Under new defense strategy, what is biggest threat facing US now?
The new defense strategy rolled out by the Pentagon Thursday centers on military priorities that are, in many cases, dramatically different from the ones that dominated the post-9/11 decade.
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In rolling out its new strategy review Thursday, Pentagon officials cited a new array of threats.
In the place of the post-9/11 war on terrorism, the Pentagon is turning its attention more toward a potentially aggressive China and rogue nuclear nations. And as much as any geographical location, the Pentagon is focusing on what it sees as the next great battleground: cyberspace.
Even with the war in Iraq barely over and the war in Afghanistan winding down, the new strategy implies that the two wars are already akin to Cold War-era relics – too expensive and manpower-intensive in an era of fiscal constraint.
The result is a dramatically changed worldview for the Pentagon – one that largely repudiates the wars it has been fighting for the past decade.
At the briefing Thursday, the nation’s top military officer made it clear that the fronts for potential conflicts are shifting dramatically toward China.
“All of the trends – demographic trends, geopolitical trends, economic trends, and military trends – are shifting towards the Pacific,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said. “So our strategic challenges in the future will largely emanate from out of the Pacific region.”
It was a recurring theme. “China’s emergence as a regional power will have the potential to affect the US economy and our security in a variety of ways,” the strategic review noted.
Yet it also came with a warning. “The growth of China’s military power must be accompanied by greater clarity of its strategic intensions in order to avoid causing friction in the region.”
On the subject of North Korea, there was little disagreement or nuance. The country is “actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program,” the strategy bluntly noted.