U.S. military commitments are global because our
interests and partners are global, said Secretary of the
Army Eric Fanning during the opening of the 2016 Association
of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition on Oct. 3,
Since he moved from the Office of the Secretary
of Defense to the Army in 2015, Fanning has visited more
than 24 Army installations in 12 nations on four continents.
Wherever he traveled, he said, he found Soldiers
"laser-focused on our Army's most solemn mission: fighting
and winning our Nation's wars."
October 3, 2016 - Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Sgt.Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey shake hands with Soldiers dressed in uniforms of previous conflicts during the opening ceremony of the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.
(Photo by Sean Kimmons, Air Force News Service)
In Iraq and
Afghanistan, he observed that the missions in that part of
the world are carried out predominantly by Soldiers.
"Whether in our mission to degrade and defeat ISIL, or in
the support we provide Afghan partners against the Taliban,
the Army carries the lion's share of our nation's
commitment," he said.
"Fully 60 percent of U.S.
forces in Iraq and 70 percent in Afghanistan are Army. A key
takeaway for me is just how much we're asked to do, and how
few fully understand all the Army brings to the joint
Fanning called into question the notion that
the United States spends too much on defense. "I'm often
asked if we really need to spend as much as the next nine
nation's combined," he said. "The answer is simple: yes, if
you want us to do all that is asked of us."
currently has well over 100,000 troops deployed in 140
nations, supporting commanders around the world.
"While other nations simply have to deny, we have to
project," Fanning said. "While others have to jam, we have
to penetrate. While they have to disrupt, we have to
dominate. While other nations have to defend a small corner
of the world, our commitments are global. ... And wherever
America's interests are, our Army is there."
pointed to the past to illustrate the investment the Army
makes in the conflicts that the United States becomes
"From the Revolutionary War onward, it
has been the Army that bears the greatest share of our
Nation's loss," he said. "It is Soldiers and their families
who have carried the greatest burden from multiple, lengthy
deployments in combat theaters."
If America wants an
Army that will partner with allies in Europe to deter
Russian aggression, support South Korea against the
increasingly aggressive North Korea, support state and local
C. Todd Lopezities, and undertake a host of other critical missions
at home and around the world, Fanning said ... "You
have to pay for it."
By U.S. Army C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service
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