World Faces Confused Security Environment
World Faces Confused Security Environment,
By Jim Garamone, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Fort Shafter, Hawaï – (DOD News) – July 1, 2014 – The
world faces a confused security environment, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff said here yesterday, but the United States can deal with it.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told soldiers of U.S. Army Pacific during an
all-hands call that it is the right time and the right thing to rebalance U.S.
interests in the Asia-Pacific theater.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks
with service members during a town hall on Fort Shafter, Hawaii, June 30, 2014.
Dempsey told U.S. Army Pacific soldiers that he hopes the military services can
retain their own unique field uniforms, adding that having separate military
services brings perspectives to the table that are the epitome of “jointness.”
DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton
Different areas of the world mean different security situations, the chairman
“In this region of the world, there’s a rising sense of nationalism among the
countries,” the chairman said. “The effort and intent of China to emerge on the
world stage presents a different type of security challenge.”
In the Middle East, he told the soldiers, nationalism is breaking down amid
fragmentation of national identity and the emergence of extremist groups.
The situation in Europe is somewhere between that in Asia and the Middle East,
the general said. “There’s a group of nations trying to pull Europe together
with organizations like NATO and the European Union,” he added, but he noted
that in parts of Europe, there’s also a countervailing trend to see things in
terms of national interests and ethnic identities.
Worldwide, Dempsey said, the security environment is confused. “It’s
something we have to address,” he added. “You take the world as you find it, not
as you hope it to be. And fortunately, we’ve got a great group of leaders and
men and women in uniform that are willing to do just that.”
This security environment means the U.S. military must be prepared for
different operations in different parts of the world, the nation’s top military
officer said. “In this region, it is nations competing with other nations,”
Dempsey said. “In the Middle East, it is about groups who don’t even care about
borders competing with each other. In Europe, it is something in-between. That
makes it very difficult to understand how to build the force.”
In the Asia-Pacific region, the threat of conventional conflict -- nation
versus nation -- is higher than anywhere else, he said. In the Middle East, the
risk is the long campaign against global terrorism.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deanie, listen to a brief during a
tour of the USS North Carolina at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 30, 2014. DoD photo
by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton.
by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton
“The use of military power in the Middle East is very much different than it
would be if something broke out in the Pacific,” Dempsey said. “In Europe is a
new challenge with Russian aggressiveness and assertiveness that we are trying
to shape through NATO.”
American service members need to be ready to confront a myriad of threats,
Dempsey said. “I wouldn’t put away your field manuals that describe how to do
maneuver and combined arms effects and traditional conflict,” the chairman said.
“It’s probably a little early. We need to do both.”
The Asia-Pacific region has many security interests for the United States --
so many interests and implications for the region and the world, the chairman
said, that the U.S. rebalance really is the right thing to do and the right time
to do it.
South Asia and Southeast Asia alone have 17 percent of the world’s land mass,
he noted, but 50 percent of its population.
“Frankly, the distractions we are facing elsewhere shouldn’t distract from
our interests and to posture ourselves better in the Pacific,” Dempsey said.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)
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