The Pentagon's new National Defence Strategy (NDS) has outlined preparations for a conflict with strategic competitors Russian Federation and China, while the Pentagon says it is ready to step up investments on big ticket items.
The announcement comes as the Donald Trump administration has made clear in recent days that it plans to keep 2,000 USA troops in Syria indefinitely to help usher in a political process to replace President Bashar al-Assad and confront Iranian influence in the country.
"We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists, but great power competition - not terrorism - is now the primary focus of U.S. national security".
"History proves that nations with allies thrive, an approach to security and prosperity that has served the United States well in keeping peace and winning war", Mattis said.
His sanguine comments conflicted with those of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and some Republican lawmakers who said the shutdown is harming the U.S.'s ability to protect its citizens.
Defence Secretary James Mattis said in a memo released by the Pentagon on Saturday that the military will continue to carry out operations across the world, but the shutdown already was prompting the cancellation or delay of training for reserve units and having other effects, reported The Washington Post.
A soldier assigned to the Army's 450th Civil Affairs Battalion in Maryland said that his unit is preparing for a month-long exercise in March, and was planning to work on weapons qualifications this weekend in advance.
"China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea", the strategy report states.
The US vessel "violated China's sovereignty and security interests", and put the safety of nearby Chinese vessels "under grave threat", foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Experts praised the document's targeting of the largest national security threats rather than the longer lists of risks in some previous strategies. "You really have to wait for the budget to see what the strategy means in practice, what are they actually going to do or not do". That disconnect between US voters and the USA national security apparatus may become an issue down the road.
Colby, though, said an emphasis on strengthening and building new alliances will also mean "more balanced burden-sharing arrangements with our allies and partners" - a nod to Trump's repeated accusations that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other allies are not pulling their weight.
"It is clear that conflicts between China and the United States are heading in the direction of becoming more strategic, more serious. and more comprehensive", Shi said on Saturday.
The Pentagon is also working on a policy document on the country's nuclear arsenal. "Oppressing their own people and shredding their own people's dignity and human rights, they push their warped views outward", Mattis said.
"How do we maintain a safe and effective nuclear deterrence so those weapons are never used?"
The official presented the country's strong message reflected in the document, issuing a pointed warning to America's adversaries, adding that the US Joint Force will compete to deter aggression in three main regions: Indo-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. A bill to fund the government only through February 16, approved on Thursday night by the House of Representatives, appeared on the verge of collapse in the Senate.
The document is classified, but an 11-page summary is available that outlines areas of focus for the US going forward, which includes strengthening military alliances from the Middle East to Asia and building a larger, more agile military. He explained that protecting the U.S.is about more than "protecting geography".