US Calls N. Korea Rogue Regime in New Nat'l Defense Strategy

US defence secretary Jim Mattis speaks about the National Defence Review
US defence secretary Jim Mattis speaks about the National Defence Review

23 January, 2018

"China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea", the NDS said.

While current and new allies around the world take over some of the burden of maintaining the US-backed world order, the Pentagon itself will undergo massive reforms in how it buys weapons and equipment, manages its affairs and accounts for its finances.

The document is classified, but an 11-page summary is available that outlines areas of focus for the USA going forward, which includes strengthening military alliances from the Middle East to Asia and building a larger, more agile military.

Responding to the defence strategy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference at the United Nations, said the USA was using a confrontational approach.

"We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russian Federation, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models", Mr Mattis said.

"While training for reservists must be curtailed, active forces will stay at their posts adapting their training to achieve the least negative impact on our readiness to fight", Gen Mattis said, adding: "Steady as she goes - hold the line".

For years, the Pentagonhas used NDS to argue for a big defense budget from the US Congress.

While diplomacy is the preferred method of conflict resolution, after a four-decade career in the Marines, Mattis is well aware of the dangers posed to the U.S. However, he offered a grave warning to anyone who is considering a physical attack on America.

Derek Chollet, former senior Pentagon official in the Obama administration and now with the German Marshall Fund in Washington, said much of the strategy is "old wine in a new bottle, but in this context, that's a good thing".

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The U.S. military's competitive edge has eroded "in every domain of warfare" he said, partly because of inconsistent funding.

The third line of effort, he said, will be the foundation for the USA competitive edge: reforming the business practices of the department. "We must transition to a culture of performance where results and accountability matter".

A soldier assigned to the Army's 450th Civil Affairs Battalion in Maryland said that his unit is preparing for a month-long exercise in March, and was planning to work on weapons qualifications this weekend in advance.

Tok said the U.S. defence strategy would have a negative impact on the United States presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We will modernise key capabilities".

"It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of worldwide law, the striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts", Lavrov said.

Mattis recalled traveling by commercial jet to his nomination hearing past year thinking "how do I put "America first" into, in my mind, an alliance framework".

The military continues to work tirelessly to accomplish the mission with now inadequate and misaligned resources, simply because the Congress can not maintain regular order, Mattis said. "We expect the magnificent men and women of our military to be faithful in their service, even when going in harm's way. Nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models", Mattis said.

"We hope Congress has our country's best interest in mind", said Col. Mark Cheadle, an AFRICOM spokesman, when asked about the shutdown. Mattis has urged United States lawmakers to avoid the shut-down, commenting on the recent standoff in the country's government over the adoption of the short-term budget to prevent government shutdown.

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