The U.S. Defense Department has launched a far-reaching study to determine if the country's available military assets are still up to the task of carrying out battle plans formulated for possible use in hotspots such as Iran and the Korean Peninsula, high-level U.S. government personnel told the New York Times on Thursday.
U.S. military operations of recent years generally have had a more narrow focus than what might be required in a larger-scale regional flare-up, the newspaper suggested.
“The world didn’t wait for us while [we] were in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. “This is something we are looking at very hard. What are the contingencies? What are the wars? And what is our operational approach to each one?”
The report came a day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefed journalists on what U.S. force cutbacks could be required if congressionally mandated budget cuts are sustained into the future.
Hagel did not publicly address at depth "how much could be saved by more senior-level attention to the projected costs for programs," such as the development of a next-generation strategic bomber, American University international relations professor Gordon Adams wrote in a Foreign Policy magazine analysis.