The Chinese military reportedly caught U.S. officials off guard with tests involving a hypersonic missile system earlier this year.
In response, some of America’s top military officers are publicly asserting that the U.S. will not back down in the face of a possible threat.
“Your best defense is a good offense”
As the Washington Examiner reported, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley made his commitment clear this week during an address at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, declaring: “Your best defense is a good offense.”
Milley went on to advocate for “offensive capabilities” not only in traditional theaters but also “in space and cyberspace” that will help ensure the preservation of America’s interests at home and abroad.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in these areas,” he acknowledged.
Army Gen. Paul Nakasone was also present at the forum and echoed Milley’s concerns as well as the prescribed remedies.
“We’re in competition every day,” he said, going on to outline what he referred to as the “persistent engagement” doctrine.
“How do you get after the flow of money?”
Nakasone, who leads the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, explained: “We had a new strategy that said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna operate outside the United States, and we’re gonna look for adversaries that might be trying to do us harm, and we’re not going to just watch anymore.’ And I think that that was a pretty big watershed event.”
He touched on the danger posed by ransomware attacks like the one that shut down the Colonial Pipeline earlier this year.
To address such threats going forward, Nakasone said that the U.S. brought “our best people together” to formulate a defense.
“How do you get after, you know, the capabilities that they’re producing?” he asked. “How do you get after the flow of money? Those are all things that we have done over the past, really, three months.”
While Milley is publicly adopting a tough tone in response to China, it appears to stand in contrast to reports that he contacted his counterpart in the Chinese military during the final days of the Trump administration to assure Gen. Li Zuocheng that he would provide advanced warning if the U.S. were to plan an attack.