US national security to focus on competition of great powers not terrorism

22 January 2018, 01:40 | Isaac Mcdaniel

US national security to focus on competition of great powers not terrorism

WASHINGTON Members of the media swarm Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as he talks at the White House ahead of the shutdown on Friday.—Washington Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that a government shutdown would impact military operations including some training, maintenance, and intelligence operations.

"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 USA national security", Mattis said in his opening statements at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Mr Dov Zakheim, senior fellow at CNA Corporation and former USA under-secretary of defence from 2001 to 2004, said: "If you don't come up with a strategy, you are never going to justify getting the money". For much of Trump's first year, Mattis and leaders like Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford had to reassure NATO leaders that the US would live up to its treaty obligations to defend the other alliance members.

He said we are open for dialogue and prepared to discuss military doctrines.

The most recent generation of strategies has repeatedly watered down the Pentagon's force-sizing construct with each iteration - from the aspirational objective of fighting two wars at once to the declinist "defeat-and-deny" approach.

The United States intends to focus on rebuilding a high intensity and warfare capabilities and reduce the burden and frequency of lower end engagements.

'[We've] been dealing with the terrorism problem and the rogue state problem for a long time...but we really do need to focus on these very, very tough major power potential challenges, ' Colby added.

We will continue to execute daily operations around the world - ships and submarines will remain at sea, our aircraft will continue to fly and our warfighters will continue to pursue terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Mattis noted that in his own combat experience, he never fought in an American-only operation, arguing that the USA must fight with strong allies.

Asked by a member of the audience to elaborate on how the USA military would fight enemies in space, Mattis delivered one of his trademark one-liners: "Don't try it". But it also stressed a need for burden-sharing, an apparent nod to Trump's public criticism of allies who he says unfairly take advantage of USA security guarantees. The comment may have been aimed at the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries who do not invest the required amount of their GDP into defense.

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Despite touting Iran's "malign influence" throughout the Middle East, US officials insist that US troops in Syria will continue to focus on eliminating the Islamic State (IS), even though the Pentagon says the militant group has lost more than 98% of the territory it held at its height.

The US Military will also try to find other partners in regions like the Indo-Pacific to work with, according to the NDS.

The American Defense Secretary James Mattis has warned that North Korea is a threat to global stability with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

He said the department's "bureaucratic processes were insufficiently responsive to the department's needs for new equipment".

There is a clear need to reduce the pressures on U.S. forces and focus on the core challenges which matter most to us and to support those actions by our core allies who are protecting themselves against what they think are their core threats as well. Trump pointed to benefits of his administration's tax cuts and tax reform, saying he was "sure the Democrats would like to blunt that by shutting down government".

The new plan can not survive, Mattis said, without needed and stable funding.

Trump's defense push sits oddly with a foreign and trade policy which upsets the very allies the United States now needs more than ever to contain China and Russian Federation.

"In everything we say and everything we do, we are reinforcing our diplomats", Mattis said.

"If 2 per cent of GDP was the aim when America dominated the world ... then there is probably a different amount now that America has reduced its own defence spending and defence capability and those that challenge it have increased theirs", the incoming senator said.

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