"The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by
what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China
and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority
over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.
Concurrently, Russia seeks veto authority over nations on its periphery in terms of their governmental,
economic, and diplomatic decisions, to shatter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and change
European and Middle East security and economic structures to its favor. The use of emerging
technologies to discredit and subvert democratic processes in Georgia, Crimea, and eastern Ukraine
is concern enough, but when coupled with its expanding and modernizing nuclear arsenal the
challenge is clear.
Another change to the strategic environment is a resilient, but weakening, post-WWII international order. In
the decades after fascism’s defeat in World War II, the United States and its allies and partners
constructed a free and open international order to better safeguard their liberty and people from
aggression and coercion. Although this system has evolved since the end of the Cold War, our network
of alliances and partnerships remain the backbone of global security. China and Russia are now
undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while
simultaneously undercutting its principles and “rules of the road.”
The security environment is also affected by rapid technological advancements and the changing character of war.
The drive to develop new technologies is relentless, expanding to more actors with lower barriers of
entry, and moving at accelerating speed. New technologies include advanced computing, “big data”
analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology—
the very technologies that ensure we will be able to fight and win the wars of the future.
New commercial technology will change society and, ultimately, the character of war. The fact that
many technological developments will come from the commercial sector means that state
competitors and non-state actors will also have access to them, a fact that risks eroding the
conventional overmatch to which our Nation has grown accustomed. Maintaining the Department’s
technological advantage will require changes to industry culture, investment sources, and protection
across the National Security Innovation Base.
States are the principal actors on the global stage, but non-state actors also threaten the security
environment with increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Terrorists, trans-national criminal
organizations, cyber hackers and other malicious non-state actors have transformed global affairs with
increased capabilities of mass disruption. There is a positive side to this as well, as our partners in
sustaining security are also more than just nation-states: multilateral organizations, non-governmental
organizations, corporations, and strategic influencers provide opportunities for collaboration and
partnership. Terrorism remains a persistent condition driven by ideology and unstable political and
economic structures, despite the defeat of ISIS’s physical caliphate.
It is now undeniable that the homeland is no longer a sanctuary. America is a target, whether from
terrorists seeking to attack our citizens; malicious cyber activity against personal, commercial, or
government infrastructure; or political and information subversion. New threats to commercial and
military uses of space are emerging, while increasing digital connectivity of all aspects of life,
business, government, and military creates significant vulnerabilities. During conflict, attacks against
our critical defense, government, and economic infrastructure must be anticipated.
Counter coercion and subversion. In competition short of armed conflict, revisionist powers and rogue
regimes are using corruption, predatory economic practices, propaganda, political subversion, proxies,
and the threat or use of military force to change facts on the ground. Some are particularly adept at
exploiting their economic relationships with many of our security partners. We will support U.S.
interagency approaches and work by, with, and through our allies and partners to secure our interests
and counteract this coercion.
"- First, rebuilding military readiness as we build a more lethal Joint Force;
-Second, strengthening alliances as we attract new partners; and
- Third, reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance
Lethality is already established and neither Russia nor China are anywhere close to compete on that front.
"Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Investments will prioritize developing resilient, survivable, federated networks and
information ecosystems from the tactical level up to strategic planning. Investments will also
prioritize capabilities to gain and exploit information, deny competitors those same
advantages, and enable us to provide attribution while defending against and holding
accountable state or non-state actors during cyberattacks."
That is closer to the mark. It might be that the various U.S. department are too segregated. I.e. U.S. needs to win the future wars the same way it won the Cold War; without a direct intervention.
"Uphold a foundation of mutual respect, responsibility, priorities, and accountability. Our alliances and
coalitions are built on free will and shared responsibilities. While we will unapologetically represent
America’s values and belief in democracy, we will not seek to impose our way of life by force. We
will uphold our commitments and we expect allies and partners to contribute an equitable share
to our mutually beneficial collective security, including effective investment in modernizing their
defense capabilities. We have shared responsibilities for resisting authoritarian trends, contesting
radical ideologies, and serving as bulwarks against instability."