Lloyd Austin Says Will Review US Force Presence in Mideast to Address Russia, China Challenges


The confirmation hearing for Gen. Lloyd Auston, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Pentagon, took place before the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 19, one day before Biden’s inauguration.

During his opening statement during his confirmation hearing, Lloyd Austin, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he will review the US force presence in the Middle East to address challenges from Russia and China.

Austin also said he would review current troop deployments in the Middle East and hinted at a reduction of US forces in the region, stating that “we can better calibrate” the American presence and provide “opportunities to employ the force in other theaters,” Bloomberg reported.

‘We View China as Our Most Serious Global Competitor’

When asked whether the US National Defense Strategy (NDS) should be revised, Austin responded that the pace at which China is modernizing its military modernization, its “increasingly aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific and its ability to threaten the US Homeland are concerning and must be continually reexamined.”

Austin added that he would ensure China does not gain military superiority over the United States. 

“Across much of the Indo-Pacific region, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using military and economic coercion to bully its neighbors, advance unlawful maritime claims, threaten maritime shipping lanes, and destabilize territory…

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