Perimeter Defense

The Air Force has a critical role in the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific, said Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter. As in World War II, where “airpower allowed the United States to leapfrog enemy forces and extend a Pacific perimeter defense,” and in Korea, where airpower has helped “deter conflict in Northeast Asia throughout the modern era,” Air Force innovations have provided “security to the Asia-Pacific region,” Carter told attendees of AFA’s Air & Space Conference outside of Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19. The US presence has been the “secret sauce” helping Asian nations prosper, and the United States intends to “continue to play that pivotal, stabilizing role,” he said. The United States will maintain forces in the region, support friendly nations with arms sales, and continue multilateral exercises, said Carter. In addition to the US military putting all of its newest gear into the Pacific, the Air Force “can allocate space, cyber, and bomber forces” from the US homeland “with little additional investment,” he added. He also suggested that there would be more “rotational presence” of Air Force units in Australia.