Trump’s defense strategy sees China and Russia as biggest threats
WASHINGTON (92 News) – The Pentagon now sees China and Russia as “the central challenge” facing the US military, according to the unclassified pages of the Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy.
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis presented his National Defense Strategy, outlining how the Department of Defense will carry out President Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy, which was released last month.
“Though we will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists that we’re engaged in today, the great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security,” Mattis said in his opening statements at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Though he identified a number of threats to the US like North Korea, Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda, the NDS was focused more on China and Russia.
“We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia are from each other. Nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models,” Mattis said.
In the document itself, China and Russia are both mentioned by name in the introduction.
“China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea,” the document reads. “Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors.”
The strategy points to China’s military actions in the South China Sea and Russia’s actions in Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine as evidence of the threat posed by Beijing and Moscow.
“It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions,” the document says.