WASHINGTON — After seven months of delays, the unclassified version of the Pentagon's 2022 National Defense Strategy is out.
That's after Congress received a classified version back in March.
"Since then, it has been the Department's North Star, as we tackle this century's biggest security challenges," said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
A year after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the NDS leaves no doubt about America's primary concern going forward.
"The key theme of the NDS is the need to sustain and strengthen U.S. deterrence with the People's Republic of China as our pacing challenge," said Austin. "As the President's National Security Strategy notes, the PRC s the only competitor out there with both the intent to reshape the international order and increasingly, the power to do so."
The NDS also takes into account the "acute threat" posed by Russia — especially considering its invasion of Ukraine — calling it the worst threat to Europeans security since World War II.
The document also mentions threats posed by North Korea, Iran and violent extremist organizations, pandemics and climate change.
In short, there are many concerns that must be met. Failure is not an option.
"We will not leave our future vulnerable to the whims of those who do not share our vision for our world that is free, open, prosperous and secure," said Austin. "And we're confident that we've got the right defense strategy to tackle the challenges ahead, and to defend the American people and to strengthen the outstanding all-volunteer force and to safeguard the democratic values that are the soul of America."