After six months of delays, the Biden administration today released the unclassified version of its National Defense Strategy — and despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the department remains confident the long-term threat lies not in Moscow, but in Beijing.
The focus on China as the larger threat — as opposed to a joint focus on China and Russia — is one of the biggest ways the latest National Defense Strategy diverges from its predecessor, a senior defense official told reporters ahead of the official rollout.
The 2018 strategy “said we are worried about Russia and we’re worried about the PRC. And I think one of the things we did as we were going through our assessment of the security environment was actually see that those needed to be looked at a little bit differently,” the official said. “What that means is that as we are looking at our investments, our activities, our exercises, our posture, we’re going to be thinking in that vein.”