US Secretary of Defense Austin Orders Pentagon to Focus on China Security Challenge

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered several new Department of Defense initiatives to deal with the growing security threats from China, the Department of Defense announced on Wednesday.

“Based on final recommendations submitted by the Department of Defense China Task Force, Secretary Austin issued a directive today initiating several major department-wide efforts to better address the security challenges posed by China as the United States’ number one pacing challenge,” the department said in a press release.

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021.

The initiatives, some of which will remain classified, are designed to focus Departmental processes and procedures and help Pentagon leaders contribute to whole-of-government efforts to address the challenge from China, the release explained.

“I asked a lot of them, and they delivered. Now it is time for us to move forward. The efforts I am directing today will improve the department’s ability to revitalize our network of allies and partners, bolster deterrence, and accelerate the development of new operational concepts [and] emerging capabilities,” Austin said.

The directive also established Austin’s authority to directly oversee the Department of Defense’s China-related policies, operations, and intelligence as the Task Force’s recommendations are incorporated into ongoing reviews and processes, the release noted.


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