From ML Cavanaugh, : “We’re past idea, beyond buzzword, and have shot right past cliché—overuse and overapplication has rendered the phrase “Third Offset” effectively meaningless. When I hear the term used, it’s akin to the dashboard warning light in my aging car, letting me know I’m approaching a serious deficiency. The fault is geographically diverse; in recent assignments from West Point to Korea to Space and Missile Defense, I’ve heard well-meaning military professionals automatically apply “Third Offset Strategy” as a solution for just about everything, from military education to Kim Jong Un to the Russians and Chinese. But a solution everywhere is a solution nowhere—the Third Offset faithful routinely misunderstand and misrepresent this otherwise valuable weapons and concept development program as a true strategy that will win the next war. That mistake is as dangerous as it is wrong.”
By @elbridgecolby @cnasdc
"The Pentagon is launching a new, third “offset set strategy, an effort designed to extend U.S. power projection advantages in the face of challenges to U.S. military superiority around the world. This initiative, which will cover strategy, procurement, doctrine and a wide gamut of other Department of Defense (DOD) activities, makes a great deal of sense and should be resolutely pursued and supported. The problem, however, is that it is not clear whether Pentagon leaders responsible for the initiative – and DOD more broadly – are adequately conscious of the essential importance of considering how nuclear weapons will factor into the kind of war fighting “regime” envisioned in this new offset endeavor. This is a serious problem because it is increasingly clear that potential U.S. adversaries – and particularly the potential adversaries on which the offset set strategy appears to focus most – are preparing to use their own nuclear arsenals to negate U.S. conventional advantages.
To deny adversaries this leverage, or at least reduce it, the Pentagon must studiously think through how the offset set strategy can be shaped and implemented to deter, discourage and, if need be, control for and respond to adversary nuclear employment. The offset strategy, in simpler terms, must show U.S. adversaries that using nuclear weapons against the United States or its allies would be distinctly unwise and that the United States has ways and means to defeat (at least in limited terms) and deny the objectives of these opponents even if nuclear weapons have been used...."