Despite the differences some have expressed with the Obama Administration’s new defense strategy, the document lays out a “floor” for what a future force will look like, said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America chairman and CEO and former Navy Secretary. The strategy lists priorities, and some are higher than others, he noted, and there is no question that the primary focus is power projection—the ability to send US military forces around the world as the President directs. “There’s no question that is the primary focus,” said O’Keefe at last week’s Center for Security and International Studies-sponsored Global Security Forum 2012 in Washington, D.C. One of the arguments occurring now in policy and defense circles within this framework is determining what is a fair cut under the looming sequestration spending cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act versus what is a strategic cut. “There are some priorities higher than others,” said O’Keefe during his April 11 panel appearance, and it is very important that they are reflected in any post sequestration environment. (CSIS event webpage)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.