Obama unveils new strategy for ‘leaner’ US military

The US military will become “leaner” while maintaining superiority as it switches focus to the Asia-Pacific region, US President Barack Obama says.

 

The strategy is designed to accommodate at least $450bn (£290bn) in Pentagon cuts over the next decade.

“So yes, our military will be leaner,” Mr Obama told reporters, “but the world must know – the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.”

‘President Obama has lent his personal authority to a whole new vision of American defence. The future will see fewer counter-insurgency battles in distant lands. It will focus much more on the capacity of America’s air and naval forces to balance a competitor like China or face down an antagonist like Iran. And it will scale back America’s much-heralded ability to fight two wars at once.

Mr Obama said in November on a visit to Canberra, Australia, that the Asia-Pacific region was now a top priority for the US. That speech was seen as a challenge to the rising regional power of China.

“As I made clear in Australia, we’ll be strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region,” he told media at the Pentagon.

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