U.S. defense chief says North Korea threatens global stability with weapons programs

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that a government shutdown would impact military operations including some training, maintenance, and intelligence operations.

The US faced "growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia", he said.

Mattis emphasized three important strategies for the military's 2018 defense strategy: having a more lethal force to defend our country, strengthening alliances and forming new partnerships with other nations, and reforming the business practices of the Pentagon.

Separately, the Defense Department said a shutdown would not impact the USA military's war in Afghanistan or its operations against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria.

He declared the defeat of the Islamic State group's "physical caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, but warned that IS, al-Qaida and other extremists continue as threats across the globe.

The new defense strategy derides recent actions of China and Russian Federation. "We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we're to sustain our military's primacy", he said.

Advances in military developments have ended America's unchallenged arms superiority when US forces could be deployed easily.

"Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare", Mattis said.

China's activities in the South China Sea is "a matter within China's sovereign rights", Ren said, adding that the country is committed to a path of peaceful development and a harmonious world order.

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The document was referring to the free and open order the United States and its allies and partners have built since the end of World War II to better safeguard their liberty and protect their nations from aggression and coercion. Deterring adversaries and maintaining regional power balances in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere is another.

"This strategy represents a fundamental shift", he said. The NDS lists nuclear modernization as its top priority investment, followed by space and cyberspace capabilities, surveillance and reconnaissance, missile defense and autonomous systems. "We will support USA interagency approaches and work by, with, and through our allies and partners to secure our interests and counteract this coercion".

The document indicates that President Donald Trump's military advisers are looking beyond the conflicts of the moment, including North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the wind-down of the war against ISIS and concerns about Iranian influence in the Middle East. China punished South Korean businesses in China, costing the South Koreans some $10 billion.

In the strategy's conclusion, Mattis makes clear that his goal is to "pursue change at significant scale" with sustained investment and creative approaches.

As the department invests in modernizing key capabilities, one area of focus will be on layered missile defenses and disruptive capabilities for "both theater missile threats and North Korean ballistic missile threats".

"This goes back to [then-Vice President] Dick Cheney in 2003 when it was mooted that a war with Iran might be in the offing and the Pentagon drew up a plan to use nukes on the Iranians if they resisted too hard and didn't surrender expeditiously", he said.

"I recognize the consequences of a government shutdown", he wrote and offered his "personal commitment" to try to lessen the impacts of disruptions and financial burdens.

Mr Dov Zakheim, senior fellow at CNA Corporation and former U.S. under-secretary of defence from 2001 to 2004, said: "If you don't come up with a strategy, you are never going to justify getting the money".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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