onsdag 9. juni 2021

Pentagon makes China its top policy priority with several new classified programs

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday directed the Pentagon to place China and its military buildup at the center of American defense policy. The classified Pentagon-wide directive comes on the heels of recommendations from a 23-member task force aimed at assessing the U.S. military’s China strategy. The task force, unveiled by President Joe Biden during his first visit as commander in chief to the Pentagon, includes representatives from the sister services, several combatant commands, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the intelligence community.

“This directive from the Secretary is ultimately about getting the Department’s house in order and ensuring that the department lives up to the stated prioritization of China as the number one pacing challenge,” explained a senior Defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.

Austin’s directive comes as the administration and lawmakers in both parties ramp up initiatives to counter China’s international ambitions, from economic and trade policy to security concerns. The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping tech and manufacturing bill aimed at curtailing China’s increasing technological influence.