Small Wars Journal

While U.S. Worries About China, Europe Stays Focused on Russia

While U.S. Worries About China, Europe Stays Focused on Russia by Robert Burns – Associated Press

China and its increasingly sophisticated and far-flung military sit atop U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s list of international security worries, but in Europe a bigger concern is closer to home: Russia.

The Trump administration has been trying since 2018 to reorient its defense strategy toward China, with reduced focus, when possible, on Russia and the years-long insurgency wars in the greater Middle East. Russia remains a U.S. worry, but Esper and other administration officials want the allies to see China as Washington does – as a far more capable adversary.

China was not on the formal agenda when Esper met with allies at NATO headquarters Wednesday and Thursday, but he made a point of publicly expressing American concerns.

“I’ve raised it every time I’ve been here, about the ‘great power’ competition with China and Russia — but China in particular,” he told reporters…

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