Thursday, February 10, 2011



Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, released on February 8,2011, the USA's new National Military Strategy in replacement of the earlier strategy released in 2004 when Mr.George Bush was the President. The text of the new strategy is available at

2. The fight against terrorism and extremism emanating from the Af-Pak and other regions contInues to receive priority in the new strategy too, but the new strategy envisages an enhanced focus on China. It says "The Nation’s strategic priorities and interests will increasingly emanate from the Asia-Pacific region. The region's share of global wealth is growing, enabling increased military capabilities. This is causing the region’s security architecture to change rapidly, creating new challenges and opportunities for our national security and leadership. Though still underpinned by the U.S. bilateral alliance system, Asia's security architecture is becoming a more complex mix of formal and informal multilateral relationships and expanded bilateral security ties among states."

3. It also says: "The United States will remain the foremost economic and military power for the foreseeable future, though national debt poses a significant national security risk. Asia will increase its regional share of global wealth. Though it faces a number of domestic challenges, continuation of China’s decades-long economic growth is expected to facilitate its continued military modernization and expansion of its interests within and beyond the region. Other states in Asia, too, are becoming more militarily capable as they grow more prosperous. "

4. It further says of China as follows: "Our Nation seeks a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China that welcomes it to take on a responsible leadership role. To support this, the Joint Force seeks a deeper military-to-military relationship with China to expand areas of mutual interest and benefit, improve understanding, reduce misperception, and prevent miscalculation. We will promote common interests through China’s cooperation in countering piracy and proliferation of WMD, and using its influence with North Korea to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula. We will continue to monitor carefully China’s military developments and the implications those developments have on the military balance in the Taiwan Strait. "

5. In a veiled caution to China, the 2011 Strategy says: "We remain concerned about the extent and strategic intent of China’s military modernization, and its assertiveness in space, cyberspace, in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea. To safeguard U.S. and
partner nation interests, we will be prepared to demonstrate the will and commit the resources needed to oppose any nation’s actions that jeopardize access to and use of the global commons and cyberspace, or that threaten the security of our allies. "

6. The Strategy has a single sentence reference to India. It says: " We seek expanded military cooperation with India on nonproliferation, safeguarding the global commons, countering terrorism, and elsewhere."

7. It stresses the continued importance of the USA's relations with Japan and South Korea for its Asia-Pacific strategy. It says: "We expect to maintain a strong military presence in Northeast Asia for decades. We will work with the Japan Self-Defense Forces to improve their out-of-area operational capabilities as the nation adjusts its defense posture. The Republic of Korea has proven a steadfast ally supporting U.S. security efforts around the world; our commitment to the Republic of Korea is unwavering as North Korea remains a provocative threat to regional stability. We will retain operational control over combined forces on the Korean peninsula through 2015 and provide assistance to South Korea as it expands its security responsibilities. We will continue to work with Japan and South Korea to help improve security
ties between them, enhance military cooperation, and preserve regional stability. "

8.It explains the continued importance of the fight against terrorism as follows: "There are no more vital interests than the security of the American people, our territory, and our way of life. This is why we are at war in South Central Asia, the epicenter of violent extremism. Afghanistan is where al Qaida, given sanctuary by the Taliban, planned the attacks that murdered more than 3,000 innocent people on 11 September 2001. Al Qaida senior leadership remains in Pakistan and intends to continue to attack the United States, allies, and our
partners. The Nation’s strategic objective in this campaign is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaida and its affiliates in Afghanistan and Pakistan and prevent their return to either country. Success requires the Joint Force to closely work with NATO, our coalition partners, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We will continue to erode Taliban influence, work with the Afghan government to facilitate reintegration and reconciliation of former insurgents, continue to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces, and enable Pakistan to ultimately defeat al Qaida and its extremist allies. "

9. It says further: "The threat of violent extremism is not limited to South Central Asia. Groups such as Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and others emanate from Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere around the globe. Terrorists’ abilities to remotely plan and coordinate attacks is growing, sometimes facilitated by global illicit trafficking routes, extending their operational reach while rendering targeting of their sanctuaries more difficult. Undeterred by the complexity of terrorist networks
and in concert with our Allies and partners, we will be prepared to find, capture, or kill violent extremists wherever they reside when they threaten interests and citizens of America and our allies. " (10-2-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

1 comment:

Esoteric said...

Some more excerpts from the document are as below:

"This changing distribution of power indicates evolution to a "multi-nodal" world characterized more by shifting, interest-driven coalitions based on diplomatic, military, and economic power, than by rigid security competition between opposing blocs.

Energy-state relationships will intersect geopolitical concerns as state-run companies will control an increasing share of the world's hydrocarbon resources and the persistent challenge of resource scarcity may overlap with territorial disputes.

In this multi-nodal world, the military’s contribution to American leadership must be about more than power– it must be about our approach to exercising power.We must continue to support and facilitate whole-of-nation approaches to countering extremism that seek and sustain regional partnerships with
responsible states to erode terrorists’ support and sources of legitimacy.Military power complements economic development, governance, and rule of
law – the true bedrocks of counterterrorism efforts.

NATO members act as a stabilizing force on its perimeter, which ranges from the Middle East and the Levant, Northern Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Turkey can play a uniquely critical role in this regard. We will actively support closer military-to-military relations between the Alliance and Europe’s non-NATO nations, some of which have reliably contributed to trans-Atlantic security for decades. As we strengthen our European alliance, we will increase dialogue and military-to-military relations with Russia, building on our successful efforts in strategic arms reduction. We seek to cooperate with Russia on counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, space, and Ballistic Missile Defense, and welcome it playing a more active role in preserving security and stability in Asia."

- There is mention of Multi-polar world but many small or large poles find little mention like Russia or even Israel.

- Whole-of-nation approach means that US military would prefer India to negotiate with Pakistan on Kashmir;even if politicians would rather have them win the Afghan war or WOT without this give-away.

- 2015 is the withdrawl date from Korean peninsula,even though they want to be in North East seas for decades.

- There is unambiguous commitment to stand up to any pressure from China with their military modernisation.But Yuan also matters in the equation.There is no mention of military assistance to Pakistan