01:31 GMT09 May 2021
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    Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Clarke Cooper suggested on Thursday that Russia and China exploit other countries’ security requirements, calling the US the defence partner of choice.

    Cooper spoke at the Meridian International Center, a Washington-based think-tank.

    “Through the targeted marketing of systems like the S-400, Russia seeks to exploit the genuine security requirements of partners to create challenges in our ability — legal and technological — to provide them with the most advanced defensive capabilities,” he said.

    Cooper identified China and Russia as strategic competitors whose efforts have led to the proliferation of arms around the world.

    "We have come a long way since the AK-47 became the ubiquitous symbol of Soviet-backed insurgencies from Southeast Asia to Africa. Today, Russia is working hard to foist variants of its S-400 air defence system around the world, while China is supplying everything from armoured personnel carriers to armed drones.”

    Cooper noted that it is the first time since the Cold War that the US started to lose global dominance in weapon sales, as many nations “look at partnering with America on matters of defence and security not as an imperative, but as one of several options.” The Bureau of Political Military Affairs, which Cooper heads as Assistant Secretary, is the State Department’s interface with the Defense Department, and oversees security assistance and Foreign Military Sales.


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