Ken Harrison 12:30 p.m., Sept. 30
SD Could Benefit from Military Focus Change
President Obama outlined a new strategy for the U.S. military today (Jan. 5), and although changes could be made, San Diego, which relies heavily on the military, could benefit. "Details of preliminary information sound like [the effect on] San Diego could be neutral at minimum, and we may even benefit from the realignment," says Marney Cox, chief economist of the San Diego Association of Governments. Obama stressed that there will be a stronger focus on Asia and the Pacific region. That could help San Diego, says Cox. Ground war would be deemphasized, and the Army and Marines would be cut, but Marines could benefit from the Asia-Pacific focus, according to the New York Times. "If they transfer Marines from the East Coast to the West Coast because of the Asian-Pacific focus," then San Diego Marines could benefit, says Cox.
The military won't cut any of its 11 aircraft carriers, according to the Pentagon. Several are home-ported in San Diego. The military will put greater focus on counterterrorism, intelligence gathering cyberwarfare and countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons. "From the communications side, that is one of the things we do well," says Cox. "There are counterterrorism components of drones, satellite communications, surveillance -- San Diego should benefit from that kind of expenditures activity."
One possible negative: according to the Times, the Pentagon is looking at cuts to future retirement benefits and healthcare. "That wouldn't be good because of the high level of uniformed personnel here," says Cox.
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