Monday, July 13, 2015

Mixed Reaction to US National Military Strategy

Mixed Reaction to US National Military Strategy: Released with little fanfare July 2, when most of the national security world was focused on the upcoming holiday, the Pentagon's 2015 National Military Strategy serves as a window into a unique time for US security, as the Pentagon grapples with threats from state and non-state actors alike.

However, analysts warn that the document talks too much in generalities while failing to provide much in the way of hard guidance for how the Pentagon should move forward on the major issues of the day.

The strategy document, the first update since 2011, was penned by the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey.

"Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode," Dempsey wrote in his introduction to the strategy document.

"We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors and transregional networks of sub-state groups — all taking advantage of rapid technological change," Dempsey continued.

That is a major shift from where the Pentagon was in 2011 under then-Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, said Katherine Kidder, Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

The 2011 strategy, she said, was largely focused on non-state actors. While the fact China could grow into a regional superpower was apparent, its aggressiveness in the region was not expected — and the idea that Russia would invade one of its neighbors and set off a European-wide security panic was certainly not on the table.