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Mullen's Priorities for 2010: On the way back from his most trip to Southwest Asia, Adm. Mike Mullen, Joint Chiefs Chairman, signed out his new Joint Guidance, which closely follows the guidance issued last year, except for the addition of South Central Asia to the "defending US interests" priority. The 2009-10 guidance focuses on three priorities: defending US interests in the Middle East and South Central Asia; maintaining the health of the US military force—people and systems; and balancing global strategic risk. Mullen acknowledged the deterioration in Afghanistan over the past year, but he wrote, "Reversing the Taliban's momentum is achievable." He emphasized "strengthening professional relationships with our regional counterparts" in the Middle East and South Central Asia as "essential to addressing our shared interests." He advocates "finding the right size, shape, and posture to globally detect, deter, and defeat current and future threats." (CJCS Guidance for 2008-2009; CJCS Guidance for 2009-2010)