(…) we recognize that the American defense engagement – from our forward deployed forces to exercises with regional partners – will continue to play an indispensable role in the stability of the region. Although much of the press in both the United States and the region has been focused in recent years on our efforts to modernize our basing arrangements with traditional allies in Northeast Asia – and our commitment to those efforts is absolute – we’ve taken a number of steps towards establishing a defense posture across the Asia Pacific that is more geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable. A posture that maintains our presence in Northeast Asia while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean.
(…) Taken together, all of these developments demonstrate the commitment of the United States to sustaining a robust military presence in Asia – one that underwrites stability by supporting and reassuring allies while deterring, and if necessary defeating, potential adversaries.
No doubt, sustaining this forward military presence and commitments is costly, and cannot be disentangled from the wider discussions of the U.S. fiscal predicament in general, and the pressures on our defense budget in particular. I know this topic is top of the mind at this conference and around the region.
As I noted at the beginning of my remarks, the U.S. faces some serious fiscal challenges at home, and the defense budget – even if not the cause of America’s fiscal woes – must be at least part of the solution. Anticipating this scenario, I have spent that last two years carving out as much budget space as possible by cancelling troubled or unneeded weapons programs and culling excess overhead.
(…) Many of those key modernization programs would address one of the principal security challenges we see growing over the horizon: The prospect that new and disruptive technologies and weapons could be employed to deny U.S. forces access to key sea routes and lines of communication.
The U.S. Navy and Air Force have been concerned about anti-access and area denial scenarios for some time. These two military services are working together to develop a new concept of operations – called “Air-Sea Battle” – to ensure that America’s military will continue to be able to deploy, move, and strike over great distances in defense of our allies and vital interests.
(…) These programs are on track to grow and evolve further into the future, even in the face of new threats abroad and fiscal challenges at home, ensuring that that we will continue to meet our commitments as a 21st century Asia-Pacific nation – with appropriate forces, posture, and presence. pic souls who will argue that we cannot sustain our role in Asia-Pacific.
Traduzione: tranquilli alleati, anche se abbiamo problemi economici non dimuiremo la nostra presenza in Asia e Pacifico! Stiamo invece rafforzando le nostre posizioni geo-strategiche e le parternships (vedi Australia e Singapore) al fine di contenere la Cina, investendo i soldi in programmi funzionali a migliorare la nostra capacità di proiettare potenza nell’area.