"Budget constraints are clearly affecting President Obama's plan to beef up the military's presence in Asia, and just how much is starting to become clearer."
Military commanders in the Pacific have quite a wish list of things they need to carry out the Pentagon's much-publicized pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. More follow-on forces, more submarines, more amphibious ships.
Budget constraints are clearly affecting President Obama's plan to beef up the military's presence in Asia, and just how much is starting to become clearer. Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, laid out several things they need to carry out the mission at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Scaparrotti said, "The forces in the theater have been fully resourced, despite the budget constraints that we've had. I'm happy with that and appreciative of it." But he said, going forward, he's concerned about the "readiness of follow-on forces" in the region – forces that would be necessary to back up troops in the event of a crisis or attack. "In our theater, given the indications and warnings, the nature of this theater and the threat that we face, I rely on rapid and ready forces to flow into the peninsula in crisis."