US Need Presence, Posture in Central Command

The head of US Central Command said Wednesday the US meets the challenges in “this very complex and often troublesome area” with posture and presence, aimed primarily at making the region “more capable of solving its own problems.” Army Gen. Joseph Votel listed the multitude of factors confronting his command, including tribalism that transcends national borders, sectarian conflicts, falling oil prices that reduce government support programs and increase social unrest, and a growing population of young people who “lacking realistic alternatives” and are attracted to extremist ideas. “Posture and presences are very important in an area like Central Command,” he said at a US Strategic Command-sponsored forum. In addition to the presence of US air, ground, and naval elements to confront the hostile forces, Votel emphasized the US efforts to train and equip partner nations. That effort is focused on professionalizing their militaries and increasing administrative and logistical capabilities, he said. Votel also stressed the importance of developing the long-term relationships that facilitate the presence of US forces and reassure partner nations. That will “support our own strategy” to deter and, if necessary, to prevail in any conflict, he said.