February 1, 2012  

Timely strategy

TO DoD LEADERSHIP for rolling out the new military strategy a month before the 2013 budget proposal.

Certainly, the publication date had slipped several times since President Obama ordered up a review last year to guide coming budget cuts. But ultimately, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released the eight-page document in time to allow everyone to digest it before plunging into the far more massive budget request.

Critics say the new vision doesn’t go far enough, that it’s just a rehash of past strategy documents. But much about the plan seems to be on the mark. It drops the post-Cold War pretense that we could fight two major wars simultaneously, and wisely shifts resources and focus from Europe toward Asia, a necessary concession to China’s rapid economic and military rise.

Some aspects of the plan, of course, remain vague. But as details emerge in the budget request, DoD is well-served by having provided a framework through which to view its fiscal decisions.