Mattis: Countering China, Russia Now Top US Defense Priority

22 January, 2018, 02:20 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • President Trump blamed the Democrats for the shutdown

He said that concern was now outpaced by the rapid rise of China and Russia's increasing aggression.

The US Department of Defense released its first national defense strategy under President Donald Trump.

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

But Mattis gave no indication that the military's capacity to protect the American people will be compromised: "We will continue what we are doing but the value of the military is grossly enhanced by the sense that the American model of government, of the people, by the people, for the people, can function and carry out its governmental responsibilities".

Beijing and Moscow have criticised the United States 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".

Also known as Scarborough Shoal, the ring of reefs lies about 230 kilometres from the Philippines in the South China Sea, where Beijing's claims are hotly contested by other nations. "Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors".

The strategy also highlighted the importance of strengthening alliances.

Mattis, however, said that the United States has lost its "competitive edge ... in every domain of warfare" and now has an "overstretched and under-resourced military" created by ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, technological change and defence spending caps imposed by Congress.


Much of the building up of a more lethal force centers on the modernization of weapons and equipment. "Investments in space and cyberspace, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defence, advanced autonomous systems and resilient and agile logistics will provide our high-quality troops what they need to win".

Mattis singled out nuclear forces, emphasizing repeatedly that nuclear weaponry was a last resort and calling it a "deterrent". I've been here and I heard it said then. US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. He recalled going to his first North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting past year, carrying Trump's demand for nations to increase their defense spending and thinking about how to fit Trump's message into the broader framework of working with partners.

The reemergence of strategic competitors along with the rapid spread of new technologies and new concepts of warfare require new military force structures to meet the threats.

"The (US Defence) Department will modernise the nuclear triad - including nuclear command, control and communications and supporting infrastructure", the document said. The comment may have been aimed at the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries who do not invest the required amount of their GDP into defense. USA defense officials say these countries are destabilizing their respective regions.

The US Military will also try to find other partners in regions like the Indo-Pacific to work with, according to the NDS.

China's embassy in the United States criticised the strategy, saying Beijing sought "global partnership, not global dominance".

"The current bureaucratic approach, centered on exacting thoroughness and minimizing risk above all else, is proving to be increasingly unresponsive", the NDS says. "It's going better than expected", Mattis said Friday.

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