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Biden releases first national security strategy with focus on China, Russia

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Oct 13, 2022 - 01:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden released his long overdue national security strategy Wednesday after it was originally scheduled for release in the months leading up to Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Biden acknowledged that a major shift in global politics has taken place, saying the order that had held for three decades following the end of the Cold War “is definitively over,” and emphasizing that a new period of “competition is underway between the major powers to shape what comes next.”

The president had kept in place an interim national security guidance that he released in March 2021 and his first official strategy maintains its emphasis on China as the US’ sole near-peer global competitor, while emphasizing the need to keep attention on Russia.

“China harbors the intention and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order in favor of one that tilts the global playing field to its benefit, even as the United States remains committed to managing the competition between our countries responsibly,” Biden wrote in a brief introduction to the 48-page document.

He also addressed Russia’s nearly eight-month war against Ukraine, saying it “has shattered peace in Europe and impacted stability everywhere,” and warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “reckless nuclear threats endanger the global non-proliferation regime.”

“Autocrats are working overtime to undermine democracy and export a model of governance marked by repression at home and coercion abroad,” he said, in an apparent reference to Russia and China.

“These competitors mistakenly believe democracy is weaker than autocracy because they fail to understand that a nation’s power springs from its people. The United States is strong abroad because we are strong at home,” he added.

The US strategy seeks to “effectively compete” with China to ensure a competitive edge while simultaneously “constraining a still profoundly dangerous Russia.”

At home, it notes the centrality of bolstering US democracy damaged in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to thwart the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the 2020 election to Biden by more than 7 million votes.

Trump has continued to sow doubt about the results amongst his supporters using unproven claims of election malfeasance that have been rejected at every turn in court and turned down by his former Attorney General William Barr.

“As Americans, we must all agree that the people’s verdict, as expressed in elections, must be respected and protected,” the strategy said. “We also believe that critical reforms continue to be needed to strengthen our system of governance.”

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