The White House released its National Security Strategy Oct. 12, in which the Biden administration described plans to reinforce the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, strengthen alliances, and maintain a strong military through inclusive methods, the Military Times reported.
“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,” the plan wrote. “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.”
The document – originally expected to be publicly released last spring – was delayed in part due to the conflict in Ukraine, resulting in revisions. These plans come amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nukes in Ukraine and the Pentagon’s warnings of China’s growing arsenal of the bombs.
According to the strategy, threats to the U.S. include Russia, China, and evolving terrorism from foreign militants and domestic extremists. Addressing these issues will require military intervention and addressing root causes of radicalization with help from foreign partners, the strategy read.
The plan calls for modernizing defense and intelligence alliances such as NATO, Five Eyes (with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K.), and the Quad (with Australia, India and Japan), as well as building collective capacity of partners in the Indo-Pacific. The Biden administration also seeks to build on the Pentagon’s efforts to lead Western military aid for Ukraine and strengthen defense industry ties between allies.
As for nuclear weaponry, the strategy simultaneously pledges the U.S. will rely less on the threat of nukes as a strategic centerpiece yet emphasizes the need to invest in modernizing the nuclear triad and the country’s commitments to protect allies.
According to the plan, nuclear deterrence falls under Pentagon’s signature policy under Biden: “integrated deterrence.” The concept entails coordinating military, diplomatic, and economic matters to deter adversaries from taking aggressive action.