Mattis Traveling to SE Asia, Amid Shift in Pentagon Strategy

Mattis Traveling to SE Asia, Amid Shift in Pentagon Strategy

Mattis Traveling to SE Asia, Amid Shift in Pentagon Strategy

The first new national defense strategy in a decade noted the USA military's advantage over Russian Federation and China is "eroding", putting the focus squarely on a return to great-power competition.

"No enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the US military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act's defense spending caps, and nine of the last 10 years operating under continuing resolutions", Mattis said.

"This required tough choices - and we made them", he said, "based upon a fundamental precept: namely, that American can afford survival".

He said building a force that can deter war with established and emerging military powers in Moscow and Beijing, and USA enemies such as North Korea and Iran will require increased investment to make the military more lethal, agile and ready to fight. As he explained, Moscow aimed to shatter North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, change European and Middle East security in its favour, while China uses "predatory economics to intimidate its neighbours while militarising features in the South China Sea".

President Donald Trump accused the Democrats on Saturday morning in a tweet of "holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration", a reference to the dispute that is at the heart of the shutdown. The strategy bluntly warns of a world in which the U.S. is no longer the hegemonic power, leading to "eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living".

China has denounced the United States government for its Cold War and zero-sum mentality as reflected in its new national defense strategy.

McCain warned, however, that Congress must "immediately reach a bipartisan budget agreement to provide the funding necessary to implement this strategy".

"The nation must feel sufficient capable forces to fight conflicts", Mattis said, speaking on the lethality of USA forces.

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Topping the list is modernizing the nuclear arsenal as a way of deterring both rising powers. "It is incumbent upon us to field a more lethal force if our nation is to retain the ability to defend ourselves and what we stand for", Mattis said.

It bluntly describes what Pentagon leaders see as two major long-term threats to the Western interests. "Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors". The president has criticised North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies for not meeting failing to commit funds worth more than 2% of gross domestic product to national security. "We will strengthen our traditional alliances and build new partnerships with other nations".

He took the opportunity to press home the point that allies need to contribute their equitable share of resources, which allows the United States and allies "to amass the greatest possible strength", noting that the United States has carried a disproportionate share of the defense burden in the post-World War II era.

U.S. strategy increasingly seeks to resist Iran's presence in Syria, which according to some estimates could number 125,000 troops.

The summary condemned Tehran for using state-sponsored terrorist activities, a growing network of proxies and its missile program in an attempt to destabilize the Middle East and vie for regional hegemony.

"This is definitely not a pivot strategy in the sense of pivoting away from the Middle East or something like that", Colby explained. "At the same time, we'll reform our department's business practices for performance and affordability", the secretary said.

The strategy diagnoses what it calls a "resilient, but weakening, post-WWII global order".

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