New US military strategy looks beyond war on terror|
* 2011 National Military Strategy reaffirms US commitment to fighting violent extremism but says military must broaden its horizons to address developing threats elsewhere
* US faces a broad range of challenges in Asia-Pacific region
* Vows to expand security cooperation with Pakistan
WASHINGTON: The US military issued its first new statement of strategy in seven years, moving beyond a focus on the war in Afghanistan to address the rise of China and other strategic challenges.
The 2011 national military strategy, issued on Tuesday, vows to expand security cooperation with Pakistan and enable it to defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies operating in the region
Released by the Pentagon, the strategy reaffirms US resolve to curb violent extremism and calls for redefining leadership in a changing world. The 2011 national military strategy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff reaffirmed US commitment to fighting violent extremism with allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan but said the military must broaden its horizons to address developing threats elsewhere. “While we continue to refine how we counter violent extremism and deter aggression, this strategy also rightly emphasises that our military power is most effective when employed in concert with other elements of power,” Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his “Chairman’s Corner” blog.
The strategy is a broad statement on how the military intends to use its forces and prioritise aid and training to help achieve US security goals. Military officials say a “whole-of-nation” approach involving not only security forces but diplomacy and nongovernmental organisations will be necessary to address many future security challenges.“We focus more toward the future and strengthening global and regional stability and shaping the future force,” a senior military officer said on condition of anonymity.
The national military strategy addresses in broad general terms how the military forces will be used. By law it must be reviewed every two years, but it is not necessarily revised unless changes are needed.
The senior military officer said the security environment facing the United States had changed substantially in seven years since the 2004 strategy was issued.
The US faces a broad range of challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, from the rise of India and China, to North Korea’s nuclear programme, the shifting global economic balance and a fierce competition for natural resources, he said.
The strategy calls for improving global security by forging deeper military-to-military relationships and cooperation with China and other Asia-Pacific countries.
“This whole-of-nation approach to foreign policy, with civilian leadership appropriately at the helm, will be essential as we address the complex security challenges before us,” Mullen said.
While the last national military strategy, produced in 2004, called for the military to protect the United States, prevent surprise attacks and prevail against adversaries, the current document goes beyond that.
In addition to countering violent extremism and deterring aggression, the 2011 strategy seeks to strengthen global security through regional and international partnerships and aims to reshape the military force to meet future challenges.
“We will expand our military security cooperation, exchanges, and exercises with the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, and other states in Oceania co-working with them to address domestic and common foreign threats to their nation’s integrity and security,” the document says in the broader regional perspective
“We will continue to erode Taliban influence, work with the Afghan government to facilitate reintegration and reconciliation of former insurgents, continue to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces, and enable Pakistan to ultimately defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies,” says the document.
The national strategy notes that NATO will remain America’s “preeminent multilateral alliance and continue to drive our defense relations with Europe. The joint force will continue to cooperate to combat violent extremism, focusing on our mission in Afghanistan and support to Pakistan”. agencies