11:11 GMT +325 February 2018
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    Washington and NATO are not seeking confrontation with Russia, but will not compromise on international principles vital for European and US security, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman said

    Great Power Competition Returns, but ‘US Strategic Muscles Atrophied’

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    The breakdown of social order in the Middle East signifies the return of a competition between the world's great powers, including the US, Russia and China; however the “preponderance of power” and “enormous freedom of action” the US has enjoyed in the last decade has seen “its strategic muscles” atrophy, according to a top Pentagon official.

    “The next 25 years will require the US to cooperate and compete with rising great powers Russia and China, and deal with the consequences of the breakdown of social order in the Middle East,” US Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said at a panel discussion at the Halifax International Security Forum, an annual event held in the Canadian city.

    “That requires us to think more globally and more in terms of competition than we have in the last 25 years,” Defense News quotes him as saying.

    The top Pentagon official also noted that during the 1990s and 2000s, the US “enjoyed such a preponderance of power,” and, as a result, “had enormous freedom of action”. He believes that this, in turn, left its “strategic muscles atrophied.”

    Work also warned against possible "foreclose" of Russia and China from “becoming good actors in the global order”, acknowledging that “there is room for cooperation between all great powers”.

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