When President Barack Obama announced the administration’s new defense strategy at the Pentagon on 5 January, he stated that it would be consistent with his goal of drastically cutting defense spending in the wake of the U.S. pullout from Iraq and the projected drawdown in Afghanistan. The elements discussed most prominently were the abandonment of the requirement that the United States be able to fight two regional wars simultaneously, followed by a shift to emphasis on the Pacific (rather than Europe) and the statement that the United States would continue the current policy of attacking (if necessary, preemptively) those plotting to attack us.
Other accounts emphasized the need to build up cyber-defenses and to counter the anti-access threats posed by Iran and China. Another widely discussed element was a plan to draw down ground forces. That has happened previously, but this time we are promised special measures to keep the surviving forces from being hollowed out, and to prepare for expansion if necessary. The new concept is described as a pivot strategy, the United States “pivoting” from a concentration on the Middle East to one on East Asia.