Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche


Obama: Future Force Will be Smaller, Agile, Ready

By Cheryl Pellerin, American Forces Press Service.

Washington D.C. -- (AFPS) -- January 5, 2012 – At a moment of national transition, the United States is reshaping defense priorities and its military force to sustain U.S. global leadership and respond to changing security and fiscal needs, President Barack Obama said this morning at the Pentagon.

Obama, the first president to address reporters in the Pentagon briefing room, joined Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to introduce a new military strategy that sets priorities for a 21st-century defense.

“The United States of America is the greatest force for freedom and security that the world has ever known,” Obama said. “In no small measure, that’s because we’ve built the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped military in history -- and as commander in chief, I’m going to keep it that way.”

Even as the tide of war recedes and U.S. forces prevail in today’s missions, he added, “we have the opportunity and the responsibility to look ahead to the force we need for the future.”

Looking beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and long-term nation-building with large military footprints, Obama said, the United States will be able to ensure its security with smaller conventional ground forces and by investing in capabilities that include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and the ability to operate in environments where adversaries try to deny access.

“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.”

Panetta said the department would need to make a strategic shift regardless of the nation's fiscal situation.

“We are at that point in history,” the secretary added. “That's the reality of the world we live in.”

But he stressed that the U.S. military will remain capable across the spectrum.

“We will continue to conduct a complex set of missions ranging from counterterrorism, ranging from countering weapons of mass destruction to maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent,” Panetta said, adding that the department will be “fully prepared to protect our interests, defend our homeland and support civil authorities.”

The Defense Strategic Guidance document released today says the future force will be led by the world’s finest, best cared for and battle-tested all-volunteer military -- one that will be smaller, but that also will be flexible, agile and ready.

The force will be leaner, further reducing the cost of doing business and finding efficiencies in overhead, business practices and other support activities, according to the guidance. It also will be technologically superior, the document adds, and networked across the services as well as with diplomatic, development and intelligence agencies, allies and partners. The strategy also outlines a force that will be able to regenerate and mobilize for an unpredictable future, preserving the U.S. industrial base.

“As a global force, our military will never be doing only one thing,” Panetta said. “It will be responsible for a range of missions and activities across the globe of varying scope, duration and strategic priority. This will place a premium on flexible and adaptable forces that can respond quickly and effectively to a variety of contingencies and potential adversaries.”

With the end of U.S. military commitments in Iraq and the drawdown under way in Afghanistan, the secretary said, the Army and Marine Corps will no longer need to be sized to support the kind of large-scale, long-term stability operations that have dominated military priorities and force generation over the past decade.

Continuing investments in special operations forces, in new technologies such as ISR and unmanned systems and in space and especially cyberspace capabilities will help the force “retain and continue to refine and institutionalize the expertise and capabilities that have been gained at such great cost over the last decade,” Panetta said.

Most importantly, the secretary added, “we will structure and pace reductions in the nation's ground forces in such a way that they can surge, regenerate and mobilize capabilities needed for any contingency.”

Building in reversibility and the ability to quickly mobilize will be critical, he said.

“That means re-examining the mix of elements in the active and reserve components,” Panetta said. “It means maintaining a strong National Guard and Reserve. It means retaining a healthy cadre of experienced [noncommissioned officers] and midgrade officers, and preserving the health and viability of the nation's defense industrial base.”

The strategy, Dempsey said, is sound.

“It ensures we remain the pre-eminent military in the world,” the chairman told reporters, “it preserves the talent of the all-volunteer force, it takes into account the lessons of the last 10 years of war, [and] it acknowledges the imperative of a global, networked and full-spectrum joint force.”

The strategy calls for innovation -- new ways of operating and partnering, Dempsey said, adding that it rebalances the defense focus by region and mission and makes important investments in emerging and proven capabilities such as cyber and special operations.

“Fundamentally,” the chairman said, “our strategy has always been about our ability to respond to global contingencies wherever and whenever they happen. This does not change. We will always provide a range of options for our nation. We can and will always be able to do more than one thing at a time. More importantly, wherever we are confronted and in whatever sequence, we will win.”

All strategies accept some risk, he acknowledged.

“Because we will be somewhat smaller, these risks will be measured in time and capacity,” the general said. “However, we have to be honest -- we could face even greater risks if we did not change from our current approach.”

The outcome is not perfect, the chairman said, but “it gives us what we need -- in this world and within this budget -- to provide the best possible defense for our nation at a time of great transitions. It prepares us for what we anticipate needing in 2020.”

The nation faces a difficult fiscal situation and in many ways is at a crisis point, Panetta said.

“But I believe that in every crisis there is opportunity,” he added. “Out of this crisis, we have the opportunity to end the old ways of doing business and to build a modern force for the 21st century that can win today's wars and successfully confront any enemy and respond to any threat and any challenge of the future.

“Our responsibility -- my responsibility as secretary of defense -- is to protect the nation's security and to keep America safe,” he continued. “With this joint force, I am confident that we can effectively defend the United States of America.”

Leon E. Panetta
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

Related Sites:
Obama Remarks Video
Panetta Speech Video
Panetta Speech Transcript
Defense Strategic Guidance
Photo Essay: Obama, Panetta, DOD Leaders Hold Briefing On New Defense Strategy
Transcript: Defense Strategic Guidance Media Roundtable at the Pentagon
Transcript: Obama's Remarks

Related Articles:
Obama: Defense Strategy Will Maintain U.S. Military Pre-eminence

Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).