Russian calls United States defence strategy 'confrontational'

CQ Roll Call

"China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea", Mattis wrote.

Countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russian Federation are now the US military's top national security priorities, outpacing the threat of terrorism, the Pentagon said Friday. I have sat behind Secretary Rumsfeld when he came here and said you are going to have to pay more; you can't expect the Americans to keep doing this.

Mr Dov Zakheim, senior fellow at CNA Corporation and former U.S. 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".

"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.

While experts praised the document's targeting of the largest national security threats rather than the longer lists of risks in some previous strategies, some said that without knowing the budget commitments, it was hard to assess if it was a sound strategy. "We will not be able to induct any more of our gear that need maintenance", said at an event at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

"It is regrettable that instead of having a normal dialogue, instead of using the basis of worldwide law, the U.S. is striving to prove their leadership through such confrontational strategies and concepts", he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters, in NY, on Friday. Still, Moscow was limited by its economic resources, Colby said.

The Washington Examiner reported that ahead of the shutdown, Defense Secretary James Mattis said it would have a "huge morale impact" on the military.

A government shutdown looks likely as Senate Democrats try and hold out for a bill protecting children brought to the US illegally - known as Dreamers - while some Republicans say they will not support a short-term spending measure.

"Concurrently, Russia seeks veto authority over nations on its periphery in terms of their governmental, economic and diplomatic decisions, to shatter the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and change European and Middle East security and economic structures to its favour", the document said.

The Pentagon is also working on a policy document on the country's nuclear arsenal.

"This is very much like during the cold war time, when every military platform that the usa or Soviet Union procured had a direct implication against the other's capabilities, so [the US] is not so much about having a peacetime military any more but one that is to win a war against the Chinese and Russians".

Mr Mattis said the United States is simply recognising reality, and that "this is not a strategy of confrontation, but it is strategy that recognises the reality of competition".

While the NDS serves as a guidepost for United States military development in coming years, the Pentagon has used past versions to secure bigger defence budgets from Congress, experts told China Daily yesterday.

The instigators of militarisation of the South China Sea are "other countries" that don't seem to want to see peace in the region and are using the banner of "navigational freedom" to undertake military activities in a tyrannical manner, ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a statement released late yesterday.

That perception of American military strength is directly tied to the Pentagon's funding, Mattis said, placing blame for Defense Department fiscal struggles on Congress.

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