Since the release of the National Defense Strategy in early 2018, top Pentagon officials have stressed that the department needs to keep its focus on the long-term challenge from China. Now, with the creation of a new office focused solely on China, officials in the department hope to take a major step forward in that effort.
In June, the Department of Defense discreetly created a new job: the deputy assistant secretary of defense for China. Deputy assistant secretaries of defense, or DASD, serve as civilian subject matter experts, three levels down from the undersecretary of defense for policy, traditionally one of the most powerful positions in the Pentagon. The new job, according to a department statement, will serve as “principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all things China and will be the single hub for policy and strategy development, oversight, authorities review, and national-level interagency integration to align the Department’s efforts on China.”
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