Photo: US Navy via AFP / Sean Castellano
Photo: US Navy via AFP / Sean Castellano

The Pentagon rolled out a long-awaited National Defense Strategy on Friday that puts Russia and China in the cross hairs while taking an emphasis off of fighting Islamic radicals like ISIS.

The first new national defense strategy in a decade noted the US military’s advantage over Russia and China is “eroding,” putting the focus squarely on a return to great-power competition.

“This shift, Pentagon planners say, will require a “more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating” military that can regain the overwhelming advantage the United States once held over those rivals and lesser adversaries such as Iran and North Korea,” military website Defense One reported.

UPI noted that the new strategic approach, unveiled by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is quite different from the one outlined in 2014 which was released prior to Russia interfering with the 2016 presidential election and US participation in Syria’s civil war.

“This strategy is fit for our time — providing the American people the military required to protect our way of life, stand with our allies and live up to our responsibility to pass intact to the next generation those freedoms we enjoy today,” Mattis said in a news statement. “This required tough choices — and we made them … based upon a fundamental precept: namely, that America can afford survival.”

UPI said the US document is classified. But a publicly available 11-page summary noted that going forward, Washington will focus on issues like strengthening military alliances from the Middle East to Asia and building a larger, more agile military.

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