Pentagon plans stronger US stance on China, Russia – Community News
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Pentagon plans stronger US stance on China, Russia

WASHINGTON: The US military will bolster deployments and bases targeting China and Russia, while troops in the Middle East will remain sufficient to deter Iran and jihadist groups, the Pentagon said Monday, citing the results of an evaluation.
The US Department of Defense will upgrade and expand military facilities in Guam and Australia, underscoring its focus on China as the country’s biggest defense rival, officials said.
The details of the “global attitude assessment,” ordered by President Joe Biden’s administration early this year, would remain secret, the officials added, so as not to reveal plans to rivals.
The move comes in the wake of the formation of a new defense alliance called AUKUS between the United States, Britain and Australia to counter emerging China, which has built its own navy and has decades of US military dominance in Asia. has put it to the test.
That pact came about as Beijing consolidated its control over the disputed South China Sea and intensified its military threats against Taiwan, for which the United States is a key ally and arms supplier.
The assessment confirmed that the priority region for the US military was the Indo-Pacific, said Mara Karlin, a top Pentagon official.
The assessment “leads additional cooperation with allies and partners across the region to promote initiatives that contribute to regional stability and deter potential military aggression from China and threats from North Korea,” she told reporters.
In addition, it “strengthens credible deterrence against Russian aggression in Europe and enables NATO forces to operate more effectively,” she said.
However, the Middle East remains an area of ​​movement for the Pentagon after the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Global responsibilities “require constant changes in our attitudes in the Middle East, but we always have the ability to rapidly deploy troops in the region based on the threat environment,” Karlin said.
Speaking separately, a senior Pentagon official who declined to be identified downplayed any idea of ​​radical shifts.
“In the first year of a government, this is not the time when we would make a major change at a strategic level in our attitudes,” the official said.
The official added that the Biden team found the review necessary after his predecessor Donald Trump’s disruptive approach, which abruptly changed US commitments.
Under Trump, there was “often a devaluation of the input and involvement of allies and partners, undermining US credibility and hard-won confidence,” the official said.
The officials declined to answer questions about how the Global Attitude Assessment sees the presence of US troops in ongoing conflict zones such as the Middle East, East and West Africa and Eastern Europe.
But they confirmed previously announced plans to do more in Guam and Australia.
“In Australia you will see new rotary fighter jets and bombers, you will train ground forces and see greater logistical cooperation,” Karlin said.
In Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Australia, airports and fuel and ammunition storage facilities will also be upgraded, she said.
Asked if the review envisioned more increases in the US presence in the Pacific, Karlin said, “We’re shifting the needle a little bit.”
“And what I’d like to think is you’re going to see that needle move more in the coming years,” she said.