Ukraine Crisis: U.S. Delays Release of National Defense Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia and Ukraine in the East Room of the White House on February 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. President Biden said the United States remains open to high-level diplomacy in close coordination with allies, building on the multiple diplomatic off-ramps the U.S., its allies and partners have offered Russia in recent months. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has forced the Pentagon to revisit the new National Defense Strategy just before it was to be released and put the publication on hold, Politico reports.

The Joe Biden administration was to unveil the document in February, but had delayed it indefinitely, a Pentagon official told the news outlet on Thursday.

The strategic planning document was still expected to be released ahead of Secretary Lloyd Austin’s posture hearings in Congress “sometime this spring,” according to report.

Though China would still be viewed as the number one threat to the United States, the revised strategy would make a larger focus on Russia, the report said.

Russia launched an operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24, after the breakaway Donbas republics appealed for help in defending themselves against the Ukrainian military.

The Russian defense ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

In response, the West had rolled out still more sanctions against Moscow and moved to boost military assistance to Ukraine, with the U.S. sending additional troops to NATO members on the eastern flank.

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