Obama vows US ‘military superiority’ despite cuts


US President Barack Obama on Thursday vowed that the US military would maintain its “superiority” and bolster its presence in Asia despite planned cuts to the defence budget.
“So, yes, our military will be leaner, but the world must know – the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats,” Obama told reporters at the Pentagon.
Unveiling a revised military strategy designed to reflect a more austere era, Obama said the plan called for increasing the American presence in the Pacific while moving away from large ground wars against insurgents.
“We’ll be strengthening our presence in the Asia Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region,” said Obama, in an unusual appearance in the Pentagon’s briefing room.
“As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and the end of long-term, nation-building with large military footprints — we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces,” Obama said.
The strategy review is supposed to shape Pentagon budget priorities as Obama’s administration prepares for $487 billion in defence cuts over the next 10 years.
In a politically charged election year, White House officials stressed Obama was deeply involved in the strategy review and sought to portray the president as taking a responsible approach to defence spending informed by the advice of commanders.