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Secretary of Defense Prioritizes China as the ‘Pacing Challenge’

Saying an “increasingly aggressive China” is creating a “generational challenge,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin published a Message to the Force to reaffirm his three priorities: defending the Nation, taking care of our people, and succeeding through teamwork. The memorandum reinforces the guiding principles and critical priorities in accordance with the National Defense Strategy while recognizing the commitment and hard work of the Department.




Implementing our strategy means tackling the pacing challenge from the People’ s Republic of China (PRC) while also confronting the acute threat of Russian aggression and managing the risk of escalation as Putin’ s cruel war against Ukraine enters a second year,” Secretary of Defense Austin wrote.

It also appears that nothing is off the table to defend Taiwan, as the military invests in nuclear, cyberspace, long-range, and next-generation warfare.

As the threat from the PRC evolves, we will provide Taiwan self-defense capabilities consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act,” the Secretary of Defense wrote.Our team is making major investments in the nuclear triad, space, cyberspace, long-range fires, and next-generation capabilities in fighter aircraft and undersea warfare, while also accelerating Joint All Domain Command and Control.”

In addition to China, the memo discusses the Russian threat, the climate crisis, recruitment and other issues.

The full memorandum from Secretary Austin can be read here:




SecDefense_China_prioritizemessage2023

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