'Cold War Mentality': US Defense Strategy Includes False Judgments on China

'Cold War Mentality': US Defense Strategy Includes False Judgments on China

Kerry Wise
January 22, 2018

The National Defense Strategy, set to be rolled out by Defense Secretary James Mattis at John Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, directs the US government to engage in a multi-year build-up of the military involving more troops, more weapons and stronger foreign alliances.

China's U.S. embassy meanwhile criticised the strategy, saying Beijing sought "global partnership, not global dominance".

"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.

Positioning the USA military in the post-9/11 world to focus on challenges beyond the Middle East is not a new idea.

The document indicates that President Donald Trump's military advisers are looking beyond the conflicts of the moment, including North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the wind-down of the war against ISIS and concerns about Iranian influence in the Middle East.

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.

The United States has unveiled new defense strategy shifting its priorities from terrorism to countering China and Russian Federation.

"Without sustained and predictable investment to restore readiness and modernize our military to make it fit for our time, we will rapidly lose our military advantage, resulting in a joint force that has legacy systems irrelevant to the defense of our people", the strategy states.

The national defence strategy provides guidance for the 2019 defence budget.

Syria denounces US-led coalition 'border force' plan
For much of the war, the United States and Turkey worked together, jointly supporting forces fighting against Assad's government. The Syrian army is determined to drive out the US from any involvement in the country, state television reported on Monday.

"It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of global law, the U.S. is indeed striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts", Lavrov told a news conference at the United Nations.

"Everything we do in the department must contribute to the lethality of our military", Mattis said Friday.

While sequestration has degraded the military's capacity and capability gaps and encouraged the self-destructive practice of constructing budgets before inventing strategies to justify them, budget caps must cease to be the blame for all the military's woes.

But Mr. Mattis warned that maintenance activities and intelligence gathering - operations not likely deemed necessary to national security and exempted by his deputy's memo - would grind to a halt because of the shutdown.

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

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

It asserts the US military has lost major advantages it long maintained in the air, on the land, in space and in the nuclear arena.

In a statement that would not have seemed out of place on the battlefield, Mattis said, "If current structures inhibit our pursuit of lethality, I expect service secretaries and agency heads to consolidate. eliminate, or restructure to achieve the mission". "We will strengthen traditional alliances while building new partnerships with other nations", Mattis said in prepared remarks released by the Pentagon. Planners should size forces to maintain robust conventional and strategic deterrents forward in all three of these theaters while equipping a force for decision in the event deterrence fails.

Meanwhile, as a bill to fund the government through to only February 16 appeared on the verge of collapse in the Senate, the defence secretary had harsh words for Congress and its inability to reach agreement on budgets. "When together we pool our resources and share responsibilities for the common defense, individual nations' security burdens become lighter".