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Former PACAF Boss Issues Cautions on Pacific Pivot: The American economy needs to make a come back before the US can successfully help bring peace and stability to the Middle East or remain relevant elsewhere in the world, said former Pacific Air Forces commander retired Gen. William Begert during AFA’s Air & Space Conference Sept. 18. “If we continue to deteriorate as an economic power, we will lose traction and power and not be the Pacific power we have been,” said Begert, adding, “I worry about the Pacific pivot that we won’t put resources up against our words.” Begert also cautioned that the US needs to shy away from its tendency to reduce overseas basing as the war in Afghanistan draws down. “There will be a strong tendency to walk away from overseas bases that don’t have [the advocacy of] congressmen and senators,” he added. “That would be a huge mistake. We need to be very careful not to make that strategic error.”