The Rising East: Pacific Marines Head Into Austerity and Frugality

Sergeant Mallory VanderSchans USMC

The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, says his service, long known for its Spartan ways, is heading again into a “period of austerity” in which he will nurture a return to “a culture of frugality.”

Amos suggested in an interview in Hawaii as he started a swing through the Asia-Pacific region that his corps, like other U.S. armed forces, has begun to calculate the consequences of coming cuts in budgets and personnel. Those cuts arise from the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after 10 years of war there and in Iraq.

Even though the Obama Administration has proclaimed a “pivot to the Pacific” in which the U.S. will focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the pledge of favoring forces here over those elsewhere in budgeting has been greeted with more than a bit of skepticism.

In addition, what happens in the near future will depend on the presidential election in November. If President Obama is returned to office, present trends will most likely continue. If the presumptive Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, is elected, a new course may be set.

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