Forbes: US Not Walking the Walk on Pacific Pivot

If the US is preparing for a Pacific pivot, it is sending the wrong message to allies in the wrong region, said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower and projection forces subcommittee. Speaking with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Forbes said the Pentagon’s decision to merge the AirSea Battle concept into the newly created “Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons diminishes it from a standalone priority to a consolidated point sending the message that the concept is no longer a high priority for the US. “Our [Asia-Pacific] allies will always flag three to four things that are big to them,” including the AirSea Battle concept, increasing US presence in the region, and increasing trade opportunities, he said. Forbes has “real concerns that we are just talking about an Asia-Pacific pivot and not actually moving on it.” Adding that “pivot” is not really an accurate term, since the US never really moved out of the region and must focus on the ability to defend itself in multiple regions. “It is important for us to prepare for competitors, because they’re preparing for us,” Forbes said. “We can’t prepare based on motives and intentions; we have to prepare for capability,” he continued, adding that China has enormous capability that the United States must acknowledge.