By Mackenzie Eaglen, AEI: “It’s long past time for a new National Defense Strategy that seeks to break the mold in honesty, clarity, conciseness, and fresh thinking. Since the end of the Cold War, these documents have repeatedly served as opportunities to redefine American force structure and interests globally. Unfortunately, the most recent generation of strategies has become increasingly unmoored from the strategic reality the country faces.”
The White House is expected to release a new national security strategy in the next few weeks. White House national security adviser H. R. McMaster said the strategy will be based on “principled realism.”
Since the end of the Cold War, National Defense Strategies (NDS) have repeatedly served as opportunities to redefine American force structure and interests globally. Unfortunately, the most recent generation of strategies has become increasingly unmoored from the strategic reality the country faces. In testimony last Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mackenzie Eaglen argued that the NDS must answer what missions the military should prioritize, and, by extension, it must clearly delineate what it can stop doing. Claiming the “five challenges” of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and persistent counterterrorism operations are all equally important is not strategy — it is the absence of one. Read her prepared remarks.
For an in-depth look at where and how the US military should be using its resources for the next five years, read Eaglen’s major report, “Repair and Rebuild: Balancing New Military Spending for a Three-Theater Strategy,” from this past October. Access it here.
To execute its new national security strategy, the US will need to grow and modernize its military. Candidate Trump promised to rebuild the American military to such a size and extent that the country’s “military dominance” would “be unquestioned.” In a Weekly Standard op-ed, Gary J. Schmitt details how President Trump is failing to live up to this promise of a massive military buildup. Read it here.
By Ryan Peeks & Frank Blazich, War on the Rocks: “Dec. 1 marks a lesser-known World War I anniversary: the centenary of the publication of the U.S. Navy’s first official service doctrine. This seven-page document, written by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William S. Benson, is the direct ancestor of Admiral John Richardson’s 2016 “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” another short document conveying another CNO’s thoughts.”