lørdag 12. juni 2021

US military gets 'laser focused' on keeping up with China

China was first and foremost on the minds of American politicians, planners and military officials during Thursday's congressional hearing on the Pentagon's defense authorization request for the forthcoming fiscal year.  Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday issued an internal directive to "laser focus" US military "efforts to address China as the nation's number one pacing challenge." Austin issued the directive after receiving a classified document from a China Task Force he set up in February to look into the challenges posed to the United States by Beijing.

The efforts I am directing today will improve the department's ability to revitalize our network of allies and partners, bolster deterrence, and accelerate the development of new operational concepts, emerging capabilities, future force posture and a modernized civilian and military workforce," Austin said in a statement.

Specific steps under Austin's plan are secret, but in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, the defense secretary said the proposed $715 billion Defense Department budget focuses on "matching the pacing challenge that we clearly see from the People's Republic of China," so it includes "more than $5 billion dollars for the Pacific defense initiative" in 2022.