Austin’s task force is toughest move yet on China as Biden Pentagon mulls options

One hundred days have passed, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s toughest moves on China so far have been two visits to the Indo-Pacific region and a task force working to deliver findings on possible policy changes sometime this summer.

Austin returned to the Pentagon in a suit after four decades of service in the Army that peaked with his leadership of U.S. Central Command, managing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He got ahead of criticisms that he would be weak on China early by calling the great power competitor the department’s “pacing challenge” and surrounding himself with China experts. Some of those civilian experts are now working on an assessment to give Austin next steps for containing the
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