If the US fails to innovate in its re-shaping of its forces in the Pacific, it cannot effectively play the crucial role which is essential to a strategy focused on our allies. Without innovation, the US cannot protect its interests in the Pacific, ranging from the Arctic to Australia, and will lose the significant economic benefits which presence and protection of our interests provide.
The protection of the US and its allies is valuable in and of itself. But it is inextricably intertwined with the economic viability of the United States in the Pacific and beyond. As the Commandant of the USMC, Gen. James Amos, has underscored: “From our allies’ perspective, virtual presence is actual absence.” Keep reading →
Energy security is a key element of national security. The missing piece of America’s energy security policy, in turn, is the glaring absence of a strategy to coordinate and secure the enormous energy resources of the Western hemisphere.
Today, America is over-dependent on the increasingly volatile Middle East, China is increasingly aggressive in its quest for energy sources worldwide, and Russia is exploiting its energy reserves not just economically but as an instrument of global power. Clearly it’s important to reduce demand through various domestic means and to increase supply from alternative sources. But for now and even the mid-term future, it is more realistic to generating energy now and in the mid-term via an effective national energy policy which relies on the Western Hemisphere. Keep reading →
In an exclusive interview in advance of Wednesday’s new US-Canadian agreement on Artic cooperation, Gen. Charles Jacoby – the Army four-star who leads both the US-Canadian NORAD and US Northern Command — spoke to AOL regulars Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake about the national security aspects of US policy at the top of the world, where global climate change is creating new opportunities for trade, for energy exploration, and for conflict. What follows is Laird and Timperlake’s analysis and extensive excerpts from the interview.
For most Americans — to the extent they even think about the Arctic — the Far North is either an ecological preserve or a energy exploration zone, in either case with security and defense concerns distant considerations. But the Far North is changing fast, and the new reality is that managing security in the Arctic is a sine qua non for resource development, aviation, seaborne trade, and environmental protection. Keep reading →
This is the third in a series of commentaries defense consultant and author Robbin Laird, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, is penning about how the U.S. can and should shape its forces to perform the Asia strategy pivot. As a key part of that, he’ll be looking closely at what he calls “several neglected aspects of a sustainable power projection force for the 21st century.” Think Alaska, for this one. The Editor.
At the center of the U.S. contribution to Pacific defense is the ability to provide strategic depth for our allies. Much of this depends on the contribution of Alaska. Keep reading →