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American Forces Press Service

Commandant: Shift Toward Asia Pacific Wont Overlook Other Regions

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2012 – Enemies of the United States would be making a mistake if they conclude the U.S. shift in defense strategy toward the Asia Pacific means less focus on other important regions, the commandant of the Marine Corps said today.

Gen. James F. Amos told reporters the strategy shift should not be taken to mean the U.S. military at large won’t remain engaged with the rest of the world. “We have the capability to do our nation’s bidding (elsewhere) while we’re doing (the Pacific strategy),” he said. “This doesn’t have to be a singular focus for the Marine Corps.”

Marines have a long and distinguished history in Asia and he honored part of that legacy by participating in the 70th anniversary of the Marine landing at Guadalcanal on August 7.

For today’s young Marines, Gen. Amos said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the proving ground the same way Khe Sanh or Da Nang in Vietnam were for their fathers. “For all the young kids who joined the Marine Corps in the past 10 years, I go out and visit them in Afghanistan and ask how many of you have been in the western Pacific?” he said. “The only ones who raise their hands are the old master gunnery sergeants, the sergeant major and the battalion commander. All the others have never been there before.”

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