WASHINGTON -- Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks spoke at the 2022 Aspen Security Forum yesterday about the DOD's pacing challenge.
The 2022 National Defense Strategy names the People's Republic of China as the most comprehensive and serious challenge to U.S. national security.
Spotlight: National Defense Strategy
This, Hicks said, "is the centerpiece of what I work on every day."
That work involves getting forward, combat-credible capabilities to the warfighter as fast as possible despite the bureaucracy, in order to deter PRC aggression, she said.
The Defense Department is also investing in military-to-military activities with allies and partners in that region.
For example, in the past year, the department landed F-35 aircraft on a Japanese helicopter carrier and on a United Kingdom aircraft carrier, she said.
Another example, is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue among Australia, India, Japan and the United States, along with bilateral activities with a number of other nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Spotlight: Focus on Indo-Pacific
Hicks said the United States is beefing up its defense industrial base, which will be critical for support to Taiwan, and U.S. allies and partners in the region.
U.S. military "support for Ukraine is in no way negatively affecting our ability to conduct foreign military sales or otherwise support Taiwan," Hicks said, mentioning Javelin and Stinger missiles being shipped to both countries.
Spotlight: Support for Ukraine
Beijing sees the will of Ukrainians, combined with their capability and training to stall Russia's campaign of aggression, she said, noting that she hopes this will help dissuade the PRC from invading Taiwan.
Hicks also noted strong U.S. bipartisan support for both Ukraine and Taiwan.