The way war is waged has drastically changed over the decades. Technological breakthroughs are coming faster than ever, and our great-power competitors – namely Russia and China – are all over them.
The U.S. was militarily uncontested in every way for a long time, but nothing is uncontested anymore. Long-term, strategic Cold War-style competition has re-emerged, and we’re being challenged in the air, on the sea and land, in space and in cyberspace.
So how do we prepare for and prevent war? By modernizing the force, thinking ahead, being more flexible with our capabilities, and by having the best and brightest on our side. This makes us lethal.
Preparedness is a priority, and we have to outpace our competitors’ ambitions and capabilities. The new defense budget gives us the opportunity to increase our force, as well as devote more resources to staying on top competitively and speeding up modernization efforts on these fronts:
Here are some other key modernization efforts:
While we’re modernizing, the DOD also needs to be thinking ahead. We need to know what new technologies mean for the battlefield and adjust the way our troops are organized accordingly. We need to build a culture of experimentation and calculated risk-taking so we can be ready for future conflicts and be one step ahead of our enemies.
The DOD always needs to account for uncertainty, meaning we have to be more flexible with our combat capabilities. We’re doing this in two ways:
Through Dynamic Force Employment: This means that our joint force will have the size and means to take on a large-scale war for a sustained period of time. At the same time, we’ll have smaller units among those troops that can be increased or decreased in size to adjust to changing scenarios as needed.
Through the Global Operating Model: This calls for four things:
It’s been said many times by many DOD officials that our people are our greatest strength. We can succeed by recruiting, developing and retaining the best and brightest in the military and in the civilian DOD workforce. Here’s how we plan to do that: