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Quadrennial Defense Review Charts Strategy Evolution

Quadrennial Defense Review Charts Strategy Evolution Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The 2014 version of the Quadrennial Defense Review takes the defense strategic guidance formulated in 2012 and evolves it through the future, a senior Pentagon official said. … The review lays out a complex and rapidly evolving security environment that includes changes in technology, demographic trends and other factors. The review stresses the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the United States while acknowledging there are still many “friction points” in the Middle East, Wormuth said. “Terrorism remains a continuing, evolving, metastasizing threat,” she added.

The three “three muscle movements” for the department are protecting the homeland, building security globally, and projecting power and winning decisively, Wormuth noted, and another piece of the strategy is an increased emphasis on innovation and adaptability, particularly in a fiscally constrained environment.

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2014 Military and Security Development Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

2014 Military and Security Development Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PDF) Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Under Kim Jong Il, DPRK strategy focused on internal security; coercive diplomacy to compel acceptance of its diplomatic, economic, and security interests; development of strategic military capabilities to deter external attack; and challenging the ROK and the U.S.-ROK Alliance. We anticipate these strategic goals will be consistent under North Korea’s current leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea fields a large, forward-deployed military that retains the capability to inflict serious damage on the ROK, despite significant resource shortfalls and aging hardware. The DPRK continues to be deterred from conducting large-scale attacks on the ROK primarily due to the strength of the U.S.-ROK Alliance. On a smaller scale, however, the DPRK has demonstrated its willingness to use military provocation to achieve national goals. In 2010, it sank the ROK naval vessel CHEONAN, killing 46 ROK Navy sailors, and shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing two ROK Marines and two civilians.

North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear technology and capabilities and development of intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile programs, as reflected in the December 2012 Taepo Dong-2 missile launch and February 2013 nuclear test, underscore the threat to regional stability and U.S. national security posed by North Korea. These programs, and North Korea’s expressed hostility toward the ROK and proliferation of items prohibited under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087,and 2094, make the DPRK a continued security challenge for the United States and its Allies and partners.

North Korea’s third nuclear test in February 2013 and subsequent announcement of plans to restart and refurbish nuclear facilities at Yongbyon highlight the continued challenge posed by its nuclear programs. The September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094 call for the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea. Given North Korea’s unwillingness to abide by these commitments, the U.S. Department of Defense will continue to manage the North Korean security challenge through close coordination and consultation with the international community, particularly with our ROK and Japanese Allies.

The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korea’s continued provocations and steadfast in its commitments to Allies in the region, including the security provided by extended deterrence commitments through the nuclear umbrella and conventional forces.

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Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies

Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Reports of sexual assault decreased in two of the three military academies in academic year 2012-13, officials of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said today.

The statistics came from DOD’s Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies, which is being delivered to Congress today.

During the academic year, a total of 70 reports were made at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy or the U.S. Air Force Academy, officials said. The number of sexual assaults reported declined at West Point and Colorado Springs, but rose at Annapolis.

A report of sexual assault means at least one military victim or subject, said Air Force Col. Alan Metzler, an official with the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office.

Of the 70 reports, 53 came from cadets and midshipmen for events they experienced in military service. “We are getting reports from victims for events prior to their military service or prior to entering the service academies,” Metzler said.

The report provides an assessment of the effectiveness of the service academies’ policies and training to prevent sexual violence. The assessment found the academies were compliant with their policies regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault during the academic year, which ran from June 2012 to May 2013.

“What we found was the academies instituted a lot of new initiatives to enhance training, improve awareness of sexual harassment and assault and to promote a safe environment for all cadets and midshipmen,” Metzler said.

The report includes information from focus groups of midshipmen and cadets. “They told us – and we’re pleased by this – that reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment would be taken seriously by academy leaders, and they would be dealt with appropriately,” the colonel said. “That’s the good news.”

Still, cadets and midshipmen also identified some peer pressure barriers to reporting these crimes, he said.

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