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Old 01-19-2018, 09:54 AM
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Arrow President Trump's New Defense Strategy Is a Return to the Cold War

President Trump's New Defense Strategy Is a Return to the Cold War
By W.J. HENNIGAN 10:00 AM EST 1-19-18
RE: http://time.com/5109551/donald-trump...ense-strategy/

President Donald Trump is bracing the Pentagon for a long-term, strategic competition with the world’s major powers that puts the U.S. military on a Cold War footing with Russia and China for the foreseeable future, the administration said on Friday.

The National Defense Strategy, set to be rolled out by Defense Secretary James Mattis at John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, directs the U.S. government to engage in a multi-year build-up of the military involving more troops, more weapons and stronger foreign alliances.

An advance copy of the document, which serves as the Administration’s roadmap for global security, says China and Russia aim to upend the global hierarchy that the United States has sat atop of since World War II. The strategy serves as the latest sign the Administration wants to pivot from the morass of violence and counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East to intensify great power competitions in the western and eastern hemispheres.

It harkens back to the Cold War-era where the U.S. and Soviet Union projected power and military might around the globe. Two versions of the strategy were drawn up: one secret, one public. The version released to the public was 11 pages long and documented a range of military needs for the coming years, involving everything from nuclear weapons to cyber capabilities to war-fighting strategies. The message was a familiar one to the Trump Administration: the military needs additional funding and attention for the military in disquieting terms.

“While this strategy will require sustained investment by the American people, we recall past generations who made harsher sacrifices so that we might enjoy our way of life today,” Mattis writes at the conclusion of the document.

While much of the strategy focuses on Russia and China, the other challenge for the U.S. is to overcome “rogue regimes,” such as Iran and North Korea, and “non-state actors,” which is military jargon for militant groups.

“America is a target, whether from terrorists seeking to attack our citizens; malicious cyber activity against personal, commercial, or government infrastructure; or political and information subversion,” the document says. Taking on such threats can only be done through investment in weapons technology and intelligence, as well as partnerships and diplomacy, the document says, without acknowledging plans to offset the plans to cut about 30% of State Department budget.

Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for strategy and force development, told a group of reporters that Russia and China had forged new alliances and expanded their military presence to new corners of the globe.

“This strategy represents a fundamental shift,” he said. “This strategy says the focus will be on prioritizing preparedness for war and particularly a major power war.”

Positioning the U.S. military in the post-9/11 world to focus on challenges beyond the Middle East is not a new idea. President Barack Obama spent his entire presidency attempt to extract the U.S. military from Iraq and Afghanistan and onto Asia and the Pacific Rim. He left office with the military combating terror groups in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The National Defense Strategy is, in many ways, a reiteration of the themes that Trump outlined in December with his first national security strategy that delivered a message that reflected his “America First” worldview.

Previous administrations also released national defense strategies every four years in lengthy policy documents known as the Congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review. The last one was released in 2014. Congress scuttled the idea last year saying the QDR had become a watered-down window into Pentagon policy. It was replaced by the National Defense Strategy produced by the Defense Secretary and the National Military Strategy, produced by the Joint Chiefs chairman.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:08 AM
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National Defense Strategy released with clear priority: Stay ahead of Russia and China
By: Aaron Mehta   2 hours ago 1-19-18
RE: https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...reaking%20News

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy lays out a world where great-power competition, rather than counterterrorism, will drive the department’s decision-making and force structure.

“Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security,” the 11-page unclassified summary of the strategy reads. Instead, “the central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term strategic competition,” primarily from China and Russia.

The National Defense Strategy, released Friday, is the second of three interlocking documents that will drive America’s strategic posture. In December, President Donald Trump unveiled his National Security Strategy, which drives the administration’s overall national security posture.

The NDS focuses on the Pentagon’s goals within the NSS and is driven by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. That will be followed later this year by the National Military Strategy, written by Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which explains how the Pentagon will operationalize the NDS.

At Johns Hopkins University on Friday, Mattis said the document represents a “clear-eyed appraisal” of America’s spot in the world,

“This required tough choices — and we made them based upon a fundamental precept: namely, that America can afford survival,” the secretary said in prepared remarks.

Speaking ahead of the document’s release, Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, said the document was thematically driven by the idea that the “central challenge facing the department of defense and the joint force [is] the erosion of U.S. military advantage vis a vis China and Russia.”

But while great-power competitors are very much front of mind, Colby added that “this is not a strategy of confrontation, but it is a strategy that recognizes the reality of competition and the importance of ‘good fences make good neighbors.’ ”

And despite the statement in the document, Colby stressed that this does not represent a shift away from fighting terrorism, but rather a realistic acknowledgement that counterterrorism operations are not likely to end anytime soon.

“One of the things the strategy is trying to do is say is that we know we are going to be dealing with terrorism in one way or another for the long haul — so let’s figure out ways of doing it that are more cost effective, that are more tailored — that allow us to walk and chew gum at the same time,” he said, adding that there is no assumption of a withdrawal from antiterrorism operations involved in this strategy.

Overall, the document bears a clear thumbprint from Mattis, broken down by his stated trio of priorities: strengthening allies and partners, increasing lethality for the war fighter and reforming the business practices of the Pentagon.

“The department will do more than just listen to other nations’ ideas — we will be willing to be persuaded by them,” Mattis said. “Not all good ideas come from the country with the most aircraft carriers.”

The document identifies three key theaters of focus — the “Indo-Pacific,” Europe and the Middle East. However, Colby denied that means the U.S. is abandoning areas such as Africa or South America; instead, he described it as realistically focusing resources where they are most needed.

He also said the classified version of the document is about five times the size of the unclassified version, which, if accurate, would put the document at around 50 pages — much thinner than previous strategy products.

Resource constraints

The strategy release comes the same day Congress is scrambling to avert a government shutdown, with the best case scenario likely to be extending the continuing resolution — which locks in budget numbers at fiscal 2017 levels — into a fifth month. Pentagon officials have consistently harped on what damage occurs with both a shutdown and under a CR.

Speaking ahead of the document release, Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that “a strategy that is set without regard for resource constraint is a strategy that risks being unexecutable” in practice.

“If it’s just a lot of words on a page and it doesn’t have numbers, saying ‘this is what it will cost and this is what we’re able to do,’ and ‘this is how we will pay for it,’ it will leave a lot wanting,” he added.

The document released to the public did not include any hard numbers. Asked how much budget realities factored into the strategy, Colby said the document was “not obtuse to resource requirements” but that the focus was on developing the strategy first.

“The leadership was actually conscious to say, look, we should have a strategy that is really a strategy that will then drive the budget. But we’re not saying we are going to have an $8 trillion defense budget,” Colby said. “I would say it’s been a realistic look at the environment – of course not just our own funding requirements but also the reality of China as an economy having the same order of magnitude as our own.”

Those economic realities extend to allies, with the strategy calling for allies to “pool resources and share responsibility for common defense.” That includes the goal, stated by several DoD officials in recent weeks, of getting equipment to partners more quickly, with the document pledging to “prioritize request for U.S. military equipment sales, accelerating foreign partner modernization and ability to integrate with U.S. forces.”

Developing technology faster

The strategy contains a section focused on reforming the department’s business structures and getting technology to the warfighter in a more timely fashion.

“Success does not go to the country that develops a new technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and swiftly adapts its way of fighting,” Mattis said in his remarks.

To do so, the document urges a focus shift from developing a perfect system to getting things into the field and then upgrading them.

“The department is over-optimized for exceptional performance at the expense of providing timely decisions, policies and capabilities to the warfighter. Out response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation and frequent modular updates,” the strategy reads.

The strategy also warns that it is “expected” that the service and agency heads will look to “consolidate, eliminate or restructure” offices as needed to speed up processes. A request for another round of base closure and realignment is also promised, although that remains a tough sell with Congress.

Another notable statement is the pledge of a “major departure from previous practices and culture” in the acquisition realm.

“The Department will realign the incentive and reporting structure to increase speed of delivery, enable design tradeoffs in the requirements process, expand the role of warfighters and intelligence analysts throughout the acquisitions process, and utilize non-traditional suppliers,” the document reads. “Prototyping and experimentation should be used prior to defining requirements and commercial off-the-shelf systems. Platform electronics and software must be designed for routine replacement instead of static configurations that last more than a decade.”

Along with that, the document pledges to “streamline processes” so that new companies can enter the defense industrial base with ease, and seek to “cultivate international partnerships to leverage and protect partner investments in military capabilities” ― perhaps welcome news to partner nations who have long complained the Pentagon would rather reinvent the wheel than buy one made abroad.

Among technologies prioritized in the document: developing “resilient, survivable, federated networks and information ecosystems” that can “gain and exploit information” and provide attribution to cyberattacks; transitioning to “smaller, dispersed, resilient adaptive basing” over traditional centralized infrastructures; prepositioning stocks and munitions to ensure the logistics tail never breaks down; and investing “broadly” in artificial intelligence, something outlined in the National Security Strategy.

Tara Copp contributed to this report.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:29 PM
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3 Things You Need to Know About Trump's New National Defense Strategy
By Joe Pappalardo - Jan 19, 2018
RE: http://www.popularmechanics.com/mili...-trump-mattis/

The first major defense policy document of the Trump administration contains some interesting clues about the present and future of the United States Armed Forces

Today, Defense Secretary James Mattis unveiled the first U.S. Defense Strategy document in ten years. While there have been plenty of interim reports, this is the first comprehensive review in a decade and the first major defense policy document of the Trump administration.

Mattis says in the document that his intent is “to pursue urgent change on a significant scale.” That may be true, but when you peel back the surface of the 2018 U.S. Defense Strategy, you find that the major changes embrace trends that are already under way.

The Pentagon’s central message: The U.S. military is refocusing on fighting other nations rather than terrorist groups. That means buying new equipment and embracing innovations so they reach the battlefield faster. “The erosion of U.S. military advantage vis-a-vis China and Russia, if unaddressed, could ultimately undermine our ability to deter aggression,” says Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Elbridge Colby.

Yet even this major takeaway from the document feels dated, more of a reflection of reality rather than a policy shift. Yes, the military had to rethink its strategy, gear, and tactics to fight insurgent groups instead of nation-states, but the pendulum has been swinging back the other way for a while now.

In 2013, for example, we covered live-fire exercises in the U.S. Marines Corps that pit them against foes with modern weapons. The bedrock tenets of what the Corps calls expeditionary maneuver warfare are rapid mobility, attacks from unexpected locations, and flexible battle planning. This ethos was ill-suited to the counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan but a return to this way of thinking is reflected in the newer hardware the Marines are using: The MV-22 Osprey, lightweight artillery, and warplanes that don’t need long runways to operate.

The Pentagon is keenly aware of the threat posed by China and Russia and the weapons that they sell around the world. The Air Force, Navy, and Army have all fielded equipment recently that is meant for modern, “near-peer” enemies. The Navy didn’t put new submarine-hunting airplanes into the air to fight terrorists, after all.

The document makes is clear that keeping a bootheel on terrorist groups will remain an ongoing effort within the DoD. Counter-terror operations in the Obama era were defined by using air power to back proxy armies in the Middle East and drone strikes to thwart terrorists elsewhere. Expect these standoff operations to continue.

What the Pentagon Can Learn From Silicon Valley

One question that sticks out is about the best way to modernize the military and speed up the slow, bloated process of getting new technology, gear, and weapons into service.

“We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s weapons or equipment,” Mattis told reporters. This is a plea upgrade a military that fields 50-year-old airplanes, ships that are sailing through retirement, and nuclear missiles that rely on technology built in the 1970s.

This echoes the attitude of those in the Pentagon who are advocating for a more modern approach to development. They want to use commercially available products whenever possible, making the software easy to upgrade while keeping the same hardware in place. Another cause: rolling out new improvements when they are ready, the same way apps are downloaded to phones when they are available.

“Prototyping and experimentation should be used prior to defining requirements,” the document reads. “Platform electronics and software must be designed for routine replacement instead of static configurations that last more than a decade.”

This ethos also creates more opportunities for smaller, cutting edge firms. Opening up competition from smaller shops — like app developers do — could bring more innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to bear on defense industry problems.

Are We Really Stuck in Neutral?

The document says the nation is “emerging from a period of strategic atrophy.” This is tricky, since the U.S. military has been involved in what is sort of a renaissance in tactical warfare. Steady fighting in places like Afghanistan and Iraq has taught the Pentagon a lot of lessons over the last two decades: How to use ground robots, attack, and recon drones; how to track and hit individual targets by the air; the value of upgraded tanks for urban warfare; and special forces vehicles and guided paradrops for resupply. These are useful tools for any coming conflict, no matter the sophistication of the enemy.

It’s true that the strategic weapons in America's arsenal appear stagnant in comparison. But the vital research work on these platforms has continued; just look at hypersonic weapons, military space planes, and plans for a new stealth bomber. Upgrades to the nuclear missiles has been studied, proposed, and funded.

“New technologies include advanced computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology,” the document says. “The very technologies that ensure we will be able to fight and win the wars of the future.” It doesn’t mention that more money will only lead to more innovation in these big programs if the innovation spurred by urgent battlefield needs can be imported to these bigger projects.

One thing that sticks out in the public release describing the document: “The Pentagon Library is full of documents that were announced with great fanfare, but ultimately were ignored or discarded. Officials say the National Defense Strategy will not be one of those.”

We'll see. The fact it references some priorities that are already under way improves the chances that this strategy will work—or at least appear to have worked.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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