The US aims to remain the world’s sole superpower, despite verbiage from President Obama and top defense officials suggesting a move toward simple parity with other countries. “It remains the Secretary of Defense’s clear and unambiguous policy view that the United States must and will remain the world’s preeminent military power. Period,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told the Daily Report in response to a query. Obama referred to the US’ “unsurpassed conventional military capabilities” in a statement Tuesday on US nuclear posture, while Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, Joint Chiefs vice chairman, later that day described US non-nuclear forces as “second to none.” Both phrases imply parity, not superiority. (Remember Nixon’s adoption of “second to none” to characterize US military capabilities, i.e., parity, compared to the Soviets?) But Morrell derided us for “parsing through statements for hidden meaning.” (For more, read Second to None) (Transcript with Cartwright)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.