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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calls for military 'integrated deterrence'

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, C, arrives for an address at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on Friday in which he stressed the concept of "integrated deterrence." Photo courtesy of U.S. Defense Department
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, C, arrives for an address at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on Friday in which he stressed the concept of "integrated deterrence." Photo courtesy of U.S. Defense Department

May 3 (UPI) -- Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin stressed 'integrated deterrence' as a U.S. strategy to prevent military conflict, in an address in Hawaii.

"The cornerstone of America's defense is still deterrence, ensuring that our adversaries understand the folly of outright conflict," Austin said at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Friday.

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"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.

Austin used the term "integrated deterrence" to define the Pentagon's modern approach to defense.

"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."

Land, sea and air capabilities have long been military domains, but space and cybersecurity have been added to all nations' defense missions.

"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."

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"Integrated deterrence means all of us giving our all," he added. "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."

Austin mentioned quantum computing and artificial intelligence as elements of his concept. Working across domains and partnerships has been a priority with defense contractors as well.

A Lockheed Martin statement on Monday highlighted the successful link of one U-2, five F-35s and an F-22 aircraft in providing real-time 5th Generation data to operators on the ground.

The test, named Operation Hydra, introduced greater mission flexibility across domains and an enhanced total operational picture for joint warfighting, the Lockheed statement said.

The test leveraged an Open Systems Gateway payload aboard the U-2 to connect the F-22 to five F-35s. Data between planes, and the ground, was successfully shared.

Similarly, civilian cybersecurity is receiving government scrutiny, officials have said.

The White House announced a 100-day plan on April 20 to guard critical U.S. electric infrastructure against sophisticated cyber threats.

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The plan aims to upgrade and improve defenses for electrical infrastructure and increase the government's ability to detect and analyze cyber threats.

Austin was in Hawaii for a change of command ceremony in which Adm. Phillip Davidson relinquished leadership of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to Adm. John Acquilino.

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