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Stu Cvrk @STUinSD
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Thread: Key Elements of the US National Defense Strategy

1. The Trump Administration published its US National Defense Strategy in 2018. It represents a real shift from the Obama years.
2. Most who follow national security issues are probably familiar with it, but a lot of folks are likely not even aware that this document exists. The below are selected highlights to convey the gist of the strategy. As citizens, we should all be as informed & aware as possible.
3. <quote>

The Department of Defense’s enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation.
4. Should deterrence fail, the Joint Force is prepared to win. Reinforcing America’s traditional tools of diplomacy, the Department provides military options to ensure the President and our diplomats negotiate from a position of strength.
5. Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding.
6. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory.
7. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security. China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea.
8. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors.
9. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability.
10. Despite the defeat of ISIS’s physical caliphate, threats to stability remain as terrorist groups with long reach continue to murder the innocent and threaten peace more broadly.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. China is leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce neighboring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific region to their advantage. As China continues its economic and military ascendance, asserting power ….
13A. …through an all-of-nation long-term strategy, it will continue to pursue a military modernization program that seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States to achieve global preeminence in the future.
14. The most far-reaching objective of this defense strategy is to set the military relationship between our two countries on a path of transparency and non-aggression.
15. Concurrently, Russia seeks veto authority over nations on its periphery in terms of their governmental, economic, and diplomatic decisions, to shatter NATO and change European and Middle East security and economic structures to its favor.
16. 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.
17. Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to US security and prosperity today, ….
17A. …and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.
18. Concurrently, the Department will sustain its efforts to deter and counter rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran, defeat terrorist threats to the US, and consolidate our gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach.
19. Defense objectives include:
a. Defending the homeland from attack;
b. Sustaining Joint Force military advantages, both globally and in key regions;
c. Deterring adversaries from aggression against our vital interests;
19d. Enabling U.S. interagency counterparts to advance U.S. influence and interests;
e. Maintaining favorable regional balances of power in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere;
19f. Defending allies from military aggression and bolstering partners against coercion, and fairly sharing responsibilities for common defense;
19g. Dissuading, preventing, or deterring state adversaries and non-state actors from acquiring, proliferating, or using weapons of mass destruction;
19h. Preventing terrorists from directing or supporting external operations against the United States homeland and our citizens, allies, and partners overseas;
i. Ensuring common domains remain open and free;
19j. Continuously delivering performance with affordability and speed as we change Departmental mindset, culture, and management systems; and
19k. Establishing an unmatched twenty-first century National Security Innovation Base that effectively supports Department operations and sustains security and solvency.
20. [The key strategic concepts associated with US defense strategy include the following:]
a. Be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable
20b. Integrate with U.S. interagency (Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Energy, Homeland Security, Commerce, USAID, as well as the Intelligence Community, law enforcement)
20c. Counter coercion and subversion (corruption, predatory economic practices, propaganda, political subversion, proxies, and the threat or use of military force)
20d. Foster a competitive mindset (rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances as we attract new partners, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance and affordability)
21. [DoD will} Modernize key capabilities:
a. Nuclear forces
b. Space and cyberspace as warfighting domains
c. Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR)
d. Missile defense
21e. Joint lethality in contested environments
f. Forward force maneuver and posture resilience.
g. Advanced autonomous systems
h. Resilient and agile logistics
22. Enduring coalitions and long-term security partnerships, underpinned by our bedrock alliances and reinforced by our allies’ own webs of security relationships, remain a priority:
a. Expand Indo-Pacific alliances and partnerships
b. Fortify the Trans-Atlantic NATO Alliance
22c. Form enduring coalitions in the Middle East
d. Sustain advantages in the Western Hemisphere
e. Support relationships to address significant terrorist threats in Africa

<unquote>
23. The aforementioned are merely the highlights; there is much more that can be read in the document here:
dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Docu…
24. This strategy is a departure from the Obama yrs. It refocuses attention on China and emphasizes strategic alliances especially in the Middle East. The latter is one reason why the moribund US foreign policy establishment is going after @POTUS’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
25. After 8 years of chaos and blind support for Iran, @POTUS is evolving a new alliance with Saudi Arabia, the other GCC states, Egypt, and Israel (!) whose main purpose is to counter-balance and defeat Iranian military and terror actions in the region.
26. And this the Uniparty-dominated US foreign policy establishment cannot abide. Hence, their ridiculous championing of the dead Muslim Brotherhood member and terror-supporting “journalist” Jamal Khashoggi.
27. Fortunately, @POTUS isn’t paying attention to their crocodile tears despite recent congressional actions to penalize Saudi Arabia (while they completely forget about accountability for the four dead Americans during the Benghazi debacle!).
28. Finishing this up, the DoD National Defense Strategy is a breath of fresh air. It focuses on restoring military readiness which Obama allowed to languish and emphasizes modernization to maintain US warfighting edge versus potential adversaries. I like it! ///The end.
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