Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific Dominate Strategic Focus
Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, director, the Joint Staff, stated that three major concerns dominate current strategic thinking: the duration and outcome of the Arab Spring; the U.S. force withdrawal from Iraq and the end of the surge in Afghanistan; and the renewed interest in Asia-Pacific region. "The world has an uncertain future," Adm. Gortney stated in the kickoff address at West 2012 in San Diego. This uncertainty is helping drive the new strategic outlook, which changes the makeup of the U.S. military. One major influence involves energy costs and availability. The U.S. military is working on alternative energy sources, but the admiral cautioned against expecting too much too soon. He pointed out that the current fuel infrastructure has been built up over 150 years, and people should not expect an instant changeover to other forms of energy. "We are a very small part of a global process," he said of the worldwide drive to develop alternative energy sources.