Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018, the world’s largest international maritime exercise concluded on 2 August, following over a month of rigorous training events conducted off Hawaii and California.
This year’s RIMPAC marked the 26th in the series that began in 1971. Twenty-five nations, forty-six surface ships, five submarines, and more than two hundred aircraft and twenty-five thousand personnel—including seventeen Marine and Army contingents participated in the biennial exercise. Participating forces exercised a wide range of maritime capabilities, ranging from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and advanced war fighting.
Now let’s consider RIMPAC 2020. Building on the successes of RIMPAC 2018 and leveraging the changing political conditions in the Indo-Pacific highlighted during the 2017 and 2018 Shangri-La Dialogues, and in line with the new muscular National Security and Defense Strategies, serious consideration should be given to conducting RIMPAC 2020 in the South China Sea (SCS).