U.S. Army acquisition processes are in the midst of a dynamic alteration. Technology development speeds are forcing the military branch to rethink the way it procures the capabilities soldiers need, and the way ahead will be faster and less formal than past methods. Individuals will have the power to create applications faster without stringent guidelines, while larger systems will be brought into the fold in a more timely fashion.
Operating from the most remote island chain on the planet, the U.S. Pacific Command is working to bridge the waters that surround it by training hard and often with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In an area of responsibility where bilateral relationships rather than multinational alliances are the norm, personnel spend large amounts of time engaged in exercises designed to improve interoperability and promote peace. Each year command troops and civilians alike rehearse, sometimes with tens of thousands of their closest friends, for real-world emergencies while simultaneously establishing relationships with their neighbors to the east.
The transnational threats of drug trafficking, money laundering and narcoterrorism have increased the value of international intelligence to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency is interoperating more closely with U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies to share and process information about threats that only a few years ago were the purview of just one specialty agency.
China has established its bona fides as an international maritime power with its participation in counterpiracy operations off the Horn of Africa. The emerging Asian maritime force contributed many different types of vessels as it learned how to support distant deployments. Its participation in the multinational effort also served to showcase some new ships and capabilities that may define Chinese naval power in the coming years.