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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 521-97
September 29, 1997

1997 NATIONAL MILITARY STRATEGY RELEASED

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John M. Shalikashvili has announced the publication of the revised "National Military Strategy: Shape, Respond, Prepare Now: A Military Strategy for a New Era."

"The National Military Strategy" contains the advice of the chairman and the Joint Chiefs on the strategic direction of the armed forces. It implements the guidance in the President's "National Security Strategy" and the Secretary of Defense's "Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review," both published in May 1997. "The National Military Strategy" was last published in February 1995.

The new document results from a year-long assessment of the strategic environment underscoring the continuing importance of robust American military power.

"While we no longer face the threat of a rival superpower, there are states and other actors who can challenge us and our allies conventionally and by asymmetric means such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction," said Shalikashvili in his letter introducing the publication.

The "National Military Strategy" supports the President's "imperative of engagement" for achieving security in a multi-polar world. The document describes the important role the armed forces play in the strategy of engagement, in the context of the military's primary purpose: to deter and defeat threats of organized violence to our country and its interests.

"While fighting and winning two nearly simultaneous wars remains the foremost task," said the general, "we must also respond to a wide variety of other potential crises. As we take on these diverse missions, it is important to emphasize the armed forces' core competence: we fight. That must be the primary consideration in the development and employment of forces.

"Our best judgment is that this strategy, and the forces for which it calls, will protect the nation and its interests, and promote a peace that benefits America and all like-minded nations."

Copies of the booklet have been distributed within the Defense Department, military services, combatant commands, the Joint Staff, other agencies and to the Congress. A limited number of individual copies are available to the media and non-governmental agencies through Joint Staff public affairs at (703) 697-4272. Those requiring multiple copies should contact the Government Printing Office. The document will also be available on the World Wide Web at "http://www.dtic.mil/jcs/nms.html".

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