Official Backpedals on Pacific Pivot ‘Can’t Happen’

Official Backpedals on Pacific Pivot ‘Can’t Happen’

A top Defense Department leader quickly reversed course Tuesday on her bombshell statement that the vaunted “Pacific pivot” of U.S. forces was a dead issue because of budget cuts after receiving push back from her Pentagon superiors.

“Right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen” given budget constraints and other worldwide commitments, Katrina McFarland, the assistant Defense Secretary for Acquisition, told a Washington D.C. crowd Tuesday.

The entire rebalance of forces to the Pacific region put forward by President Obama as a major strategic initiative had to be “reconsidered,” McFarland said at an Air Force forum hours before the Pentagon released its fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.


McFarland’s remarks set off a scramble among Pentagon officials to determine exactly what she said and in what context. In short order, McFarland issued a statement saying: “The rebalance to Asia can and will continue.”

McFarland said she had only been intending to re-inforce the position of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that “the shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific requires us to ‘adapt, innovate, and make difficult (budgetary and acquisition) decisions’ to ensure that our military remains ready and capable.”

A number of military analysts have already questioned whether the Pentagon and the nation have the will and the wherewithal to go ahead with the Pacific pivot to counter the rise of China in an era of declining defense budgets and continuing challenges in the Mideast, Africa – and now, Europe.

In a conference call Monday on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conflict with Ukraine, defense analyst Eric Schmitt said the threat to Europe would have to be balanced against the Pacific pivot in the allocation of resources.

Schmitt, an American Enterprise Institute analyst, said the Pacific pivot “had been put on hold even before this” latest dispute with Putin.

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Countries invaded by China lately: 0
Countries invaded by Russia lately: 2 (Georgia & Ukraine)
Looks like the Pacific Pivot is already working.

Actually, with sequestration extended for another 2 years (the Ryan/Murray Bipartisan Budget Agreement extended the 10-year sequestration by 2 more years to balance the FY14/15 “relief” it provided now), the Navy could decommission or lay up 10% of its ships. If it cut all those from the Atlantic Fleet, that would achieve the “Pacific Pivot” shift from 50/50 Pacific/Atlantic to 60/40 Pacific/Atlantic without even relocating a single ship!

Its going to be an interesting year. The budgetary negotiations haven’t even started yet — and given Russia’s current activities, and China’s ever-increasing diplomatic belligerence, the HoR *might* decide that national security concerns (and therefore the budget, and their positions on revenue) should be taken more seriously, and looked at with a lot more care.

Don’t hold your breath

What Katrina really meant to say is that the pivot can’t happen until diversity training is fully funded and the the 360 degree evaluations are complete so as to weed out all the toxic leaders. After that, we’ll commit a full squadron of littoral combat ships to the region. This will reassure the Japanese, deter the Chinese, and allow the administration to focus on what’s really important: gun control, legalization of marijuana, amnesty, and defending that disaster that is obamacare.

No worries. Sleep tight.

Perfect assessment of the situation.

Heh — well, I did say *might*

I guess that you don’t consider China taking over small islands which then gives them claims to large areas of the East China Sea including islands previously owned by Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc to not be invasions. The countries that USED tio own those islands sure consider China to be invading.

You’re right! The occupation of those long disputed tiny islets constitutes an egregious violation of international law, in contrast to my Russian ‘peacekeeping deployments’. You Americans should continue your obsession with Chinese aggression. Do not let them continue to defy you by claiming that they actually own the islands and their two dozen inhabitants. They need to be monitored! I will meanwhile ensure that the hundreds of millions of inhabitants on the eurasion continent maintain the peace, and I will continue to deploy my ‘peacekeepers’ as necessary if any illegally try to assert their independence.

Ha Ha. . as if the number of inhabitants of those rocks were important… what IS important is that they gove China “rights” to claim thousands of square miles of other countries territory and take ownership of very valuable mineral and oil rights. More importantly to the US, it allows the China to control vital sea lanes by claiming them as their territorial waters.

You mean the RE-legalization of “marijauna”. Cannabis, as the medicinal herb is more correctly known, was legal for use, and in the U.S. Pharmacopeia until the early / mid –1900’s. Cannabis was largely criminalized as alcohol Prohibition was ending.…

Thank you comrade, for not allowing them to drill and pump that oil. The last thing we need is more oil on the market, which would only drive down prices. For you, that would hurt your rich capitalist oil baron friends, and for me, that would hurt my defense budget thus curtailing my regional ‘peacekeeping’ efforts. We need to keep oil prices high. And may I add how clever it is of you to conceal our real agenda under the guise of ‘containing Chinese expansion’ and ‘reducing Chinese control of sea lanes’.

It is not a question of whether or not to pump the oil, just who profits/owns the oil. But then I don’t expect a KGB thug to respect the rule of law and respect ownership rights.
“Whats mine is mine and what’s yours is mine if I decide to take it”

It’s amusing how the thuggish behavior you condemn was the exact behavior practiced by the USA in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Also, it was rather naughty of you Americans to pay those demonstrators in Ukraine to oust the legitimately elected gov’t, just because they were friendly to me. No matter, I’ve got my Black Sea ports secured despite your bungled meddling, and with the impending referendum, Crimea will probably join Russia. This couldn’t have worked out better for me. I should be thanking you again.
However, if you’re really concerned about reducing Chinese profits, perhaps you should refrain from shopping at Walmart or practically anywhere else in your country, since your stores are saturated with Chinese products.

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