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New U.S. military doctrine to shift focus from Europe to Asia: WP

New U.S. military doctrine to shift focus from Europe to Asia: WP

Posted March. 25, 2001 18:27,   


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told President George W. Bush the new military doctrine of the 21st century involved a shift in the focus of U.S. military strategies from Europe to Asia, the Washington Post said Saturday.

Rumsfeld reported that the Pacific Ocean was the most likely theater of major U.S. military operations, as China becomes more powerful and Russia less so. This requires reorientation in a defense policy that has been geared since the end of World War II to keeping the peace in Europe and deterring the Soviet Union, he said.

Operating in the Pacific will require an additional emphasis on ``long-range power projection,`` which means greater attention to airlift capacity and other ways of sending troops and firepower across thousands of miles, he added.

According to the Washington Post report, Rumsfeld said the proliferation of missiles and other weapons of mass destruction could cause U.S. allies to limit access to overseas bases, requiring the U.S. military to sustain itself while operating at long distances.

To achieve these goals, the armed services should cut spending on older weapons systems that they are likely to stop using within the next 10 years or so, the defense secretary said.

Rumsfeld made no recommendations to Bush at their meeting, meaning that no official approval was required. The president essentially endorsed Rumsfeld`s approach, the Washington Post reported.

Lee Jong-Hoon taylor55@donga.com