The speaker at our April 28th meeting was Dallas's own Patrick Walsh. After graduating from Jesuit High School, Admiral Walsh commenced his distinguished career in the United States Navy, culminating in command of the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy prior to his retirement. He has a particularly salient insight into his topic "The Pacific Landscape is Changing: Challenges and Realities."
Several pertinent factors are at play in the region. Walsh recalled how the United States took the lead in creating the framework for stability following the end of World War II. At that time the world consisted of less than 50 sovereign nations. In the time since , due in large measure to the demise of colonialism, that number has increased to over 190.
Critical in the analysis by the admiral is the expanding role and power of the single party authority of mainland China. Admiral Walsh showed a number of slides of the military weapons which China possesses. He also reported the rather bellicose displays of naval power in the region particularly in the East China Sea. Of great concern are the intentions of China with respect to Taiwan which it has consistently maintained is a breakaway province of the Chinese nation. Recognizing that the US and China are major trading partners the rather sobering diplomatic path ahead is to minimize the prospect of armed conflict while maintaining peace and commerce.