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Lloyd Austin: US Seeks to Address China Challenge Through Integrated Deterrence

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Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said China is a “pacing challenge” for the U.S. military and the U.S. aims to counter that challenge through integrated deterrence or defense strategy that includes the elements of partnership and innovation, DOD News reported Saturday.

“First, we’re building on a lesson that I learned over four decades in uniform: In war and in peace, we’re always stronger when we work together with our friends. That defines our approach to the China challenge,” Austin said Saturday during a forum.

He said such an approach would involve performing more exercises with partners and allies, encouraging European allies to help advance security in the Indo-Pacific and assisting allies in developing security capabilities.

Austin also highlighted the importance of innovation in integrated deterrence.

“Integrated deterrence requires us to weave together cutting-edge technology, operational concepts and state-of-the-art capabilities to seamlessly dissuade aggression in any form, domain or theater,” he said. “That means that innovation lies at the heart of American security.”

He cited the need to address the “valley of death” to facilitate the delivery of new capabilities to warfighters and mentioned DOD’s efforts to advance the Small Business Innovation Research program to encourage companies to conduct research and meet the Pentagon’s tech requirements.