Pentagon Building From the National Security Strategy to Budget, Posture Reviews

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the National Defense Strategy that will be released next month will build off the National Security Strategy unveiled by President Trump on Monday. DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith.

The Defense Department approached the new National Security Strategy as an ad hoc Quadrennial Defense Review that lays out long-term strategies for the department, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters Thursday.

The document, released during a speech from President Trump on Monday, was developed over five months to shape the long-term plans of the Pentagon and how it will request funding from Congress.

Next month, the Pentagon will release its National Defense Strategy to build upon the military-focused areas of the National Security Strategy. (For more on the defense strategy, read the Aperture column, which will appear in the February issue of Air Force Magazine.) This includes building up the defense industrial base, nuclear modernization, and increased focus on space and cyberspace.

The department plans to talk about the upcoming National Defense Strategy “a hundred thousand times” to make sure it’s a document that actually drives policy and doesn’t just collect dust on a shelf. One focus of this strategy, Shanahan previewed Thursday, would be to take a magnifying glass to readiness issues throughout the department and showcase how increased funding will be spent.

The defense strategy will aim to make fundamental changes to the department, ones that “avoid a stroke of the pen” to undo in the future, Shanahan said.

Also, this coming February the Pentagon will release both its Nuclear Posture Review and Ballistic Missile Defense review, he said. The Nuclear Posture Review, which began in April, will determine the future of the mission and find a way to develop a “compelling deterrent,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers this summer. The Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which began in May, is an in-depth study of ways to strengthen homeland defense.

Shanahan said Thursday the Ballistic MIssile Defense Review will “emphasize the capability we have now” and ways to make it more “robust” both in the continental US and other global theaters.