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Parihaka
05 Jan 12,, 21:55
Obama announces massive troop cuts (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-06/obama-announces-us-military-cuts/3760662)

US president Barack Obama has unveiled his strategy for creating a leaner US military with an increased presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The plan calls for preparations for possible challenges from Iran and China with air and naval power, while downplaying any future massive counter-insurgency campaigns like those that have gripped Iraq and Afghanistan for the last five years.

Despite plans to cut troop numbers and find half-a-trillion dollars in savings over the next 10 years, Barack Obama insists the military will maintain its superiority.

Mr Obama said there will be less emphasis on large ground wars, but the military will keep its capacity to react to all contingencies.

"We need a smart, strategic set of priorities, so yes, our military will be leaner," he said.

"But the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats."

White House officials stressed Mr Obama was deeply involved in the strategy review and sought to portray the president as taking a careful approach to defence spending informed by the advice of commanders.

'Smaller and leaner'
Saying the country was "turning a page" on a decade of war, Mr Obama said the new strategy would increasingly focus on Asia, where commanders reportedly worry about China's growing military punch.

"We'll be strengthening our presence in the Asia Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region," he said.

Defence secretary Leon Panetta, appearing with Mr Obama along with top officers, said the strategy envisages a "smaller and leaner" force that will expand the military's role in Asia while maintaining a strong military presence in the Middle East.

According to the eight-page strategy document, the American military will work with allies in the Middle East to ensure security in the Gulf and counter Iran's "destabilising policies".

Counter-insurgency operations, like the bloody campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan, will receive a lower priority under the new plan, enabling the administration to scale back ground forces.

The world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.

US president Barack Obama
Mr Panetta said "with the end of US military commitments in Iraq, and the drawdown already underway in Afghanistan, the Army and Marine Corps will no longer need to be sized to support the large scale, long-term stability operations that dominated military priorities and force generation over the past decade."

The review confirms what had already been signalled by defence officials - that funds will flow to aircraft and ships, while the US Army and Marine Corps will be drastically downsized after having expanded during a decade of ground warfare.

Washington's focus on Asia is fuelled by concerns over China's growing navy and arsenal of anti-ship missiles that could jeopardise America's military power in the Pacific and access to the mineral-rich South China Sea.

"This region is growing in importance to the future of the United States economy and our national security. This means, for instance, improving capabilities that maintain our military's technological edge and freedom of action," Mr Panetta said.

The strategy review suggests reducing the nuclear arsenal without saying how, amid calls from some lawmakers reduce the number of nuclear-armed submarines.

The review also hints at reducing the military's footprint in Europe but offers no details, saying "our posture in Europe must also evolve".

The new strategy comes ahead of the proposed defence budget for 2013 due to be released in coming weeks, which is expected to call for delays in some weapons programs, including the troubled F-35 fighter jet.

Despite talk of belt-tightening, the annual defence budget is at nearly $US700 billion ($681 billion) and Mr Obama said future military spending will still remain high, dwarfing that of other nations.

The next budget will be "larger than roughly the next 10 countries combined".

bigross86
05 Jan 12,, 22:14
I find the wording "Mr. Obama" interesting. Most people will either write "Obama", "President Obama" or "the President". I don't know if this is indicative of ABC or just this article/reporter

YellowFever
05 Jan 12,, 22:24
It was rampant during the Dubya years by the lefty media.

"Mr. Bush" was the norm back then. You can pretty well judge the writer's opinion of the man by what they called him.

"President Bush" meant a supporter.

"Mr. Bush" meant a detractor.

Probably the same case here.

bigross86
05 Jan 12,, 22:35
That's what I thought, but I'm not that fluent in US journalistic nuances. Is ABC as a general rule pro-military?

citanon
06 Jan 12,, 00:47
That's what I thought, but I'm not that fluent in US journalistic nuances. Is ABC as a general rule pro-military?

I think they are just trying to sound more classy. ABC news has not exactly been the bastion of good taste and important stories as of late, what with Babara Walters specials left and right asking fluffy bear questions to any celebrity who might play well with ratings. Perhaps they are trying to get back to a time when they had a more serious image.