Pentagon’s New Strategy Shifts Focus to Asia, Reduces Forces

Air Force photo

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and President Obama called for a shift in U.S. military strategy from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region during a Thursday briefing.

Earlier this week, reports indicated that the plan would include reducing the standing forces and refocusing them to different areas. According to a Reuters report, this differs from the military’s previous goals of simultaneously fighting two wars in two different areas.

“We’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces,” Obama said according to the Washington Post.

Coinciding with the briefing, the Pentagon released an eight-page strategy outline, calling for continued focus on nuclear deterrence but with a smaller arsenal. The strategy also calls for increased investment in cyber and space capabilities. The document does not give budget specifics.

In the Pentagon’s outline, both Panetta and Obama said that the armed forces will be reshaped but will also be prepared to confront aggression and will remain the “best-trained, best-led, best-equipped” force.

“Over the next ten years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this — it will still grow, because we have global responsibilities that demand our leadership,” Obama said.

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