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The US will deepen its security relations with India, said chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey while releasing the country’s National Military Strategy for 2015.
The strategy provides the blueprint for how the military will use its forces to protect and advance US national and security interests.
The presence of US military forces in key locations around the world underpins the international order and provides opportunities to engage with other countries while positioning forces to respond to crises, Dempsey said in a Defense Department statement issued on Wednesday.
“Therefore, we will press forward with the rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, placing our most advanced capabilities and greater capacity in that vital theatre,” it noted.
For this, the US will strengthen its alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand.
“We also will deepen our security relationship with India and build upon our partnerships with New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh,” Dempsey added.
Such efforts are essential to maintaining regional peace and building capabilities to provide for missile defense, cyber security, maritime security, and disaster relief.
“This strategy addresses these dynamics and our strategy to ensure that our force remains the best-led, trained and equipped military on the planet,” Dempsey said.
“Globalisation, diffusion of technology, and demographic shifts are driving rapid change as state actors and trans-regional networks challenge order and stability,” said the general.
While praising Russia for its contributions in select security areas, such as counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism, the strategy document added that the country has repeatedly demonstrated that “it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbours and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals”.
“Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces,” the report noted.
While supporting China’s rise and encouraging the country to “become a partner for greater international security,” the report took exception of China’s action in South China Sea, saying it added tension in the region.
“China’s actions are adding tension to the Asia-Pacific region. For example, its claims to nearly the entire South China Sea are inconsistent with international law,” the report added.
“The international community continues to call on China to settle such issues cooperatively and without coercion. China has responded with aggressive land reclamation efforts that will allow it to position military forces astride vital international sea lanes,” Dempsey said in the statement.
On North Korea, the general said: “North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technologies also contradicts repeated demands by the international community to cease such efforts.”
“These capabilities directly threaten its neighbours, especially the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan. In time, they will threaten the US homeland as well. North Korea also has conducted cyber attacks, including causing major damage to a US corporation.”
On Iran, he said the Middle East country also posed strategic challenges to the international community.
“It is pursuing nuclear and missile delivery technologies despite repeated United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that it cease such efforts.”
On Afghanistan, Dempsey said the US and NATO partners were teaming with the National Unity Government to provide security by way of the Resolute Support mission, working toward establishing a long-term counter-terrorism partnership.
The National Military Strategy follows the release of the 2015 National Security Strategy in February this year, as well as the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.
(With inputs from IANS)