Walk and Chew Gum

NATO members aren’t especially distressed about the announced US “strategic pivot” to the Pacific, said NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow. Speaking with the Daily Report on Aug. 29 after a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C., Vershbow said European NATO members initially were “dismayed” by the US rhetoric, but have since acknowledged that the United States can “walk and chew gum at the same time,” meaning the United States can manage both theaters adequately. Moreover, a greater involvement in the Pacific also serves European members’ interests, he noted. With the new “rotational” schemes—where US forces will periodically move to Europe and participate in more relevant exercises—”we can potentially do more with less,” he said.