US DoD issues new directive on China

Just weeks after $ 5.1 Bn fund was sought

IDD Update

Less than three weeks after a first-of-its-kind $5.1 billion fund was sought for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), the US Department of Defense has unleashed an internal  policy framework to tackle China.

The scope includes: Out-pacing China; developing a National Defense Strategy; streamlining and strengthening cooperation with US allies and partners, particularly in the Indo-Pacific; bolstering deterrence; accelerate development of new operational concepts; emerging capabilities and future force posture.

Based on final recommendations submitted by the China Task Force of the Department of Defense, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin has issued an internal directive to address the issue of China and the threat it poses. Read it here

A General Atomics drone in action: Advt

These initiatives — some of which will remain classified — are designed to address the challenge from China. A consultation and coordination with interagency partners has helped arrive at these goals. These will complement the multi-faceted work on China policy of departments, agencies, and the White House, the DoD said.

“The initiatives I am putting forward today are nested inside the larger U.S. government approach to China and will help inform the development of the National Defense Strategy we are working on, ” Austin said. Read it here

The directive also established Secretary Austin’s intent to directly oversee the Department of Defense’s China-related policies, operations, and intelligence as the Task Force’s recommendations are incorporated into ongoing reviews and Department-wide processes.

What was the task force              

President Joe Biden announced in February the establishment of the Task Force. It had a specific two-fold mission: to conduct a baseline assessment of China-related programs, policies, and processes at the Department of Defense; and to provide the Secretary with a set of top priorities and recommended courses of action for the Department.

Members of the Task Force were detailed from across the Department of Defense, including representatives from all the Services, several Combatant Commands, the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Intelligence Community.

During its tenure, the Task Force conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of policies, analysis, and intelligence.

In April, Task Force leaders delivered their initial assessment to Secretary Austin, as well as to DoD civilian and military leadership, including at the spring senior leaders conference.

Having completed its work, the Task Force will now stand down. The initiatives put forth in the Secretary’s directive will be executed through — and by — normal Departmental structures and organizational elements, supplemented by new processes where necessary.

What is the PDI.

This fund is being sought for the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) in the US Defense budget FY-22 for western pacific to bloster and highlight the work of the DoD and the forces. The PDI focusing resources on vital military capabilities to deter China.This could include several flexible deterrent options including options if deterrence should fail. Separately, the INDOPACOM is concentrating on: Force Design and Posture; Exercises, Experimentation, and Innovation; Joint Force Lethality; Logistics and Security Enablers; and Strengthen Allies and Partners.

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