Spotlight

National Defense Strategy

The National Defense Strategy (NDS) provides a clear road map for the Department of Defense to meet the challenges posed by a re-emergence of long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. The National Defense Strategy acknowledges an increasingly complex global security environment, characterized by overt challenges to the free and open international order.

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National Defense Strategy Lines of Effort

Increase Lethality

  • Nuclear Recapitalization: Prioritized modernization of all three legs of the nuclear triad and nuclear command, control, and communications to ensure flexible and resilient capabilities that are safe, secure, and effective.
  • Space: Published the Defense Space Strategy. Established the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. Space Command as the eleventh combatant command to bolster our ability to fight and win future conflicts.
  • Cyber: Created the Cyber Mission Force under U.S. Cyber Command. This strengthens the Joint Force by conducting cyberspace operations that enhance U.S. military advantages, expand military partnerships, and use innovative thinking to reform business practices.
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Increase
Lethality

Strengthen Alliances & Partnerships

  • Women, Peace, and Security: Released DOD's WPS Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan, which will strengthen alliances and attract new partners by demonstrating our commitment to human rights and gender equality.
  • Indo-Pacific: Strengthened alliances and partnerships by deepening interoperability, expanding deterrent networks, and executing maritime security and awareness operations that reinforce a rules-based international order.
  • Europe/NATO: Maintained our ironclad commitment to NATO by bolstering the alliance's ability to deter aggression and resist coercion while securing increased contributions from other NATO members totaling $130 billion cumulatively since 2016.
  • Middle East: Led coalition of 80+ partners to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS' physical caliphate. Addressed navigation threats with the International Maritime Security Construct.
  • Afghanistan: The U.S. military, alongside NATO allies and partners, set the conditions for a negotiated political settlement among Afghans to succeed.
  • Korea: Supported diplomatic efforts to negotiate a denuclearized Korean Peninsula while maintaining a high state of readiness with our Republic of Korea allies.
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Strengthen Alliances & Partnerships

Reform the Department

  • Defensewide Review: Identified $5.7 billion savings across roughly 30 defensewide organizations. These savings will be reinvested into higher priorities for readiness and lethality.
  • Audit: Initiated new annual process to complete a consolidated financial statement audit covering roughly $2.9 trillion in resources.
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Reform the Department

Take Care of Our People

  • Pay : Secured robust pay and benefits packages essential to attracting and retaining the best personnel and warfighters.
  • Housing: Worked with privatized housing partners to implement a Tenant Bill of Rights for military families living in privatized, on-base housing.
  • Family : Improved child care and spousal employment support; established 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers.
More Info

Take Care of Our People

  • Nuclear Recapitalization: Prioritized modernization of all three legs of the nuclear triad and nuclear command, control, and communications to ensure flexible and resilient capabilities that are safe, secure, and effective.
  • Space: Published the Defense Space Strategy. Established the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. Space Command as the eleventh combatant command to bolster our ability to fight and win future conflicts.
  • Cyber: Created the Cyber Mission Force under U.S. Cyber Command. This strengthens the Joint Force by conducting cyberspace operations that enhance U.S. military advantages, expand military partnerships, and use innovative thinking to reform business practices.
More Info
  • Women, Peace, and Security: Released DOD's WPS Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan, which will strengthen alliances and attract new partners by demonstrating our commitment to human rights and gender equality.
  • Indo-Pacific: Strengthened alliances and partnerships by deepening interoperability, expanding deterrent networks, and executing maritime security and awareness operations that reinforce a rules-based international order.
  • Europe/NATO: Maintained our ironclad commitment to NATO by bolstering the alliance's ability to deter aggression and resist coercion while securing increased contributions from other NATO members totaling $130 billion cumulatively since 2016.
  • Middle East: Led coalition of 80+ partners to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS' physical caliphate. Addressed navigation threats with the International Maritime Security Construct.
  • Afghanistan: The U.S. military, alongside NATO allies and partners, set the conditions for a negotiated political settlement among Afghans to succeed.
  • Korea: Supported diplomatic efforts to negotiate a denuclearized Korean Peninsula while maintaining a high state of readiness with our Republic of Korea allies.
More Info
  • Defensewide Review: Identified $5.7 billion savings across roughly 30 defensewide organizations. These savings will be reinvested into higher priorities for readiness and lethality.
  • Audit: Initiated new annual process to complete a consolidated financial statement audit covering roughly $2.9 trillion in resources.
More Info
  • Pay: Secured robust pay and benefits packages essential to attracting and retaining the best personnel and warfighters.
  • Housing: Worked with privatized housing partners to implement a Tenant Bill of Rights for military families living in privatized, on-base housing.
  • Family: Improved child care and spousal employment support; established 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers.
More Info

Irreversible Implementation of the National Defense Strategy

Secretary's Top Ten List

  1. Review, update and approve all China and Russia plans.
  2. Implement the Immediate Response Force, Contingency Response Force and Dynamic Force Employment enhanced readiness concepts.
  3. Reallocate, reassign and redeploy forces in accordance with the NDS.
  4. Achieve a higher level of sustainable readiness.
  5. Develop a coordinated plan to strengthen alliances and build partnerships.
  6. Reform and manage the 4th Estate and DOD.
  7. Focus DOD on China.
  8. Modernize the force — Invest in game-changing technologies.
  9. Establish realistic joint war games, exercises and training plans.
  10. Develop a modern joint warfighting concept and ultimately, doctrine.

Stories

News | Defense News

China, Russia Pose Strategic Challenges for U.S., Allies, Admiral Says

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News | Defense News

DOD Officials Testify on Fixed-Wing Tactical, Training Aircraft Programs

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News | Reform

Nuclear Posture Review, National Defense Strategy Will Be Thoroughly Integrated

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News | Defense News

Budget Shifts to Focus on Future, Preparedness

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News | Reform

Official Says Input From Allies on Nuclear Posture Review to Be Important

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News | Defense News

Secretary of Defense Signs Directive to Unify DOD's China Efforts

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