An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 3, 2021

Defense Secretary Says 'Integrated Deterrence' Is Cornerstone of U.S. Defense

By C. TODD LOPEZ DOD NEWS

WASHINGTON -- Deterrence has always been the first line of defense. Preventing conflict, when possible, is greater than engaging, said the secretary of defense.

"The cornerstone of America's defense is still deterrence, ensuring that our adversaries understand the folly of outright conflict," Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in Hawaii Friday during a change of command ceremony for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

"Throughout American history, deterrence has meant fixing a basic truth within the minds of our potential foes: And that truth is that the costs and risks of aggression are out of line with any conceivable benefit," Austin said.

But Austin said that, going forward, deterrence must be different from what it has been in the past, characterizing a new approach as "integrated deterrence."

"To make that clear today, we'll use existing capabilities, and build new ones, and use all of them in networked ways — hand in hand with our allies and partners," he said. "Deterrence still rests on the same logic — but it now spans multiple realms, all of which must be mastered to ensure our security in the 21st century."

Integrated deterrence, Austin said, includes having the best weapons systems and the latest technologies that make adversaries think twice. This includes development of tools that make use of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, for example.

Integrated deterrence also includes new concepts of operation, the elimination of stovepipes between services and their capabilities, and coordinated operations on land, in the air, on the sea, in space and in cyberspace.

"We can't predict the future," Austin said. "What we need is the right mix of technology, operational concepts and capabilities — all woven together and networked in a way that is so credible, flexible and so formidable that it will give any adversary pause. We need to create advantages for us and dilemmas for them."

Most significantly, Austin said, integrated deterrence means working together in ways that were not done before.

"Integrated deterrence means all of us giving our all," he said. "It means that working together is an imperative, and not an option. It means that capabilities must be shared across lines as a matter of course, and not as an exception to the rule. And it means that coordination across commands and services needs to be a reflex and not an afterthought."

As a former soldier and one-time commander of operations in Iraq and U.S. Central Command, Austin said he understands the instinctive impulse to trust first those who wear the same uniform.

"I've been there," he said. "I'm a former combatant commander and senior service leader. I get it. I know the temptations and the impulses, the desire to preserve what you believe is your equity. I indulged in that kind of thinking myself back in the day. But I also see what’s coming. And there’s some old habits that just don’t serve our core mission anymore."

Now, he said, every service and agency — each of which brings its own unique capability for deterrence, first, and conflict, when needed — must be willing to draw

on the capabilities of partners. Those partners include not just the U.S. military services, but federal agencies, partner nations and allies, as well.

We have to redouble our efforts to work together — across commands, across services, and across stovepipes," he said.

During Friday's ceremony, Navy Adm. John Aquilino took the helm of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command from outgoing commander Navy Adm. Philip Davidson.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
337,210
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S., South Korea Want Peace in Indo-Pacific
Jan. 31, 2023 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stressed that the goal of the U.S.-South Korean alliance is peace — not conflict — following meetings in Seoul, South Korea, today.The secretary made the remarks at a news conference...

U.S. Army Advisors Strengthen Partnership in Thailand
Sgt. 1st Class Justin Babb takes part in close quarters battle rehearsals with members of the Royal Thai Army. Babb is part of an SFAB Team assigned to Force Package 23-1, the 5th SFAB's forward-deployed element.
Jan. 31, 2023 - NAKHON NAYOK, Thailand – Three Advisor Teams from 2nd Battalion, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade partnered with the Royal Thai Army across Thailand during a multi-month rotation into theater beginning in October 2022...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Papua New Guinea
Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Papua New Guinea
Jan. 30, 2023 - PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea -- Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Papua New Guinea January 29-30 to underscore the U.S. commitment to advance shared interests toward building a...

Austin Looks to Build on Strengths of Alliances With South Korea, the Philippines
In this file photo, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 approaches for an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is in 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Jan. 30, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- The security environment in the Indo-Pacific is growing more complex and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will meet with allies in the Republic of Korea and the Philippines to continue efforts to...

Australia, Japan, U.S. Stand Up Multinational Task Force for Cope North
Jan. 30, 2023 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Air forces from Australia, Japan, and the United States have begun arriving in Guam to establish the command and control multinational task force for Cope North (CN) 2023, which runs...