US President Joe Biden promised that he would not hesitate to use force to protect America’s “vital interests”, but stressed that force should only be used as a “last resort.”
Biden outlined his views on US national defense strategy during a visit to the Pentagon on Wednesday.
“As your Supreme Commander, I will not hesitate to use force to protect the vital interests of the American people and our allies around the world when needed,” Biden said.
“But I believe that force should be used as a last resort, not the first,” he added.
Biden said he is determined to work with leaders around the world to “end wars that have dragged on for too long in a responsible manner.”
At the same time, he stressed that it is important to do everything to prevent terrorist threats from endangering the American people.
Pentagon officials recently questioned the Taliban’s commitment to peace in Afghanistan, citing the group’s ongoing attacks on the Afghan government. According to them, such an attitude calls into question the continuation of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
The President also spoke of the need to strengthen American alliances around the world. “We can better project our military power when we enhance our strength through alliances,” he said.
Biden said it is imperative to “rethink and re-prioritize” US security to meet the challenges of this century.
“We need to explore the dangers and opportunities posed by new technologies, expand our capabilities in cyberspace, and secure a leadership position in a new era of competition – from the deep sea to space,” said Biden. “We must also respond to the growing challenges from China to keep the peace and protect our interests in the Indo-Pacific and globally.”
At the same time, the President expressed confidence that the United States “will cope with the challenges of China and ensure the American people will win the future competition.”
Biden announced Wednesday the formation of an ad hoc working group within the Department of Defense to immediately begin revising US military strategy against Beijing threats.
The President gave the working group four months to assess the current situation so that the United States “can chart … the way forward on issues related to China.”
In listing the challenges, Biden did not mention Russia among them.
He called the American military “the best fighting force in the history of the world” and promised to respect and honor people wearing military uniforms.
“You are incredible heroes and incredible patriots,” Biden said. “I will never, never tarnish you, I will always respect you and never politicize your work.”