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Biden Nat’l Security Strategy focuses on ‘diversity and inclusion,’ China, Russia threats

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks after his recovery from COVID-19 in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
October 12, 2022

On Wednesday, the Biden administration released its National Security Strategy, which includes a promise to “strengthen the effectiveness” of the U.S. military “by promoting diversity and inclusion.” The strategy also focuses on the threat of Russia and communist China’s intention and ability to “reshape the international order” in its favor.

At a time when the U.S. military is facing alarming recruitment challenges, a rapidly evolving Chinese military and Russian threats of nuclear war, the Biden administration’s National Security Strategy features a commitment to strengthening the U.S. military by “promoting diversity and inclusion.”

“The most important investments are those made in the extraordinary All-Volunteer Force of the  Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard—together with our  Department of Defense civilian workforce. Our service members are the backbone of America’s  national defense and we are committed to their wellbeing and their families while in service and  beyond,” the strategy states.

“We will maintain our foundational principle of civilian control of the military,  recognizing that healthy civil-military relations rooted in mutual respect are essential to military effectiveness,” it continues. “We will strengthen the effectiveness of the force by promoting diversity and  inclusion; intensifying our suicide prevention efforts; eliminating the scourges of sexual assault,  harassment, and other forms of violence, abuse, and discrimination; and rooting out violent extremism. We will also uphold our Nation’s sacred obligation to care for veterans and their  families when our troops return home.”

The strategy’s global priorities include “out-competing China and constraining Russia,” two nations that the Biden administration acknowledges “are increasingly aligned with each other.” While the strategy warns that Russia is “profoundly dangerous,” it notes that China “is the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it.”

The Biden administration’s strategy toward China is summarized in three parts:

  • 1. “Invest in the foundations of our strength at home, which include American competitiveness, innovation, resilience, democracy.
  • 2. Work with U.S. allies and partners to act “with common purpose and in common cause.”
  • 3. Compete responsibly with China to defend American interests and “build our vision for the future.”

The strategy adds that the U.S. has “an abiding interest in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is  critical to regional and global security and prosperity and a matter of international concern and  attention.”

“We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, and do not support  Taiwan independence,” the strategy continues. “We remain committed to our one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. And we will uphold our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act to support Taiwan’s self-defense and to maintain our capacity to resist any resort to force or coercion against Taiwan.”

Nuclear deterrence is also listed as a top priority for the Biden administration, which vows to “address the existential threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons through renewed arms control and nonproliferation leadership.”

In a call with reporters Wednesday morning, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “The world is at an inflection point and the choices we make today will set the terms on how we are set up to deal with the significant challenges and the significant opportunities we face in the years ahead. That’s really what this National Security Strategy is all about.”