WASHINGTON, D.C.–Mississippi will have a say in who becomes the next Secretary of Defense for the country. Sen. Roger Wicker questioned Pres. Obama’s pick for the job, Dr. Ashton Carter, at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting Wednesday.
“At a point some two or three years ago, the Pentagon, along with the Administration, made a decision to rebalance to the Asia-Pacific,” said Wicker. “Our challenges with regard to an expansionist Russian agenda have become more challenging, and the challenges in the Middle East are more problematic now than when the decision was made to pivot to the Asia-Pacific.”
Wicker specifically asked Carter whether the Pentagon would need to diminish American resources in the Middle East or Europe to meet the demands of the new Asia-Pacific strategy.
“According to NATO guidelines, we ask our allies to devote at least two percent of their GDP to defense. Only four countries spent that much in 2013: the United States, the United Kingdom, Estonia, and Greece. I hope going forward that we can have our allies shoulder their share of the burden.”
He then asked whether there are any initiatives that the U.S. could undertake to encourage NATO members to spend more on their collective defense.
Wicker has publicly stated that he will support Dr. Carter’s confirmation.