year, Australia and the United States have both enshrined the importance of the region in their highest-level policy doctrines, including last year’s Australian Foreign Policy White Paper and US National Security Strategy and the 2018 US National Defense Strategy.

The military is one of the most visible elements of national strategy. In the case of the US, this has seen the US Pacific Command recently renamed Indo-Pacific Command.

In this seminar, Lieutenant General David H Berger will explore the strategic military dimensions of operating in the Indo-Pacific, including exploring how to translate strategic foreign policy and security aspirations into practical operations, activities and relationships. He will discuss the implications of the US National Defense Strategy on the Marine Corps’ regional posture, and explain its role in assuring allies and partners, deterring adversaries, and serving as the Indo-Pacific Command’s crisis response force of choice.

Lieutenant General David H Berger assumed the position of the Indo-Pacific’s senior US Marine Corps Commander in August 2016, where he commands over 90,000 Marines across the region, approximately two-thirds of all operational forces in the Corps. Previously he served as Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force from 2014 to 2016, and as Commanding General of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center from 2013 to 2014. Lieutenant General Berger was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1981 following graduation from Tulane University. As a Captain, he served as a Battalion Operations Officer in 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion during Operation DESERT STORM.

As a field grade officer, he commanded 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines from 2002 to 2004, deploying the battalion first to Okinawa, and later to Haiti in support of Operation SECURE TOMORROW. As a Colonel, Lieutenant General Berger commanded Regimental Combat Team 8 in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While serving as Assistant Division Commander of 2nd Marine Division, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General. In 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan as the Commanding General of 1st Marine Division (Forward) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he holds a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Master of Science in Military Studies. His formal military education includes the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and U.S. Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting.

Australian Government logo
‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator