October 12, 2021

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Getting Force Design Right in the Next National Defense Strategy

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks.

The narrow window to keep pace with China is closing, and there are signs that the Defense Department is in danger of making a strategic misstep as it develops the next National Defense Strategy. The cornerstone of the forthcoming 2022 strategy is the all-encompassing idea of integrated deterrence. This expansive and ill-defined concept does not promote confidence that the Department of Defense is likely to set clear priorities in its strategy that would enable the force redesign needed to deter and, if necessary, fight and win a war with China or Russia.

The Biden administration should narrowly focus the Defense Department on high-end deterrence against China and Russia instead of strategic competition or managing an expanded array of lesser threats.

The Biden administration should narrowly focus the Defense Department on high-end deterrence against China and Russia instead of strategic competition or managing an expanded array of lesser threats. This strategy would enable the dual nuclear and conventional modernization that is desperately needed to strengthen deterrence, both now and in the future, at current levels of defense spending. Additional resources would not translate to doing more, particularly not when more takes the department’s eye off the ball and encourages a lack of strategic discipline. Rather, any additional resources should translate to doing a narrower range of critical high-end missions more effectively. Urgent change at a significant scale is required to secure the nation today and tomorrow, but this will not occur if the next National Defense Strategy promotes too much of the same.

Read the full article from War on the Rocks.

  • Video
    • February 27, 2024
    How the US military is applying lessons learned from the war in Ukraine

    Fox News chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports on how autonomous weapons used in Ukraine have transformed the battlefield on 'Special Report.' Stacie ...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • February 27, 2024
    NATO’s Confusion Over the Russia Threat

    NATO should not take the Russian military’s poor performance in Ukraine as a reason to be complacent....

    By Franz-Stefan Gady

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • February 19, 2024
    How Ukraine Can Help Itself

    The challenge is not how to innovate but how to scale up production, given skilled labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, corruption, and Russian attacks....

    By Franz-Stefan Gady

  • Reports
    • February 8, 2024
    Evolution Not Revolution

    This report concludes that drones have transformed the battlefield in the war in Ukraine, but in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary fashion. While tactical innovation a...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia