The Associated Press reports that "top U.S. military officers in the Asia-Pacific said Tuesday that budget cuts could hurt the ability of American forces to respond to a security crisis, including on the Korean peninsula."
"Pacific commander Adm. Samuel Locklear said U.S. allies are carefully watching American defense spending, and are starting to question U.S. 'staying power' as a guarantor of security."
"Locklear and Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who commands U.S. forces in South Korea, were testifying before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on the defense budget for 2015 that trims spending and aims for a smaller, more modern force rather than a larger one less prepared for combat."
"Some in Congress, however, see that as an approach that weakens U.S. capabilities in a period of growing uncertainty in Europe and Asia. Senators in particular voiced concern about the double-digit annual growth in China's defense spending and development of more and better warships and submarines, and the threat posed by a nuclear North Korea."