Jon Huntsman President 2012


Staying on top will increasingly depend
on our willingness to adapt to the realities
of the security environment in the 21st century...


Creating a Modern Defense and Military

Sustaining America's leadership position in the world requires we continue to maintain the world's most capable military. But being the best will not simply be a function of spending the most. Staying on top will increasingly depend on our willingness to adapt to the realities of the security environment in the 21st century, and prioritizing the right way with respect to the future of our armed forces.

Transformation of our forces is required in at least two senses of the term. First, we must transform our force structure and its associated capabilities. The traditional roles and missions of our armed forces will remain relevant for the foreseeable future – but the relative importance of counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering, training and equipping foreign security forces, and special forces operations will all continue to grow going forward.

We must also transform our posture and orientation. By almost any objective measure – whether by population, size of economies, size of militaries, or energy use – the center of gravity of human activity is moving toward the Asia-Pacific. We live in the Pacific Century. Our foreign policy, and indeed our defense posture must reflect this.

Jon Huntsman Priorities:

Invest in force structure appropriate for the future: We must equip our military, intelligence community and special forces for counter-terrorism, and for fighting the nation's wars when our core interests are at stake.

Prepare to fight determined foes across all domains of warfare and the new battlespace: The United States must be prepared to deal with our enemies who may apply cheaper, asymmetrical approaches to the battle. Our military and defense establishment must be effective in the cyber sphere and we must be able to handle the increasingly lethal and accurate ballistic and cruise missiles being acquired by many of our potential foes.

"Right Sizing" our force: There is little doubt our military will be asked to perform its global mission with less resources under the next President. We must make sober-minded, strategic decisions about what capabilities are required to secure our interest and to protect America going forward.

A Pacific force for a Pacific century: A Pacific orientation may bring a dramatic change to "the look" of our military. The Asia Pacific is a maritime theater whereas Europe was mostly a land theater. It is a region full of disputed islands, maritime borders, and resource claims when compared to the relative calm of other regions. The United States is a Pacific nation with vital interests tied to the region that cannot be compromised for the sake of additional defense savings. Losing presence and/or capabilities in the Asia Pacific are the wrong trade-offs to make as we approach the tough decisions about our future defense spending.


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