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The head of the Pentagon calls for a “new vision” of American defense

NAVAL STATION PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) – In his first major speech as head of the Pentagon on Friday, Lloyd Austin called for the development of a “new vision” of American defense in the face of cyber-threats and waging greater wars. ,

Echoing President Biden’s promise to put diplomacy first in resolving foreign policy issues, Austin said the military should provide leverage that diplomats can use to prevent conflict. His comments contradicted what critics have called the militarization of US foreign policy in recent decades.

“The US military is not going to secede, but will support US diplomacy to develop a foreign policy that uses all the tools of our national force,” Austin said.

He preferred to clarify his ideas in Pearl Harbor, the center of the US military in the Indo-Pacific region, reflecting US fears that China’s rapid modernization and growing toughness would make it a powerful adversary. It is noteworthy that Austin did not explicitly mention China or North Korea in his speech.

During his first four months as Secretary of Defense, Austin focused more on major political statements, more on immediate issues, such as the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and internal issues, such as military extremism, as well as the launch of extensive defense strategy reviews. on:

Speaking in the background of the USS Arizona Memorial և Battleship Missouri Memorial, Austin warned that the US military could not be satisfied with believing that today is the strongest, most powerful army in the world. “Not when our potential opponents are deliberately trying to blunt our edge.” He seemed to be referring to China, which other officials say has accelerated its military modernization, accelerated the development of a wide range of sophisticated weapons, while the United States has focused on fighting extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for two decades. և more. most recently the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Austin, who has spent more than 40 years in the military, including as commander-in-chief in Iraq during the recent US-led war in Iraq, said he spent most of the past two decades during the “end of the old wars.”

“The way to wage the next big war will be very different from the war we fought in the last wars,” he said. “We must all move towards a new vision of what it means to defend our nation.”

He spoke during the inauguration of Administrator John on Aquilino as the new Commander-in-Chief of the US Indo-Pacific Command, following Administrator Philip Davidson, who frankly expressed concern that China was still in a hurry to force Taiwan to stay overnight.

Speaking at a ceremony on Friday, Davidson reiterated his claim that China was using “harmful” behavior to challenge US dominance in the region and to change the international order.

Austin noted that the possible points of conflict in the Indo-Pacific region are not mentioned, but said that the United States should develop a new vision of defense, which will make the most of new technologies, including quantum, artificial intelligence, marginal computation, which he described. as a framework. which allows you to process, absorb, and distribute data as you collect it.

Austin said the U.S. defense would continue to hold back, which he described as “fixing our true truth in the minds of our potential enemies.” The costs and risks of aggression do not correspond to any vested interest. ”

To maintain this deterrent effect, the US military must use existing capabilities, develop new ones, all use new networking tools. “Hand in hand with our allies and partners.” This must be done in line with US diplomatic goals and efforts, he added, in order to prevent an outbreak of conflict first.

He said. “It is always easier to break a small hammer than to start a fire.”

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