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Pentagon Says Two-War Strategy Not Likely To Be Scrapped

Among the stories about today's unveiling of the Obama administration's new defense strategy is a New York Times report that says projected cuts in the number of Army troops would mean the military would no longer "be able to carry out two sustained ground wars at one time, as was required under past national military strategies."

Instead of continuing the so-called two-war strategy, the Times continues, "the military would be required to fight and win one war, spoil the military aspirations of another adversary in a different region of the world, and all the while be able to conduct humanitarian relief operations and other contingencies, like continuing counterterrorism missions and enforcing a no-fly zone."

On Morning Edition today, however, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports that:

"Officials tell NPR the Pentagon is unlikely to scrap the two-war scenario. Part of it is politics, they say: The White House doesn't want to make the president look weak on defense in an election year. Another reason: It sends the wrong message to adversaries like Iran and North Korea."

Meanwhile, as The Washington Post adds, the strategy being unveiled today:

"Will call for a greater shift toward Asia in military planning and a move away from big, expensive wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, which have dominated U.S. operations for most of the past decade, said a senior military official.

"In particular, the plan calls on the military to invest in weaponry to overcome efforts by potential adversaries such as China to use long-range missiles and sophisticated radar to keep U.S. forces at bay."

President Obama is due at the Pentagon later this morning to make remarks about the strategic review.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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