United States issues first new National Defense Strategy in 10 years

by Dwayne Torres January 23, 2018, 1:32
United States issues first new National Defense Strategy in 10 years

On Friday, more than 16 years after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said terrorism is no longer the No. 1 priority.

Defense secretary Jim Mattis' signature document emphasises China's potential to leap ahead of USA military power by not only rapidly developing technology but practicing "predatory economics" in the region to reclaim the Indo-Pacific.

Mattis noted that in his own combat experience, he never fought in an American-only operation, arguing that the United States must fight with strong allies.

"Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare", Mattis said.

"This strategy really represents a fundamental shift to say, look, we have to get back, in a sense, to the basics of the potential for war and this strategy says the focus will be on prioritising preparedness for war, in particular major power war", he added. Mattis calls North Korea situation "sobering" Mattis: North Korea situation "sobering" Trump administration withholds million from United Nations agency for Palestinians MORE on Friday.

"Rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran persist in taking outlaw actions that threaten regional and even global stability", Mattis said.

The summary referenced USA efforts to strengthen alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region as a push toward "a networked security architecture capable of deterring aggression, maintaining stability, and ensuring free access to common domains" in the face of China's perceived attempt to force a shift in the regional status quo.

Now a new administration is again seeking to leave the terrorism fight behind. "Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors".

According to him, Washington is planning to build new military partnerships, enhance the country's defence by investing in nuclear forces, as well as space, cyber and missile defence. The new strategy also emphasizes making space systems and other critical communications more resilient to physical and cyber attacks; deploying more missile defense systems to protect USA forces and the American homeland; stockpiling more battlefield weapons and other supplies in strategic locations around the world; and more aggressively introducing "advanced autonomous systems".

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"The erosion of our military advantage is the problem that the strategy is trying to deal with", Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant Defense secretary for strategy and force development, told reporters in previewing the new strategy on Thursday.

"We will modernise key capabilities".

The strategy calls for investments in space and cyberspace, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defense, advanced autonomous systems, and resilient and agile logistics.

Defending the USA homeland from attack is a main strategic objective and sustaining military forces is another major goal. "We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we're to sustain our military's primacy".

The document stipulates the United States modernisation of its nuclear triad and investment in missile defence in order to deter external aggression.

The strategy paints a grim picture of the world in which the U.S. military is "emerging from a period of strategic atrophy" with its competitive military advantage over other actors "eroding".

In recent years, however, fears have risen of the once-unthinkable: a direct conventional clash, particularly between Russian Federation and the USA in Syria or Ukraine.

He went on to speak about extremist groups, spreading violence around the world.

"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.


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