U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has opined that the United States should prepare for a potential future conflict that will not resemble “old wars.”
The assessment came in Austin’s first major speech on Pentagon policy during Joe Biden’s presidency, scheduled to be delivered Friday in the U.S. Hawaiian Islands, where the headquarters of U.S. forces in the Pacific region. Reuters quoted excerpts from it.
According to the text made available to Reuters, Austen’s speech includes a call to take advantage of technological progress and better integration of military operations around the world, and “for faster understanding, faster decision making and faster action.”
“The way we fight the next big war will be completely different from what we’ve done in the last few wars,” Austin said.
Austin, who has held a number of leadership positions in the U.S. military, admits that for most of the past 20 years, he has “fought the last of the old wars” and “taken lessons that he will never forget.”
“We can’t predict the future. What we need is the right combination of technology, operational doctrines and capabilities, and it’s all intertwined so that it’s reliable, flexible and so formidable that it invites the adversary to think again,” Austin. said in his speech.
He stressed that avoiding conflict would mean “giving ourselves preferences and creating dilemmas in front of them.”
The text did not mention specific opponents or specific actions, nor did it include expectations of a specific conflict. Rather, it defined a broad vision for the new Pentagon leadership of the goals it would seek to achieve during Biden’s presidency.