New U.S. Military Strategy Signals Return of State-Based Threats

New U.S. Military Strategy Signals Return of State-Based Threats
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Defense Secretary Ash Carter brief the press at the Pentagon, July 1, 2015 (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton).

On June 30, the Pentagon issued the latest iteration of the National Military Strategy (NMS) of the United States. The new version, the first update to the strategy since 2011, depicts today’s international security environment as being more challenging for the United States due to the unprecedented reach of globalization, the diffusion of military technologies and the rise of revisionist great powers.

The NMS establishes U.S. military objectives and explains how the Pentagon will achieve them. It describes the overall global security environment in which the U.S. military operates as well as the threats and opportunities that affect U.S. national interests in important regions and issue areas.

“Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, wrote in a foreword. “We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors and transregional networks of sub-state groups—all taking advantage of rapid technological change.”

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