Pentagon Releases New National Military Strategy

The Defense Department released its 2015 national military strategy on Wednesday, which calls for “greater agility, innovation, and integration,” while also acknowledging the United States’ “comparative military advantage has begun to erode.” It is the first such strategy to be released since 2011. “Today’s global security environment is the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service,” wrote Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the foreward. The United States now faces “multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors” and non-state actors—“all taking advantage of rapid technological change,” added Dempsey. “Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield.” In addition, such conflicts will “have increasing implications to the US homeland,” wrote Dempsey. The strategy notes Russia’s continued disrespect for the “sovereignty of its neighbors” and its “willingness to use force to achieve its goals.” It acknowledges the “strategic challenges” Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose to the international community and calls the country a “state-sponsor of terrorism that has undermined stability” in “Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.” North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons also threatens its neighbors, specifically Japan and the Republic of Korea. And, while the US supports “China’s rise,” the report cites regional tensions created by its actions in the South China Sea.