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Defense Official Says U.S. Is Watching China While Supporting Ukraine 

March 1, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Russia and China seek to expand their military influence both regionally and globally, with Russia having invaded Ukraine and China seeking to wrest control of Taiwan.   

Ships sail sea.
Sea Ops
The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson pulls alongside the Lewis and Clark-class, dry cargo ship USNS Amelia Earhart in preparation for a replenishment-at-sea in the South China Sea, Feb. 16, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Samantha Oblander
VIRIN: 220216-N-CD453-1083

Officials discussed the United States', allies' and partners' efforts to counter those ambitions during a House Armed Services Committee today.  

"The United States is at a pivotal moment with our allies and partners in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow," Mara Karlin, assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities, said, referencing Russia and China.  

"Security cooperation is an important tool that helps key allies and partners strengthen their defense and enhances our ability to rely on one another in a time of need," she said.   

Troops stand in formation.
In Formation
Polish soldiers assigned to 3rd Air Defense Rocket Brigade and U.S. soldiers assigned to 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment held closing ceremonies for the Polish phase of exercise Saber Strike 22 in Poland, Feb. 26, 2022.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Thompson, National Guard
VIRIN: 220226-Z-DG833-786

The forthcoming National Defense Strategy will emphasize how the department will strengthen these alliances and partnerships to advance national security through integrated deterrence, she said.  

Today, cooperation with allies and partners includes military-to-military engagement, capacity building, education and training activities, humanitarian assistance activities, and robust exercises with key partners, she said.  

"While the department has implemented reforms through meaningful improvements to security cooperation, more remains to be done to seize the opportunity for further change," she said.  

Sailors operate a gun.
Sea Ops
A sailor fires a .50-caliber machine gun during a weapons qualification aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in the East China Sea, Feb. 21, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis
VIRIN: 220221-N-TR141-0561

In Asia, the U.S. has been strengthening its partnerships with India, Australia, Japan and nations in Southeast Asia, she said.  

"Our support for Taiwan is rock solid," she said, referencing the Taiwan Relations Act. The U.S. has provided $18 billion to them in security assistance and will continue to ensure they have the appropriate asymmetric defense capabilities, she said.  

In Europe, Germany has stepped up in a big way to aid Ukraine and bolster its own defenses, she said.  

Jets line up on a runway.
Flight Line
U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th Fighter Squadron assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., taxi to their parking spots after completing a NATO Enhanced Air Policing mission out of Lask Air Base, Poland, Feb. 28, 2022.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob Albers, Air Force
VIRIN: 220228-F-TL453-0456

Since September, there's been a wide range of U.S. support to Ukraine, she said. That support includes stinger missiles, Javelin missiles, antitank rocket systems, grenade launchers, and more than 2,000 tons of ammunition — including mortar and artillery rounds and small arms.  

Karlin also emphasized the role of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, along with the DOD, for promoting global peace and security.