The US is right to focus its national security resources on the war in Afghanistan and stability operations in Iraq, for now. But issues surrounding the Asia-Pacific region, energy, and US economic competitiveness will no doubt affect future military readiness, said Rudy deLeon, senior vice president of the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. For example, “Emerging powers of the previous decade” in Asia “are now key regional geopolitical players and global economic powers,” deLeon told the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel Thursday in prepared remarks. As for energy, “Without changes to our energy infrastructure, disappearing ‘friendly’ foreign oil will cause the United States to grow more reliant on countries that have different values and relationships,” he wrote. He added, “This situation will be less than ideal” as many of these nations “are plagued with instability and hostility toward the United States.” (deLeon’s prepared remarks)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.