Putin’s invasion of Ukraine forces a rewrite of US security plans

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by President Vladimir Putin has prompted a major overhaul of the Biden administration’s national security strategy, according to people familiar with the matter.

An early version of the still-completed text shows how the government’s priorities are changing in response to Putin’s war in Ukraine and the fast-growing partnership between Beijing and Moscow.

Originally scheduled for January, the publication of this document was postponed after US authorities came to believe that Russia could invade Ukraine. People said it is now being significantly rewritten to reflect how the world has changed since the beginning of the war. It’s not yet clear when it will be released, and some have emphasized that it is still subject to change.

The new draft highlights the importance of both Europe and Asia to the US national security interests and is a shift from the previous version with a more head-on focus on China and Asia. According to people, the document does not downplay the importance of China, but argues that the events of Europe and Asia are intricately linked.

“Clear and current threat”

The national security strategy created by all governments since Ronald Reagan’s inauguration provides one of the most important windows to the White House’s view of foreign policy issues.

Mandated by Parliament, this document is designed to help parliamentarians assess government budget priorities for national security. To clarify US relationships with allies, partners, and adversaries. And to ensure that representatives from the entire US National Security Organization speak in one voice to foreign responders.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent speech on US policy towards China suggests one potential formulation of how the document weighs threats from Beijing and Moscow. Russia is a “clear and current threat,” according to Blinken, while China is “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order.”

More fundamentally, it is likely to argue that this strategy cannot handle Russia’s challenge in Europe or China’s challenge in Asia alone.

“For us, the strategy we are pursuing in Europe and the strategy we are pursuing in the Indo-Pacific has some degree of integration and symbiosis,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on May 18th. Told to. “I think President Biden’s unique ability to actually connect the two together is characteristic of his foreign policy presidency.”


In particular, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has sharply focused China’s ambitions on the democratically governed island of Taiwan on US policy makers. Even before the war began, Biden officials argued that China was likely to see the US response to the Ukraine crisis as a substitute for how Beijing’s more aggressive actions against Taiwan would be addressed.

Since the beginning of the war, U.S. officials have worked with European allies to swiftly deploy sanctions against Russia, strengthen Europe’s defense budget, and NATO’s allies are willing to give up for decades or more. A cautious policy to support Ukraine with financial and military support, which has seen progress as sending a strong message to Beijing.

“The Chinese will watch this very carefully,” said Director of the U.S. Director of Defense Intelligence, Lieutenant General Scott Berlier, about Putin’s Ukrainian war last month. “It will take some time for them to sort out.”

President Xi Jinping’s government officials have repeatedly rejected accusations of attempting to attack Taiwan. Taiwan considers it part of its territory, even though China does not control Taiwan. At the same time, the West government warned that the United States is taking a “Cold War” approach to Asia. Beijing has endeavored to counter this by strengthening relations with the Pacific island nations, repeating its claims to the conflict areas of the South China Sea.

Fast-growing dialogue

The Byden administration’s focus on the interrelated nature of Europe and Asia is due to growing awareness of the Beijing-Moscow partnership and the willingness of Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea to sanction Moscow against invasion. Is also being promoted. People said.

As a result, US dialogue with Asian countries for events in Europe and European countries for events in Asia is growing rapidly, officials say. Discussions with European countries about the Indo-Pacific during the Obama administration were “difficult, rewarding, and often suspicious,” but are now “very productive.” May.

The revised security document is also expected to more clearly articulate the link between new cross-border threats such as climate change and traditional geopolitical competition, one said. Stated. For example, he said that outer space is not only a cross-border issue, but also a place for geopolitics to develop.

In December 2017, the Trump administration announced a national security strategy focusing on “American sovereignty.” The Biden administration announced the “Temporary National Security Strategy Guidance” in March 2021, but the full-scale national security strategy has not yet been announced.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP

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