The first new National Defense Strategy in a decade was announced in January. The 2018 National Defense Strategy is described by Elbridge A. Colby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, as “not a strategy of confrontation, but it is strategy that recognizes the reality of competition.”
The new National Defense Strategy focuses on deterring Russia and China from challenging the U.S. and its allies, and builds on the National Security Strategy announced in December 2017. In his remarks at the announcement of the strategy, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis stated that “Today, America’s military reclaims an era of strategic purpose and we’re alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us.”
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) objectives as outlined in the strategy include:
- defending the homeland from attack;
- deterring adversaries from aggression against vital U.S. interests;
- defending allies from military aggression and bolstering partners against coercion, and fairly sharing responsibilities for common defense;
- dissuading, preventing, or deterring state adversaries and non-state actors from acquiring, proliferating, or using weapons of mass destruction; and
- enabling U.S. interagency counterparts to advance U.S. influence and interests.
Interagency cooperation is a key part of the new National Defense Strategy, which calls for the Department of Defense (DoD) to work with other U.S. government entities to “employ all dimensions of national power.” These agencies include but are not limited to the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Energy, Homeland Security, Commerce, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development, intelligence community, and law enforcement. The ability to understand interagency decision-making is also recognized as a vital part of leader development.
For more information about the National Defense Strategy, please follow the links below.
Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of The United States of America, Department of Defense
DoD Official: National Defense Strategy Will Enhance Deterrence, Department of Defense
National Defense Strategy a ‘Good Fit for Our Times,’ Mattis Says, Department of Defense