Power Shift: Despite the White House's much-lauded pivot to the Pacific, the Navy's Pacific commander warns that an increasingly hostile and assertive China threatens U.S. air and sea superiority in the region.

If jaws didn't drop, they should have last week when Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, chief of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), said: "Our historic dominance that most of us in this room have enjoyed is diminishing, no question."

U.S. naval and air superiority, particularly in the Pacific, has been taken for granted. But as Obama administration budget cuts and the effects of sequestration take their toll, our position is being severely challenged by a Chinese military benefiting from years of double-digit spending increases and a commitment from Beijing to push the U.S. out of the area.

Locklear noted the regional power shift at the annual Surface Navy Association conference in Virginia.

"We need to think about all scenarios, not just the ones we've been dealing with over the last several years, where we've enjoyed basic air superiority and basic sea superiority," he said. "There are places in the world where in this century we won't have them."

The irony is that this warning of the U.S. losing its Pacific dominance comes after the administration announced its plans for a Pacific pivot that de-emphasizes commitments in Europe and elsewhere.

President Obama pledged on Jan. 5, 2012, that his strategy would put more military muscle in Asia. The goal is to have about 60% of Navy ships dedicated to the Pacific by 2020. Of 11 active aircraft carriers, six would be committed to the region.



Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/012114-687017-admiral-united-states-losing-pacific-dominance-to-china.htm#ixzz2r5SyFPLe
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