m3n4.net August 22, 2018

New Pentagon strategy takes aim at Russia, China

22 January 2018, 01:43 | Tara Lloyd

Alex Wong Getty Images

Alex Wong  Getty Images

"Great-power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of USA national security", Mattis said Friday as he rolled out the unclassified portion of the Trump administration's National Defense Strategy (NDS) in Washington.

In his January 19 speech, delivered at John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, Mattis criticized US budget planners, and Congress in particular, saying the budgeting process has resulted in stopgap measures that he said have hamstrung USA forces.

"It is clear that conflicts between China and the United States are heading in the direction of becoming more strategic, more serious. and more comprehensive", Shi said on Saturday.

Ryan said he had spoken with the president moments before, and "I feel like we're in a good place", adding that Trump "fully supports passing what we're bringing to the floor today".

Recall, as USA allies do, that Trump in his presidential campaign disparaged alliances and promised an "America First" foreign policy.

The most far-reaching objective of this defence strategy is to set the military relationship between our two countries on a path of transparency and non-aggression, the strategy said.

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Beijing and Moscow have criticised the USA military's move to put countering China and Russian Federation at the centre of its latest national defence strategy, with China again hitting back at America's "cold war and zero-sum game mindset".

Associate Professor Li Mingjiang from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told The Sunday Times that the latest NDS shows the USA has adopted a new posture towards China that might result in tougher policies in areas where the two sides disagree. "You really have to wait for the budget to see what the strategy means in practice, what are they actually going to do or not do".

"It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of worldwide law, the USA is striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts", Mr Lavrov said.

"Today, America's military reclaims an era of strategic goal and we're alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us", he said at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

No amount of spending on troops, weapons and technology can replace the need for allies who trust you, and diplomacy driven by appreciation of large and long-term USA interests not by tweets, loud-mouths in Congress and narrow ethnic interest groups. Under a shutdown, reserve force training will stop, weapon maintenance will stop, and 50 percent of civilians will be furloughed, Mattis explained.

The Pentagon strategy acknowledges the budget limits, and seeks greater spending discipline and management, along with base closings to save money.

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

"Violent extremist organizations like ISIS or Lebanese Hezbollah or al Qaeda continue to sow hatred, destroying peace and murdering innocents across the globe", Mattis said. "We will strengthen our traditional alliances and build new partnerships with other nations".

The blueprint sends a strong signal the Trump administration is committed to maintaining the military balance of power, as Colby put, in "the key regions that we've been in since the late 1940s" - including in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. "It is a nuclear deterrent, it is not a war fighting capability unless it is the worst day in our nation or the world's history", he said.

The US military's competitive edge has eroded "in every domain of warfare" he said, partly because of inconsistent funding.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has spelled out in clear language what had been hinted at by US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

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