The United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter named Russia as one of the biggest challenges to U.S. security, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.
Carter identified five major challenges facing the U.S. military – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism – at the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services' hearing of the 2017 defense budget on Thursday. This reiterated his earlier address to the Economic Club of Washington in February.
Carter put Russia at the top of this list.
“Today's security environment is very different from what it was 25 years ago. It requires new actions and new investments,” Carter was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Carter referred to Russia and China as “rivals, who have developed and continue to develop military systems that threaten the United States' position in some areas,” RIA Novosti reported.
The Pentagon has requested a military budget of $582.7 billion, of which $58.8 billion would be used to finance military operations abroad.
Last month, Carter addressed the Economic Club of Washington on the necessity to reshape spending priorities to reflect a new strategic environment marked by Russian assertiveness and the rise of the Islamic State, Reuters reported.