Pentagon builds US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China’s challenge – Community News
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Pentagon builds US bases in Guam and Australia to meet China’s challenge

The measures were prompted by the global assessment of the Defense Department’s stance, which President Joe Biden instructed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to implement shortly after taking office in February. Austin started the global attitude assessment in March. The assessment has been classified, but a senior defense official has provided some details about the assessment’s findings.

The Indo-Pacific region has been a major focus, due to Secretary Austin’s emphasis on “China as the pacing challenge” for the ministry, the senior defense official said.

The Biden administration has made countering China its top foreign policy priority as tensions with Beijing have increased, particularly over the Taiwan issue, and senior Pentagon officials have publicly expressed concern over China’s efforts. to upgrade and modernize his army. Last month, Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China had successfully tested a hypersonic missile in what came “very close” to a Sputnik moment.

To counter China, the review instructs the ministry to “improve infrastructure in Guam and Australia” and prioritize “military construction in the Pacific islands,” the official said, as well as “the pursuit of increased regional access for military partnership activities”.

The global attitude assessment also instructs the ministry to focus more on the Indo-Pacific region by “reducing” the number of troops and equipment in other parts of the world, “to allow for better warfare preparedness and more activities.” to make” in the Indo-Pacific, the official said.

As for Russia, the ministry declined to provide specific information on how the global attitude assessment directs the US military to prepare to counter threats from Moscow. Broadly speaking, one of the goals of the review is “to reset standards of preparedness” so that the U.S. military is “agile and responsive to crises as soon as they arise,” the official said.

The US military is working to “restore preparedness” in Eastern Europe “with the aim of strengthening a credible deterrent to the fight against Russia and that region’s specific requirements,” the official said when pressed on the matter, but they wouldn’t go into more detail about how the US military is preparing to counter Russia.

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In the Middle East, the inquiry directed the ministry to “continue to support the defeat of ISIS campaign”, with the current US military presence in Iraq and Syria, and to continue to build ” the capacity of partner forces”, in those countries. But overall, the review instructs Austin to conduct “additional analysis on ongoing attitude requirements in the Middle East,” the official said.

Afghanistan was not officially included in the global assessment of the stance, as there is a “separate” National Security Council-led “process” that “reviews the path for the US presence there,” the official said.

The assessment also did not include “functional capabilities” such as nuclear, space and cyber, as these are covered in other department-specific assessments, the official said.

CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed to the report.