Thursday, October 13, 2011

Note from AFA President -- Asia-Pacific, Defense Spending, Huessy

AFA members, Congressional staff members, civic leaders, DOCA members, 
Last week we had a speaker at AFA who made the point that the US was now a Pacific nation.  He cited a number of reasons … among them was the level of trade we had with Asia-Pacific nations. Trade does indeed provide an indication of our national interests … so I thought I’d see what the data tell us. [The best site for bilateral trade data seemed to be the US Census Bureau.  I chose to use 2010 data.  See: ].
Our bilateral trade with PAC RIM countries was $980B in 2010 … as opposed to our trade with the European Union = $559B. However, our closest trading partners are – by far – Canada ($526B) and Mexico ($393B). China is third with $276B; followed by Japan ($181B). I was surprised to find that our trade with Thailand is about the same as our trade with Russia ($32B).  And our trade with Taiwan ($52B) was more than our trade with India ($49B). And our trade with Singapore ($46B) was more than our trade with Italy ($43B). I’m not sure what these data show … but it is clear that the Asia Pacific area has increased in importance to the US.
Secondly, last month the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon (R-CA), warned against drastic cuts to defense spending. His HASC Republican staff warned, in a memo to the Chairman, of the effects of impending cuts. You can find their memo on our website at:
Finally, I ran across a short piece by Peter Huessy, President of GeoStrategic Analysis and Senior National Security Fellow, the American Foreign Policy Council.  In the piece entitled “Tempting Tyrants,” Mr. Huessy makes the point that we have never been attacked because we were too strong.  His examples lead one to understand that a strong military deters others who might consider challenging us.  You can find the piece at:
For your consideration

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

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