Analysis: Defense strategy shifts balance of U.S. forces

Friday - 1/6/2012, 10:50am EST

Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

Download mp3

By Michael O'Connell
@moconnellWFED
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sketched plans Thursday for limiting military budgets while not leaving the country naked. But they offered few details.

"The big takeaway is that there's going to be a shift in regional focus," said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He offered his analysis of Thursday's DoD announcement on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

"We're going to be focusing more on Asia and the Western Pacific, countering a rising perceived military threat from China," Harrison said. "So, that is going to be central in planning for DoD in the future. They're also going to maintain their current focus on the Middle East, particularly to counter countries like Iran and serve as a stabilizing force in that region."

The other key part of DoD's strategy is to rebalance of the forces in the military by reducing the size of ground forces and focusing on air and sea power in the future. The latter part bolsters longer-range elements in response to the perceived threat in the Western Pacific.

RELATED STORIES:

DoD budget guidance aims for leaner, more agile military

New defense strategy sets Obama's gaze on Asia