“Secretary Austin May believe he has elegantly split the baby, but what he’s done is undermine the department’s ability to engage in effective defense diplomacy with five key countries,” said Jonathan Lord of the Center for a New American Security. While acknowledging that the Pentagon has to make officer cuts somewhere to meet Congressional guidance, he said, “These cuts make no sense in the context of our global objectives.”
“The UK is our closest ally. Congress annually appropriates $1.3 billion in security assistance to Egypt. Kuwait currently hosts three US military bases. Turkey is a NATO ally, but our relationship over the past seven years could only be described as ‘fraught’ at best,” said Lord, who before joining CNAS held a number of regional jobs for the Pentagon and led the Middle East portfolio for the House Armed Services Committee. “Effective mil-to-mil communication with Pakistan is as essential has ever, as DoD continues to target terrorist threats in Afghanistan from over the horizon.”
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