Show Me the Money: Assessing the Fiscal Reality of the National Defense Strategy’s Ambitions

The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), released by the Pentagon last January, redefined the geopolitical challenges facing the United States and recognized the “reemergence of long-term, strategic competition” with China and Russia as the greatest priority for the Department of Defense (DoD).

The strategy document issues a dire warning that the United States’ comparative military advantage over its adversaries has “eroded,” and that in order to reverse this trend and check the ambitions of its competitors, the country “must invest in modernization of key capabilities through sustained, predictable budgets.” The document’s emphasis on modernization underpins one of its primary goals: creating a more lethal force characterized by enhanced readiness, innovative operational concepts, and agile force posture and employment.

This piece was published as part of the Defense360 

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Seamus P. Daniels is a program coordinator and research assistant for Defense Budget Analysis in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.