President-elect Donald Trump’s top “defense priorities” do not include Russia, according to a Pentagon memo obtained by Foreign Policy. The document identifies that Trump’s administration wants to focus on defeating the Islamic State militants, eliminating defense budget caps, developing cyber strategy, and encouraging efficiency. Despite how, as Foreign Policy described, “top cabinet officials at the Defense Department and the intelligence community cited Russia as the foremost threat because of its vast nuclear arsenal, sophisticated cyber capabilities, recently modernized military, and willingness to challenge the United States and its allies in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and other regions,” the Trump priorities make no mention of Russia. The memo was dated December 1 and was written by Brian McKeon, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, relaying to his employees the priorities reportedly conveyed to him by Mira Ricardel, a co-leader of Trump’s Pentagon transition team.
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