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Pentagon Unveils National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture, Missile Defense Reviews; Lloyd Austin Quoted

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The Department of Defense has issued the public versions of the National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review and the Missile Defense Review, DOD News reported Thursday.

“By weaving these documents together, we help ensure that the entire department is moving forward together, matching our resources to our goals,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said in a statement published Thursday.

The 2022 National Defense Strategy highlights the need to strengthen deterrence against China and cites the threats posed by Russia, Iran, North Korea and violent extremist organizations. 

The NDS also outlines DOD’s four top defense priorities: defending the homeland, paced to the growing multidomain threat posed by China; deterring strategic attacks against the U.S., allies and partners; deterring aggression while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary; and building a resilient joint force and defense ecosystem.

Gen. Austin said the strategy cites integrated deterrence, campaigning and measures that build enduring advantages as ways to advance those priorities.

The 2022 Nuclear Posture Review will advance several measures to ensure a secure and effective deterrent while reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy. These include adopting a strategy and declaratory policy that maintain a very high bar for nuclear employment; taking steps to strengthen extended deterrence and allied assurance; retiring the B83-1 gravity bomb; and canceling the nuclear-armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile program.

The 2022 Missile Defense Review calls for the U.S. to continue to invest in the development of missile defeat capabilities to maintain deterrence and cites the need for the country’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense posture to be comprehensive, mobile, layered and ready to counter adversary missiles.

To be most effective, it must also be integrated and interoperable with Allies and partners, and underpinned with increasingly robust domain awareness capabilities within a pliable missile defense network,” the document reads.

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