Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

New National Defense Strategy Lists China, Russia as Threats

New National Defense Strategy Lists China, Russia as Threats

The Pentagon's new defense strategy calls for aggressive steps to counter Russian Federation and China, directing the military to retrain its attention on great-power competition after almost two decades of focusing primarily on Islamist militants and "rogue" nations.

19 de enero de 2018, 15:52Washington, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) The US Government presented today in Congress a new National Defense Strategy (NDS) that prioritizes dealing with supposed external threats over terrorism.

"To those who would threaten America's experiment in democracy: if you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day", Mattis said.

"America has been carrying a quite disproportionate burden of the kind of defence spending that creates the stability that makes us all prosperous", he said.

The administration of President Donald Trump worries that America's vast military is feeling the effects of years of budget shortfalls and atrophy, and needs a full reboot to restore it to an idealized strength.

Mattis and his team broke down their vision into three bold subheads to show the Pentagon's priorities: the strategic environment, strengthening alliances, and the never-ending effort to reform Pentagon's technology and weapons development and buying processes.

"As hard as the last 16 years have been on our military, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the USA military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act's defense spending cuts, worsened by us operating in nine of the last 10 years under continuing resolutions wasting copious amounts of precious taxpayer dollars".

Mr Dov Zakheim, senior fellow at CNA Corporation and former U.S. under-secretary of defence from 2001 to 2004, said: "If you don't come up with a strategy, you are never going to justify getting the money".

The 11-page unclassified version released to reporters on Thursday lays out the world's threats as the Trump administration sees them.

But of note to defence contractors, the NDS has made the case for modernising and rolling out a variety of U.S. capabilities including: missile defence, autonomous systems, nuclear capabilities, space and cyberspace, joint lethality, forward force manoeuvre and C4ISR.

United States strategy increasingly seeks to resist Iran's presence in Syria, which according to some estimates could number 125,000 troops. It also seeks to strengthen ties with allied nations.

The Pentagon is also working on a policy document on the country's nuclear arsenal.

As part of the defence strategy, he said the USA is going to build a more lethal force, will strengthen traditional alliances while building new partnerships with other nations.

"China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea", Mattis added. "History proves that nations with allies thrive, an approach to security and prosperity that has served the United States well in keeping peace and winning war", Mattis said.

Advances in military developments have ended America's unchallenged arms superiority when US forces could be deployed easily.

He maintained that "our military is still strong, yet our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare - air, land, sea, space, cyberspace - and it is continuing to erode".

Asked if terrorism is no longer a top priority, Colby said it remains a "serious, pressing threat", and that Iran and North Korea are "urgent problems".

"This is definitely not a pivot strategy in the sense of pivoting away from the Middle East or something like that", Colby explained.

"If we don't actually see where the money is, you know, there is the danger that it could become all words", said Mara Karlin, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank and a senior defence official in the Obama administration.

While experts praised the document's targeting of the largest national security threats rather than the longer lists of risks in some previous strategies, some said that without knowing the budget commitments, it was hard to assess if it was a sound strategy. Tillerson called for the United States to continue the fight in Syria until "Iranian influence in Syria is diminished; their dreams of a northern arch are denied; and Syria's neighbors are secure from all threats emanating from Syria", including Tehran's links to Lebanese Hezbollah.

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