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Austin Says Current Operations Give Hints of New National Defense Strategy

Feb. 18, 2022 | BY Jim Garamone , DOD News

People interested in the new National Defense Strategy can see some of it in play as the United States and its allies face Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in Warsaw today. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks in front of American flags.
Poland Presser
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III answers questions during a news conference at the Ministry of Defense in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 18, 2022.
Photo By: Chad J. McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 220218-D-TT977-0305F

Austin said he is proud of the work that has been done on the document, but he is not yet ready to release it. He did give some hints about the strategy and the idea of integrated deterrence that is a driving force behind it. 

He spoke during a press conference in Warsaw following meetings with Polish officials. They discussed NATO and bilateral efforts in Eastern Europe. 

The National Defense Strategy "will certainly address major threats to our security," he said. "It'll also address major threats to the international rules-based order." 

Integrated deterrence is a driving idea for the document. It "will be a key piece of that new strategy," Austin said. "Integrated deterrence means using all of the capabilities in all warfighting domains: Air, land, sea, space and cyber."

It also includes using every instrument of national power: diplomatic, economic, judicial and so on. 

Two leaders speak to troops.
Partner Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszcak address U.S. and Polish troops at Powidz Air Base, Poland, Feb. 18, 2022. Austin was in Poland to meet with Polish leadership and to tour the Powidz facilities and observe the culture and conditions of our rotational presence there.
Photo By: Chad McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 220218-D-TT977-0839

"But most important, [integrated deterrence means] using the capability and capacity that's resident in our partners and allies," he said. "So, what you see today, actually playing out is exactly that. You're seeing us lead with diplomacy. You've seen us work very, very carefully with our allies and partners to share information, and to also move very, very quickly and deliberately to help reassure and reinforce wherever required." 

"So, you have seen a preview of that strategy begin to play out here, as we address this most recent crisis," he continued. 

Austin also saw integrated deterrence at work when he visited with U.S. and Polish service members at Powidz Air Base outside of Warsaw. The base is home for U.S. rotational units and has been for some years. The military units of both nations are integrated together and work and train together, Army Lt. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, the commander of U.S. V Corps, said.  

The secretary of defense speaks to U.S. and Polish troops.
Partner Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III addresses U.S. and Polish troops at Powidz Air Base, Poland, Feb. 18, 2022. Austin was in Poland to meet with Polish leadership and to tour the Powidz facilities and observe the culture and conditions of our rotational presence there.
Photo By: Chad McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 220218-D-TT977-0823

"It's just a wonderful opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners, focused on building readiness, focusing on building interoperability between our armies and to build collective defense crisis response," the general said to reporters traveling with Austin. 

Austin beamed when he spoke to the assembled troops. He said he told the Polish defense minister that "whenever we place an American soldier somewhere, it demonstrates our resolve. It demonstrates our commitment to our partners. So, I would say that you are our greatest ambassadors. I could not be prouder of you. I want to thank you for your sacrifices, for your commitment and for your professionalism."