Some Outside Perspective

The Defense Department needs to do a better job explaining its new Asia-Pacific-focused strategy, states a newly released report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “DOD has not adequately articulated the strategy behind its force posture planning, nor aligned the strategy with resources in a way that reflects current budget realities,” states the 110-page report, publicly released on July 27. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), SASC ranking member; and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) welcomed the findings in a joint statement that same day. “The report helps to frame the many issues associated with the reposturing of US forces in the Asia-Pacific,” they wrote. The CSIS study is the independent assessment that Congress called for in the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization act to examine topics like the proposed shift of US forces at Okinawa and Guam. Last year, the three senators criticized the Pentagon’s realignment plan as being “unrealistic, unworkable, and unaffordable.” (CSIS report; caution, large-sized file.) (See also McCain Demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T.)