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Politics Recommendations of Pentagon China task force to remain largely classified

15:01  10 june  2021
15:01  10 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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CHINA TASK FORCE WRAPS: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s China task force, which was charged with finding ways to focus the Defense Department more effectively on countering China, has wrapped up its work and provided recommendations that are mostly classified.

a close up of a book: DOD header 2020 © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020

Based on those recommendations, Austin issued a classified directive to “better address the security challenges posed by China as the United States’s No. 1 pacing challenge.”

“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, emerging capabilities, future force posture, and a modernized civilian and military workforce,” Austin said in a statement.

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Pressed to give some specifics on what the task force accomplished in its four-month review, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby pointed to plans “to better include China as a focus area inside the workforce.”

“A lot of the work of the task force,” he said, “will help inform both the global posture review, which is ongoing and will be completed later this summer, as well as the initial work we're doing to start to build out a new national defense strategy.”

“The task force did find what we described as a ‘say-do gap’ between the stated prioritization of China and what we saw in a number of areas related to attention and resources and processes,” a senior defense official told reporters at a background briefing.

IS WAR WITH CHINA JUST A MATTER OF TIME?

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RISK OF U.S.-CHINA CONFLICT IS REAL: What the Pentagon has dubbed “the pacing challenge” of China was the subject of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, in which a panel of experts offered their recommendations for dealing with Beijing.

“The risk of U.S.-China conflict is real,” said Evan Medeiros, a distinguished fellow at Georgetown University. “Credible scenarios for accidents, miscalculation, and deliberate actions exist and carry a heightened risk of escalation to armed conflict.”

“Taiwan remains the most dangerous potential flashpoint between the United States and China,” testified Bonnie Glaser, director of the German Marshall Fund’s Asia program. “China's priority is to deter Taiwan independence. Unification is a longer-term goal that Beijing prefers to achieve without bloodshed. It is employing a vast array of tools designed to undermine the confidence of the people of Taiwan in their government and weaken their will to resist integration with China.”

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“The United States needs to get serious about strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific, both the general and specific varieties of deterrence,” argues Medeiros. “For example, the connection should be more focused on specific military mission sets, such as area denial in the South China Sea.”

“The U.S. and its allies must be willing to incur some degree of escalation risk to effectively deter and respond to gray zone coercion,” said Glaser. “They must also develop means to impose greater costs on China for its malign behavior in places like the South China Sea in the Taiwan Strait.”

But Glaser did not endorse changing the long-standing U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” about whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack. A declaration of U.S. protections “could provoke rather than deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan,” she said.

WHAT US WAR WITH CHINA OVER TAIWAN WOULD LOOK LIKE

SHANGRI-LA DIALOGUE CANCELLED: A linchpin of U.S. strategy is to marshal the support of more regional allies in the Asia Pacific, something that Austin was planning to push at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, which was scheduled for last week but had to be canceled because of worsening COVID conditions in Asia

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“We're disappointed, but we will continue to look for other ways to engage our allies and partners in the region,” said Kirby at yesterday’s Pentagon briefing. “I have no doubt that the secretary will be willing and able to travel back to the region just as soon as practical.”

Good Thursday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

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HAPPENING TODAY: Secretary Austin provides his first testimony since the release of the Biden administration’s proposed $715 billion budget for 2022. Austin will be flanked by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord at this morning's session before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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ALSO TODAY: President Joe Biden meets in Cornwall, England, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of tomorrow’s G-7 summit. The two leaders will announce a “renewed” Atlantic Charter and are expected to announce a U.S.-U.K. task force that will work to end the travel ban between the two nations.

A sit-down meeting later in the day is intended to “affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” according to the White House. No mention was made of the fact that during the 2020 campaign, Biden once called Johnson a “physical and emotional clone” of President Donald Trump.

CLOSING GITMO: Responding to reports that President Joe Biden is quietly moving ahead with plans to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo by Sept. 11, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby would only say that a “thorough and deliberate review” is underway that's focused on closing the facility.

“The president was very clear before taking office that this was a goal he wanted to achieve. To that end, the National Security Council continues to work closely with the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice, as well as other departments and agencies. And those discussions are ongoing,” Kirby said.

“I'm not aware that there's a target date,” Kirby said while promising that Congress, which has barred moving any detainees to the U.S., would be consulted.

“Of course, there will need to be close coordination and consultation with members of Congress as we continue to move forward,” Kirby said. “What's important here is that the president was serious when he said he wanted to close the facility. The Department of Defense supports that goal.”

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ARCTIC CENTER: The Pentagon has announced the establishment of the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, which is intended to foster increased cooperation on challenges and security concerns related to the Arctic region.

“The center will support the U.S. Interim National Security Strategic Guidance direction to work with like-minded partners and across the interagency to pool our collective strength and advance shared interests,” Secretary Austin said in a statement. “It will address the need for U.S. engagement and international cooperation to strengthen the rules-based order in the region and tackle shared challenges such as climate change.”

INDUSTRY WATCH: Last week, for the first time, a fighter jet was refueled in flight from an unmanned flying gas station.

The historic feat was accomplished June 4 when a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet hooked up to a Boeing MQ-25 Stingray drone over the skies of Illinois.

“This historic flight demonstrates that the stingray can fulfill its primary tanker mission and free strike fighters up from the duty of transferring fuels,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “This also extends the range capability of the carrier air wing and the carrier strike group, and it's a great step forward toward manned/unmanned teaming concepts.”

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Calendar

THURSDAY | JUNE 10

9:30 a.m. G50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing: “Department of Defense budget posture in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2022, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; Gen. Mark Milley; and Michael McCord, undersecretary of defense (comptroller). https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings

10 a.m. EDT — President Joe Biden meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to the United Kingdom.

11 a.m. — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing: “FY22 Budget Request for Nuclear Forces and Atomic Energy Defense Activities,” with Melissa Dalton, acting assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities; Charlie Verdon, acting administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe, director, Strategic Systems Programs; and Air Force Lt. Gen. James Dawkins, deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

11 a.m. — Center for a New American Security National Security Conference panel: “Protecting Democracy, Protecting National Security,” with Rep. Peter Meijer R-Minn; Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich; Carrie Cordero, CNAS senior fellow, and Jonathan Swan, Axios national political correspondent. https://www.cnas.org/2021-conference-registration

12 p.m. — McCain Institute virtual book discussion on "The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare,” with author Christian Brose, head of strategy at Anduril Industries; and former National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen, executive director of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/authors-insights

FRIDAY | JUNE 11

All Day — President Joe Biden attends the G-7 Summit in Cornwall, U.K., and takes part in bilateral meetings with fellow G-7 leaders.

11 a.m. — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations hearing: “FY22 Defense Intelligence Enterprise Posture Hearing,” with David Taylor, performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security; Gen. Paul Nakasone, director, National Security Agency; and Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director Defense Intelligence Agency. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

SUNDAY | JUNE 13

TBA — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden meet with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, before departing for Brussels, Belgium.

MONDAY | JUNE 14

All Day — President Joe Biden participates in the NATO Summit and a separate U.S.–EU Summit.

TUESDAY | JUNE 15

11 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing: “Department of the Navy Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request,” with Thomas Harker, acting Navy secretary; Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations; Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

3 p.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing: “FY22 Budget Request for Missile Defense and Missile Defeat Programs,” with Leonor Tomero, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy; Gen. Glen D. VanHerk, commander, U.S. Northern Command; Vice Adm. Jon Hill, director, Missile Defense Agency; Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command; and Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander, U.S. Space Command. https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

WEDNESDAY | JUNE 16

All Day — In Geneva, Switzerland President Joe Biden will meet face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since assuming office.

THURSDAY | JUNE 17

10 a.m. 106 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Committee hearing: “A Review of the FY 2022 Department of Defense Budget Request.” https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Taiwan remains the most dangerous potential flashpoint between the United States and China … However, abandoning the long-standing U.S. policy of ambiguity regarding whether the United States would come to Taiwan's defense could provoke rather than deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.”

Bonnie Glaser, director, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: Recommendations of Pentagon China task force to remain largely classified

Pentagon considering permanent naval task force to counter China in the Pacific .
The two initiatives, which are not yet finalized, would add muscle to President Joe Biden’s tough talk on China.The plan would also involve creating a named military operation for the Pacific that would enable the defense secretary to allocate additional dollars and resources to the China problem, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss pre-decisional plans.

usr: 11
This is interesting!