President Obama speaks at the Pentagon on Thursday. With him are, from left, Army Secretary John McHugh, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
On Thursday, President Obama dropped in at the Pentagon to outline some sizable changes he’s making to America’s defense strategy in this last year of his first elected term. His plans will no doubt lay him open to criticism on the campaign trail, but at least it seems to make room for the possibility of focusing funds on the home front. —KA
The New York Times:
President Obama outlined a broad new military strategy for the United States on Thursday, one that refocuses the armed forces on threats in Asia and the Pacific region, continues a strong presence in the Middle East but makes clear that American ground forces will no longer be large enough to conduct prolonged, large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns like those in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In an unusual appearance in the Pentagon briefing room, Mr. Obama put his mark on a military strategy that moves away from the grinding wars he inherited from the Bush administration and relies more on naval and air power in the Pacific and the Strait of Hormuz as a counterbalance to China and Iran.
Mr. Obama’s strategy embraces hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the military, making it an awkward codicil to the uneasy relationship he has shared with the military since his first days in office.