Michele Flournoy announced the Pentagon's new ballistic missile defense posture, stressing it was not intended to alter the strategic balance with Russia or China, the U.S. Defense Department said.
Washington is revamping its defensive stance in the Middle East by deploying anti-missile shields to the Persian Gulf in an effort to deter a looming threat from Iran. Additional focus would be on the looming nuclear threat from North Korea.
"It's important to note that U.S. homeland missile defense efforts are focused on regional actors such as North Korea and Iran, and are not intended to affect the strategic balance with Russia or China," she said.
Flournoy said the new defense review focused on defending the U.S. homeland from a limited missile attack and emerging threats.
Further priorities, she said, were to "test new systems under realistic conditions" before deployment and to develop flexible defense capabilities.
"We believe this approach will provide reassurance to our allies that the United States will stand by our security commitments to them," she said.