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A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress

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A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress

July 20August 3, 2018 (R43838)
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Summary

World events in recent years have led observers, particularly since late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment in recent years has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition with China and Russia and challenges by these two countries and others to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II.

The shift in the international security environment has become a major factor in the debate over future U.S. defense spending levels, and has led to new or renewed emphasis on the following in discussions of U.S. defense strategy, plans, and programs:

  • grand strategy and geopolitics as part of the context for discussing U.S. defense budgets, plans, and programs;
  • U.S. and NATO military capabilities in Europe;
  • capabilities for countering so-called hybrid warfare and gray-zone tactics employed by countries such as Russia and China;
  • capabilities for conducting so-called high-end warfare (i.e., large-scale, high-intensity, technologically sophisticated warfare) against countries such as China and Russia;
  • maintaining U.S. technological superiority in conventional weapons;
  • nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence;
  • speed of weapon system development and deployment as a measure of merit in defense acquisition policy; and
  • minimizing reliance in U.S. military systems on components and materials from Russia and China.

The issue for Congress is how U.S. defense funding levels, strategy, plans, and programs should respond to the shift in the international security environment. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.


Introduction

World events in recent years have led observers, particularly since late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment in recent years has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition with China and Russia and challenges by these two countries and others to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II.1

The issue for Congress is how U.S. defense funding levels, strategy, plans, and programs should respond to the shift in the international security environment. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.

This report focuses on defense-related issues and does not discuss potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for other policy areas, such as foreign policy and diplomacy, trade and finance, energy, and foreign assistance. Future CRS reports may address the potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for these other policy areas. A separate CRS report discusses the current debate over the future U.S. role in the world and the implications of this debate for both defense and other policy areas, particularly in light of the shift in the international security environment discussed in this report.2

Background

Previous International Security Environments

Cold War Era

The Cold War era, which is generally viewed as lasting from the late 1940s until the late 1980s or early 1990s, was generally viewed as a strongly bipolar situation featuring two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—engaged in a political, ideological, and military competition for influence across multiple geographic regions. The military component of that competition was often most acutely visible in Europe, where the U.S.-led NATO alliance and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact alliance faced off against one another with large numbers of conventional forces and theater nuclear weapons, backed by longer-ranged strategic nuclear weapons.

Post-Cold War Era

The post-Cold War era is generally viewed as having begun in the late 1980s and early 1990s, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the disbanding of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact military alliance in March 1991, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union into Russia and the former Soviet republics in December 1991, which were key events marking the ending of the Cold War. The post-Cold War era is generally viewed as having tended toward a unipolar situation, with the United States as the world's sole superpower. Neither Russia, China, nor any other country was viewed as posing a significant challenge to either the United States' status as the world's sole superpower or the U.S.-led international order.

Compared to the Cold War, the post-Cold War era generally featured reduced levels of overt political, ideological, and military competition among major states. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (aka 9/11), the post-Cold War era was additionally characterized by a strong focus (at least from a U.S. perspective) on countering transnational terrorist organizations that had emerged as significant nonstate actors, particularly Al Qaeda.

New International Security Environment

Observers Conclude a Shift Has Occurred

World events in recent years—including Chinese actions in the East and SouthSouth and East China Seas3 and Russia's seizure and annexation of Crimea in March 20144—have led observers, particularly since late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment in recent years has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition with China and Russia and challenges by these two countries and others to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II.5

Some Emerging Features of the New Environment

Observers who conclude that the international security environment has shifted to a new situation generally view the new periodview the new international security environment not as a bipolar situation (like the Cold War) or a unipolar situation (like the post-Cold War era), but as a situation characterized in part by renewed competition among three major world powers—the United States, China, and Russia. Specific emerging characteristics of the new international security situation as viewed by these observers include the following:

  • renewed ideological competition, this time against 21st-century forms of authoritarianism and illiberal democracy in Russia, China, and other countries;6
  • the promotion inby China and Russia through their state-controlled media of nationalistic historical narratives emphasizing assertions of prior humiliation or victimization by Western powers, and the use of those narratives to support revanchist or irredentist foreign policy aims;
  • the use by Russia and China of new forms of aggressive or assertive military, paramilitary, information, and cyber operations—called hybrid warfare or ambiguous warfare, among other terms, in the case of Russia's actions, and salami-slicing tactics or gray-zone warfare, among other terms, in the case of China's actions;
  • challenges by Russia and China to key elements of the U.S.-led international order, including the principle that force or threat of force should not be used as a routine or first-resort measure for settling disputes between countries, and the principle of freedom of the seas (i.e., that the world's oceans are to be treated as an international commons); and
  • additional features alongside those listed above, including
  • continued regional security challenges from countries such as Iran and North Korea;
  • a continued focus (at least from a U.S. perspective) on countering transnational terrorist organizations that have emerged as significant non-statenonstate actors (now including the Islamic State organization, among other groups); and
  • weak or failed states, and resulting weakly governed or ungoverned areas that can contribute to the emergence of (or serve as base areas or sanctuaries for) non-statenonstate actors, and become potential locations of intervention by stronger states, including major powers.

A shift to a new international security environment, including some of the features listed above, was acknowledged in the Obama Administration's June 2015 National Military Strategy.7 The Trump Administration's December 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS)8 and the 11-page unclassified summary of its January 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS)9 arguably go further, formally reorienting U.S. national security strategy and, within that, U.S. defense strategy, toward an explicit primary focus on great power competition with China and Russia and on countering Chinese and Russian military capabilities. The new U.S. strategy orientation set forth in the 2017 NSS and 2018 NDS is sometimes referred to a "2+3" strategy, meaning a strategy for countering two primary challenges (China and Russia) and three additional challenges (North Korea, Iran, and terrorist groups).10

The December 2017 NSS states the following:

Following the remarkable victory of free nations in the Cold War, America emerged as the lone superpower with enormous advantages and momentum in the world. Success, however, bred complacency.... As we took our political, economic, and military advantages for granted, other actors steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America and to advance agendas opposed to the United States, our allies, and our partners....

The United States will respond to the growing political, economic, and military competitions we face around the world.

China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence. At the same time, the dictatorships of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran are determined to destabilize regions, threaten Americans and our allies, and brutalize their own people. Transnational threat groups, from jihadist terrorists to transnational criminal organizations, are actively trying to harm Americans. While these challenges differ in nature and magnitude, they are fundamentally contests between those who value human dignity and freedom and those who oppress individuals and enforce uniformity.

These competitions require the United States to rethink the policies of the past two decades—policies based on the assumption that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners. For the most part, this premise turned out to be false....

Three main sets of challengers—the revisionist powers of China and Russia, the rogue states of Iran and North Korea, and transnational threat organizations, particularly jihadist terrorist groups—are actively competing against the United States and our allies and partners. Although differing in nature and magnitude, these rivals compete across political, economic, and military arenas, and use technology and information to accelerate these contests in order to shift regional balances of power in their favor. These are fundamentally political contests between those who favor repressive systems and those who favor free societies.

China and Russia want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests. China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor. Russia seeks to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders. The intentions of both nations are not necessarily fixed. The United States stands ready to cooperate across areas of mutual interest with both countries....

The United States must consider what is enduring about the problems we face, and what is new. The contests over influence are timeless. They have existed in varying degrees and levels of intensity, for millennia. Geopolitics is the interplay of these contests across the globe. But some conditions are new, and have changed how these competitions are unfolding. We face simultaneous threats from different actors across multiple arenas—all accelerated by technology. The United States must develop new concepts and capabilities to protect our homeland, advance our prosperity, and preserve peace....

Since the 1990s, the United States displayed a great degree of strategic complacency. We assumed that our military superiority was guaranteed and that a democratic peace was inevitable. We believed that liberal-democratic enlargement and inclusion would fundamentally alter the nature of international relations and that competition would give way to peaceful cooperation....

In addition, after being dismissed as a phenomenon of an earlier century, great power competition returned. China and Russia began to reassert their influence regionally and globally. Today, they are fielding military capabilities designed to deny America access in times of crisis and to contest our ability to operate freely in critical commercial zones during peacetime. In short, they are contesting our geopolitical advantages and trying to change the international order in their favor.11

The unclassified summary of the January 2018 NDS states the following:

Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.

China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea's outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation's censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability. Despite the defeat of ISIS's physical caliphate, threats to stability remain as terrorist groups with long reach continue to murder the innocent and threaten peace more broadly....

The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions....

Another change to the strategic environment is a resilient, but weakening, post-WWII international order.... China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while simultaneously undercutting its principles and "rules of the road."

Rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran are destabilizing regions through their pursuit of nuclear weapons or sponsorship of terrorism....

Challenges to the U.S. military advantage represent another shift in the global security environment. For decades the United States has enjoyed uncontested or dominant superiority in every operating domain. We could generally deploy our forces when we wanted, assemble them where we wanted, and operate how we wanted. Today, every domain is contested—air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace....

The security environment is also affected by rapid technological advancements and the changing character of war....

States are the principal actors on the global stage, but non-state actors also threaten the security environment with increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Terrorists, trans-national criminal organizations, cyber hackers and other malicious non-state actors have transformed global affairs with increased capabilities of mass disruption. There is a positive side to this as well, as our partners in sustaining security are also more than just nation-states: multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, corporations, and strategic influencers provide opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Terrorism remains a persistent condition driven by ideology and unstable political and economic structures, despite the defeat of ISIS's physical caliphate.

It is now undeniable that the homeland is no longer a sanctuary. 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....

Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future. Concurrently, the Department will sustain its efforts to deter and counter rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran, defeat terrorist threats to the United States, and consolidate our gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach.12

In addition a focus on China and Russia, the Trump Administration has highlighted the concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), with the term Indo-Pacific referring to the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the countries (particularly those in Eurasia) bordering on those two oceans. Thearea extending from the west coast of the United States to the west cost of India, aka "Hollywood to Bollywood." The FOIP concept is still being fleshed out by the Trump Administration.13 The discussion in the December 2017 NSS of regions of interest to the United States begins with a section on the Indo-Pacific,14 and the unclassified summary of the January 2018 NDS mentions the Indo-Pacific at several points.15

Markers of the Shift to the New Environment

For observers who conclude that the international security environment has shifted to a new situation, the sharpest single marker of the shiftThe sharpest single marker of the observed shift in the international security environment arguably was Russia's seizure and annexation of Crimea in March 2014, which represented the first forcible seizure and annexation of one country's territory by another country in Europe since World War II. Other markers of the shift—such as Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe since March 2014, China's economic growth and military modernization over the last several years, and China's actions in the East and SouthSouth and East China Seas over the last several years—have been more gradual and cumulative.

Some observers trace the beginnings of the shift in the international security environment back to the period 2006-2008:

  • Freedom House's annual report on freedom in the world for 2018 states, by the organization's own analysis, that countries experiencing net declines in freedom have outnumbered countries experiencing net increases in freedom for 12 years in a row, starting in 2006.16
  • In February 2007, in a speech at an international security conference in Munich, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized and rejected the concept of a unipolar power, predicted a shift to multipolar order, and affirmed an active Russian role in international affairs. Some observers view the speech in retrospect as prefiguring a more assertive and competitive Russian foreign policy.17
  • In 2008, Russia invaded and occupied part of the former Soviet republic of Georgia without provoking a strong cost-imposing response from the United States and its allies. Also in that year, the financial crisis and resulting deep recessions in the United States and Europe, combined with China's ability to weather that crisis and its successful staging of the 2008 Summer Olympics, are seen by observers as having contributed to a perception in China of the United States as a declining power, and to a Chinese sense of self-confidence or triumphalism.18 China's assertive actions in the East and SouthSouth and East China Seas can be viewed as having begun (or accelerated) soon thereafter.

Other observers trace the roots of the end of the post-Cold War era further, to years prior to 2006-2008.19

Comparisons of the New Environment to Earlier Periods

Each international security environment features a unique combination of major actors, dimensions of competition and cooperation among those actors, and military and other technologies available to them. A new international security environment can have some similarities to previous ones, but it will also have differences, including, potentially, one or more features not present in any previous international security environment. In the early years of a new international security environment, some of its features may be unclear, in dispute, not yet apparent, or subject to evolution. In attempting to understand a new international security environment, comparisons to earlier ones are potentially helpful in identifying avenues of investigation. If applied too rigidly, however, such comparisons can act as intellectual straightjackets, making it more difficult to achieve a full understanding of a new international security environment's characteristic features, particularly those that differentiate it from previous ones.

Some observers have stated that the world is entering a new Cold War (or Cold War II or 2.0). That term may have utility in referring specifically to U.S.-Russian relations, because the new international security environment that observers have identified features competition and tension with Russia. Considered more broadly, however, the Cold War was a bipolar situation, while the new environment is a situation that also includes China as a major competing power. The bipolarity of the Cold War, moreover, was reinforced by the opposing NATO and Warsaw Pact alliances, whereas in contrast, Russia today does not lead an equivalent of the Warsaw Pact. And while terrorists were a concern during the Cold War, the U.S. focus on countering transnational terrorist groups was not nearly as significant during the Cold War as it has been since 9/11.

Other observers, viewing the emerging situation, have drawn comparisons to the multipolar situation that existed in the 19th century and the years prior to World War I. Still others, observing the promotion in China and Russia of nationalistic historical narratives supporting revanchist or irredentist foreign policy aims, have drawn comparisons to the 1930s. Those two earlier situations, however, did not feature a strong focus on countering globally significant transnational terrorist groups, and the military and other technologies available then differ vastly from those available today. The new situation that observers have identified may be similar in some respects to previous situations, but it also differs from previous situations in certain respects, and might be best understood by direct observation and identification of its key features.

Naming the New Environment

Observers who conclude thatviewing the international security environment has shifted to a new situation do not yet appear to have reached a consensus on what single term to use to refer to the new situationit. As noted above, some observers have used terms such as a new Cold War (or Cold War II or 2.0). Other observers have referred to the new situation as an era of renewed great power competition, a competitive world order, a tripolar era, a multipolar era, and a disorderly world (or era).

Congressional Participation in Reassessment of U.S. Defense During The terms "great power competition" and "renewed great power competition" are being used perhaps more frequently than other terms. Congress and the Previous Shift

A previous change in the international security environment—the shift in the late 1980s and early 1990s from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era—prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs. Many of these changes were articulated in the 1993 Bottom-Up Review (BUR),20 a reassessment of U.S. defense plans and programs whose very name conveyed the fundamental nature of the reexamination that had occurred.21 In general, the BUR reshaped the U.S. military into a force that was smaller than the Cold War U.S. military, and oriented toward a planning scenario being able to conduct two major regional contingencies (MRCs) rather than the Cold War planning scenario of a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict.22

Through both committee activities and the efforts of individual Members, Congress played a significant role in the reassessment of defense funding levels, strategy, plans, and programs that was prompted by the end of the Cold War. In terms of committee activities, the question of how to change U.S. defense plans and programs in response to the end of the Cold War was, for example, a major focus for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in holding hearings and marking up annual national defense authorization acts in the early 1990s.23

In terms of efforts by individual Members, some Members put forth their own proposals for how much to reduce defense spending from the levels of the final years of the Cold War,24 while others put forth detailed proposals for future U.S. defense strategy, plans, programs, and spending. Senator John McCain, for example, issued a detailed, 32-page policy paper in November 1991 presenting his proposals for defense spending, missions, force structure, and weapon acquisition programs.25

Perhaps the most extensive individual effort by a Member to participate in the reassessment of U.S. defense following the end of the Cold War was the one carried out by Representative Les Aspin, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. In early 1992, Aspin, supported by members of the committee's staff, devised a force-sizing construct and potential force levels and associated defense spending levels U.S. defense for the new post-Cold War era. A principal aim of Aspin's effort was to create an alternative to the "Base Force" plan for U.S. defense in the post-Cold War era that had been developed by the George H. W. Bush Administration.26 Aspin's effort included a series of policy papers in January and February 199227 that were augmented by press releases and speeches. Aspin's policy paper of February 25, 1992, served as the basis for his testimony that same day at a hearing on future defense spending before the House Budget Committee. Although DOD and some other observers (including some Members of Congress) criticized Aspin's analysis and proposals on various grounds,28 the effort arguably proved consequential the following year, when Aspin became Secretary of Defense in the new Clinton Administration. Aspin's 1992 effort helped inform his participation in DOD's 1993 BUR. The 1993 BUR in turn created a precedent for the subsequent Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) process (renamed Defense Strategy Review in 2015) that remained in place until 2016 For additional discussion, see Appendix D.

Some Emerging Implications for Defense

Defense Funding Levels

The shift in the international security environment that observers have identified—from the post-Cold War era to a new situation—has become a major factor in the debate over future U.S. defense spending levels. The nature of the U.S. response to a shift in the international security environment could lead to defense spending levels that are higher than, lower than, or about the same as those in the BCA.

Renewed Emphasis on Grand Strategy and Geopolitics

Discussion of the shift in the international security environment has led to a renewed emphasis on grand strategy2923 and geopolitics3024 as part of the context for discussing U.S. defense budgets, plans, and programs.3125 A November 2, 2015, press report, for example, stated:

The resurgence of Russia and the continued rise of China have created a new period of great-power rivalry—and a corresponding need for a solid grand strategy, [then-]U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Monday at the Defense One Summit in Washington, D.C.

"The era of everything is the era of grand strategy," Work said, suggesting that the United States must carefully marshal and deploy its great yet limited resources.32

26

From a U.S. perspective on grand strategy and geopolitics, it can be noted that most of the world's people, resources, and economic activity are located not in the Western Hemisphere, but in the other hemisphere, particularly Eurasia. In response to this basic feature of world geography, U.S. policymakers for the last several decades have chosen to pursue, as a key element of U.S. national strategy, a goal of preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon in one part of Eurasia or another, on the grounds that such a hegemon could represent a concentration of power strong enough to threaten core U.S. interests by, for example, denying the United States access to some of the other hemisphere's resources and economic activity. Although U.S. policymakers have not often stated this key national strategic goal explicitly in public, U.S. military (and diplomatic) operations in recent decades—both wartime operations and day-to-day operations—can be viewed as having been carried out in no small part in support of this key goal.

The U.S. goal of preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon in one part of Eurasia or another has been a major reason why the U.S. military is structured with force elements that enable it to cross broad expanses of ocean and air space and then conduct sustained, large-scale military operations upon arrival. Force elements associated with this goal include, among other things, an Air Force with significant numbers of long-range bombers, long-range surveillance aircraft, long-range airlift aircraft, and aerial refueling tankers, and a Navy with significant numbers of aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered attack submarines, large surface combatants, large amphibious ships, and underway replenishment ships.33

27

U.S. and NATO Military Capabilities in Europe

Russia's seizure and annexation of Ukraine and Russia's subsequent actions in eastern Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe have led to a renewed focus among policymakers on the adequacy of U.S. and NATO military capabilities in Europe. Some observers have expressed particular concern about the ability of the United States and its NATO allies to defend the Baltic members of NATO in the event of a fast-paced Russian military move into those countries.

DOD in recent years has announced a series of specific actions to bolster military deterrence in Europe, including an annually funded package of measures originally called the European Reassurance Initiative and now called the European Deterrence Initiative. NATO leaders since 2014 have announced a series of initiatives for refocusing NATO away from "out of area" (i.e., beyond-Europe) operations, and back toward a focus on territorial defense and deterrence in Europe itself.34

28

Countering Hybrid Warfare and Gray-Zone Tactics

Russia's seizure and annexation of Crimea, as well as subsequent Russian actions in eastern Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Russia's information operations, have led to a focus among policymakers on how to counter Russia's so-called hybrid warfare or ambiguous warfare tactics.3529 China's actions in the East and SouthSouth and East China Seas have similarly prompted a focus among policymakers on how to counter China's so-called salami-slicing or gray-zone tactics in those areas.36

30

Capabilities for High-End Warfare

China's continuing military modernization effort3731 and Russia's actions to modernize its own military and deploy it to places such as the Middle East have led to a renewed emphasis in U.S. defense plans and programs on capabilities for conducting so-called high-end warfare, meaning large-scale, high-intensity, technologically sophisticated warfare against adversaries with similarly sophisticated military capabilities.

Defense acquisition programs included in the renewed U.S. emphasis on high-end warfare include (to mention only a few examples) programs for procuring advanced aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)3832 and the next-generation long-range bomber,3933 highly capable warships such as the Virginia-class attack submarine4034 and DDG-51 class Aegis destroyer,4135 ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities,4236 longer-ranged land-attack and anti-ship weapons, new types of weapons such as lasers, railguns, and hypervelocity projectiles,4337 new ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) capabilities, military space capabilities,4438 electronic warfare capabilities, and military cyber capabilities.45

39

Maintaining Technological Superiority in Conventional Weapons

DOD officials have expressed concern that the technological and qualitative edge that U.S. military forces have had relative to the military forces of other countries is being narrowed or in some cases even eliminated by improving military capabilities in other countries, particularly China and (in some respects) Russia. In response, DOD has taken a number of actions in recent years that are intended to help maintain U.S. military superiority over improving military capabilities of other countries. During the Obama Administration, these steps included the following:

  • Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). DOD in 2012 created the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), an organization that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter described on February 2, 2016, as one that "re-imagine[s] existing DOD and intelligence community and commercial systems by giving them new roles and game-changing capabilities to confound potential enemies," with an emphasis on fielding capabilities within a few years, rather than in 10 or 15 years.46
  • 40
  • Defense Innovation Initiative. To help arrest and reverse an assessed decline in the U.S. military's technological and qualitative edge over the opposing military forces, DOD in November 2014 announced a new Defense Innovation Initiative.47
  • 41
  • A Long-Range Research and Development Plan (LRRDP). In February 2015, DOD stated that in October 2014, it had launched a Long-Range Research and Development Plan (LRRDP) to "identify high-payoff enabling technology investments that could help shape future U.S. materiel investments and the trajectory of future competition for technical superiority. The plan will focus on technology that can be moved into development programs within the next five years."48
  • 42
  • Third Offset Strategy. DOD in 2015 also announced that it was seeking a new general U.S. approach—a so-called "third offset strategy"—for maintaining U.S. superiority over opposing military forces that are both numerically large and armed with precision-guided weapons.49

43Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Deterrence

Russia's reassertion of its status as a major world power has included, among other things, references by Russian officials to nuclear weapons and Russia's status as a major nuclear weapon power. This has led to an increased emphasis in discussions of U.S. defense and security on nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence—a development that comes at a time when DOD is in the early stages of a multi-year plan to spend scores of billions of dollars to modernize U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent forces.5044 DOD, for example, currently has plans to acquire a new class of ballistic missile submarines5145 and a next-generation long-range bomber.52

46

Speed of Weapon System Development and Deployment

DOD officials and other observers have argued that staying ahead of improving military capabilities in countries such as China in coming years will require adjusting U.S. defense acquisition policy to place a greater emphasis on speed of development and deployment as a measure of merit in defense acquisition policy (alongside other measures of merit, such as minimizing cost growth). As a consequence, they have stated, defense acquisition should feature more experimentation, risk-taking, and tolerance of failure during development. Efforts within individual military services to move toward more-rapid acquisition of new capabilities form parts of this effort. DOD officials have also requested greater flexibility in how they are permitted to use funds for prototyping and experimentation.5347 The 2018 NDS places a strong emphasis on achieving greater speed in developing and deploying new weapons and military technologies:

Deliver performance at the speed of relevance. Success no longer goes to the country that develops a new technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting. Current processes are not responsive to need; the Department is over-optimized for exceptional performance at the expense of providing timely decisions, policies, and capabilities to the warfighter. Our response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades. We must not accept cumbersome approval chains, wasteful applications of resources in uncompetitive space, or overly risk-averse thinking that impedes change. Delivering performance means we will shed outdated management practices and structures while integrating insights from business innovation.54

48

Minimizing Reliance on Components and Materials from Russia and China

Increased tensions with Russia have led to an interest in eliminating or at least minimizing instances of being dependent on Russian-made military systems and components for U.S. military systems. A prominent case in point concerns the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine, which was incorporated into certain U.S. space launch rockets, including rockets used by DOD to put military payloads into orbit.55

49

Concerns over Chinese cyber activities or potential Chinese actions to limit exports of certain materials (such as rare earth elements) have similarly led to concerns over the use of certain Chinese-made components (such as electronic components) or Chinese-origin materials (such as rare earth elements) for U.S. military systems.56

50

Issues for Congress

Potential policy and oversight issues for Congress include the following:

  • December 2017 NSS and January 2018 NDS. Do the December 2017 NSS and the January 2018 NDS correctly describe or diagnose the shift in the international security environment? As strategy documents, do they lay out an appropriate U.S. national security strategy and national defense strategy for responding to the shift in the international security environment?
  • U.S. grand strategy. Should the United States continue to include, as a key element of U.S. grand strategy, a goal of preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon in one part of Eurasia or another?5751 If not, what grand strategy should the United States pursue? What is the Trump Administration's position on this issue?58
  • 52
  • Defense funding levels. In response to changes in the international security environment, should defense funding levels in coming years be increased, reduced, or maintained at about the current level? Should the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, as amended, be further amended or repealed?
  • U.S. and NATO military capabilities in Europe. Are the United States and its NATO allies taking appropriate and sufficient steps regarding U.S. and NATO military capabilities and operations in Europe? What potential impacts would a strengthened U.S. military presence in Europe have on total U.S. military force structure requirements? What impact would it have on DOD's ability to implement the military component of the U.S. strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region?
  • Hybrid warfare and gray-zone tactics. Do the United States and its allies and partners have adequate strategies for countering Russia's so-called hybrid warfare in eastern Ukraine, Russia's information operations, and China's so-called salami-slicing tactics in the East and SouthSouth and East China Seas?
  • Capabilities for high-end warfare. Are DOD's plans for acquiring capabilities for high-end warfare appropriate and sufficient? In a situation of constraints on defense funding, how should tradeoffs be made in balancing capabilities for high-end warfare against other DOD priorities?
  • Maintaining technological superiority in conventional weapons. Are DOD's steps for maintaining U.S. technological superiority in conventional weapons appropriate and sufficient? What are the Trump Administration's intentions regarding the Strategic Capabilities Office, the Defense Innovation Initiative, the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, and the third offset strategy?59
  • 53
  • Nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence. Are current DOD plans for modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear weapons, and for numbers and basing of nonstrategic (i.e., theater-range) nuclear weapons, aligned with the needs of the new international security environment?
  • Speed in defense acquisition policy. To what degree should defense acquisition policy be adjusted to place greater emphasis on speed of development and deployment, and on experimentation, risk taking, and greater tolerance of failure during development? Are DOD's steps for doing this appropriate? What new legislative authorities, if any, might be required (or what existing provisions, if any, might need to be amended or repealed) to achieve greater speed in defense acquisition? What implications might placing a greater emphasis on speed of acquisition have on familiar congressional paradigms for conducting oversight and judging the success of defense acquisition programs?
  • Reliance on Russian and Chinese components and materials. Aside from the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine, what Russian or Chinese components or materials are incorporated into DOD equipment? What are DOD's plans regarding reliance on Russian- or Chinese-made components and materials for DOD equipment?

Appendix A. Articles on Shift to New International Security Environment

This appendix presents citations to articles by or about observers who have concluded that the international the international security environment has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era to a new and different situation.

Citation from 2007

Robert Kagan, "End of Dreams, Return of History," Policy Review (Hoover Institution), July 17, 2007.

Citations from late-2013 and 2014

Walter Russell Mead, "The End of History Ends," The American Interest, December 2, 2013.

Paul David Miller, "Crimea Proves That Great Power Rivalry Never Left Us," Foreign Policy, March 21, 2014.

Stephen M. Walt, "The Bad Old Days Are Back," Foreign Policy, May 2, 2014.

Walter Russell Mead, "The Return of Geopolitics," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2014.

Robert Kagan, "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire," New Republic, May 26, 2014.

James Kitfield, "The New Great Power Triangle Tilt: China, Russia Vs. U.S.," Breaking Defense, June 19, 2014.

Lilia Shevtsova, "Putin Ends the Interregnum," The American Interest, August 28, 2014.

David E. Sanger, "Commitments on Three Fronts Test Obama's Foreign Policy," New York Times, September 3, 2014.

Steven Erlanger, "NATO's Hopes for Russia Have Turned to Dismay," New York Times, September 12, 2014.

Richard N. Haass, "The Era of Disorder," Project Syndicate, October 27, 2014.

Citations from January through June 2015

Bruce Jones, "What Strategic Environment Does the Transatlantic Community Confront?" German Marshall Fund of the United States, Policy Brief, January 15, 2015, 5 pp.

Chester A Crocker, "The Strategic Dilemma of a World Adrift," Survival, February-March 2015: 7-30.

Robert Kagan, "The United States Must Resist A Return to Spheres of Interest in in the International System," Brookings Institution, February 19, 2015.

Richard Fontaine, "Salvaging Global Order," The National Interest, March 10, 2015.

Barry Pavel and Peter Engelke with Alex Ward, Dynamic Stability, US Strategy for a World in Transition, Washington, Atlantic Council, April 2015, 57 pp.

Stewart Patrick and Isabella Bennett, "Geopolitics Is Back—and Global Governance Is Out," The National Interest, May 12, 2015.

"Rise of the Regional Hegemons," Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2015.

Frank G. Hoffman and Ryan Neuhard, "Is the World Getting Safer—or Not?" Foreign Policy Research Institute, June 2015.

Citations from July through December 2015

James Kitfield, "Requiem For The Obama Doctrine," Breaking Defense, July 6, 2015.

Mathew Burrows and Robert A. Manning, " America's Worst Nightmare: Russia and China Are Getting Closer," National Interest, August 24, 2015.

Robert Farley, "Yes, America's Military Supremacy Is Fading (And We Should Not Panic)," National Interest, September 21, 2015.

John McLaughlin, "The Geopolitical Rules You Didn't Know About Are Under Siege," Ozy, November 10, 2015.

Citations from January through June 2016

John E. McLaughlin, "US Strategy and Strategic Culture from 2017," Global Brief, February 19, 2016.

H.R. McMaster, "Probing for Weakness," Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2016.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Toward a Global Realignment," The American Interest, April 17, 2016.

Michael J. Boyle, "The Coming Illiberal Order," Survival, Vol. 58, April-May 2016: 35-66.

Kurt Campbell, et al., Extending American Power, Center for a New American Security, May 2016, 18 pp.

Michael Mandelbaum, "America in a New World," The American Interest, May 23, 2016.

Citations from July through December 2016

Michael Lind, "Can America Share Its Superpower Status?" National Interest, August 21, 2016.

Bret Stephens, "The New Dictators' Club," Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2016.

Gregory R. Copley, "The Era of Strategic Containment is Over," Defense & Foreign Affairs, September 7, 2016.

Ulrich Speck, "The Crisis of Liberal Order," American Interest, September 12, 2016.

Aaron Kliegman, "Robert D. Kaplan: Think Tragically to Avoid Tragedy," Washington Free Beacon, September 16, 2016.

Lauren Villagran, "Former Defense Secretary Describes 'New World Order,'" Stars and Stripes, September 14, 2016.

George F. Will, "Vladimir Putin Is Bringing Back the 1930s," Washington Post, October 7, 2016.

Philip Stephens, "How the West Has Lost the World," Financial Times, October 12, 2016.

John Sawers, "We Are Returning to a World of Great-Power Rivalry," Financial Times, October 19, 2016.

Patrick Wintour, Luke Harding, and Julian Borger, "Cold War 2.0: How Russia and the West Reheated a Historic Struggle," The Guardian, October 24, 2016.

John Schaus, "U.S. Leadership in an Era of Great Power Competition," Defense 360 (Center for Strategic & International Studies), December 2016.

Charles Krauthammer, "After a Mere 25 Years, the Triumph of the West Is Over," Washington Post, December 1, 2016.

Julia Ioffe, "The End of the End of the Cold War," Foreign Policy, December 21, 2016.

Citations from January through June 2017

Richard Haass, "World Order 2.0," Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017: 2-9.

Joseph S. Nye Jr., Will the Liberal Order Survive, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017: 10-16.

Molly K. McKew, "Putin's Real Long Game," Politico Magazine, January 1, 2017.

Robert J. Samuelson, "The New World Order, 2017," Washington Post, January 1, 2017.

Martin Wolf, "Martin Wolf: The Long and Painful Journey to World Disorder," Financial Times, January 5, 2017.

Kimberly Dozier, "U.S. Spies See a World of Trumps Ahead," Daily Beast, January 9, 2017.

Kenneth Roth, "We Are on the Verge of Darkness," Foreign Policy, January 12, 2017.

Thomas Donnelly, "Now for the Post-Post-Cold War Era," Weekly Standard, January 23, 2017.

Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa, "Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War," New Yorker, March 6, 2017.

Paul Berman, "The Counterrevolution," Tablet, March 7, 2017.

James Kirchick, "The Road to a Free Europe Goes Through Moscow," Politico Magazine, March 17, 2017.

Andrew A. Michta, "The Deconstruction of the West," American Interest, April 12, 2017.

Michael Mazarr and Hal Brands, "Navigating Great Power Rivalry in the 21st Century," War on the Rocks, April 5, 2017.

Robert D. Kaplan, "The Return of Marco Polo's World and the U.S. Military Response," Center for a New American Security, undated but posted ca. May 12, 2017.

Hal Brands and Eric Edelman, "America and the Geopolitics of Upheaval," National Interest, June 21, 2017.

Christopher Walker, "A New Era of Competition," International Reports (Konrad Adenauer Foundation), No. 2, 2017: 16-25.

Citations from July 2017 through December 2017

Hal Brands, Charles Edel, "The Gathering Storm vs. the Crisis of Confidence," Foreign Policy, July 14, 2017.

Leon Hadar, "Why Washington's Global Strategy Failed," National Interest, July 30, 2017.

Paul Mason, "Democracy Is Dying—and It's Startling How Few People Are Worried," The Guardian, July 31, 2017.

Harvey M. Sapolsky, "America's Endless Search for a Strategy," National Interest, August 4, 2017.

Philip Zelikow, "Is the World Slouching Toward a Grave Systemic Crisis?" Atlantic, August 11, 2017.

Robert D. Kaplan, "America's Darwinian Nationalism," National Interest, August 13, 2017.

He Yafei, "The 'American Century' Has Come to Its End," Global Times, August 20, 2017.

He Yafei, "New World Order is the Inevitable Trend," China Daily, August 21, 2017.

Michael Lind, "There's No Such Thing as 'The' Liberal World Order," National Interest, September 5, 2017.

Thorsten Benner, "An Era of Authoritarian Influence? How Democracies Should Respond," Foreign Affairs, September 15, 2017.

Hal Brands, "America's New World Order Is Officially Dead," Bloomberg, September 27, 2017.

Andrew A. Michta, "The Crisis of Elite Authority in the West," American Interest, September 27, 2017.

Erica Frantz and Andrea Kendall-Taylor, "The Evolution of Autocracy: Why Authoritarianism Is Becoming More Formidable," Survival, October-November 2017: 57-68.

Larry Diamond, "Is There a Crisis of Liberal democracy?" American Interest, October 13, 2017.

Colin Dueck and Ming Wan, "An Era of Great-Power Leaders," National Interest, November 7, 2017.

Brendan Nicholson, "The Strategist Six: Thomas Mahnken," The Strategist, November 7, 2017. (Interview with Thomas Mahnken)

Citations from January 2018 through June 2018

"The Growing Danger of Great-Power Conflict," Economist, January 25, 2018.

Alan Dupont, "New World Order: Momentum Is Shifting in Favour of Dictators," Australian, February 10, 2018.

Gabriel Glickman, "Back to the Future: The Potential of Great-Power Conflict," National Interest, February 12, 2018.

Eliot A. Cohen, "Witnessing the Collapse of the Global Elite," Atlantic, February 19, 2018.

Hal Brands, "The 'American Century' Is Over, and It Died in Syria," Bloomberg, March 8, 2018.

Richard N. Haass, "Liberal World Order, RIP," The Strategist (ASPI), March 24, 2018.

Michael Lind, "America vs. Russia dn China: Welcome to Cold War II," National Interest, April 15, 2018.

Nick Danforth, "What's So Disordered About Your World Order?" War on the Rocks, June 20, 2018.

Appendix B. Articles on Grand Strategy and Geopolitics

This appendix presents citations to articles discussing grand strategy and geopolitics for the United States in the new international security environment.

Citations from 2012 through 2014

William C. Martel, "Why America Needs a Grand Strategy," Diplomat, June 18, 2012.

Aaron David Miller, "The Naiveté of Distance," Foreign Policy, March 31, 2014.

Robert Kaplan, "The Gift of American Power," Real Clear World, May 15, 2014.

William C. Martel, "America's Grand Strategy Disaster," The National Interest, June 9, 2014.

Adam Garfinkle, "The Silent Death of American Grand Strategy," American Review, 2014.

Christopher A. Ford, "Ending the Strategic Holiday: U.S. Grand Strategy and a 'Rising' China," Asia Policy, Number 18 (July 2014): 181-189.

William Ruger, "A Realist's Guide to Grand Strategy," The American Conservative, August 26, 2014.

Barry R. Posen, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, Cornell University Press, 2014, 256 pp. (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs).

R. D. Hooker, The Grand Strategy of the United States, Washington, National Defense University Press, October 2014, 35 pp. (INSS Strategic Monograph, Institute for National Strategic Studies).

F.G. Hoffman, "Grand Strategy: The Fundamental Considerations," Orbis, Volume 58, Issue 4 (Fall 2014), 2014: 472–485.

Michael Page, "Is 'Restraint' a Realistic Grand Strategy?" Cicero Magazine, October 21, 2014.

Bryan McGrath, "Unconstrained Grand Strategy," War on the Rocks October 28, 2014.

Joseph Sarkisian, "American Grand Strategy or Grand Illusion?" Cicero, December 1, 2014.

Citations from January through June 2015

Chris Miller, "State of Disunion: America's Lack of Strategy is its Own Greatest Threat, Cicero, January 27, 2015.

Jerry Hendrix, Avoiding Trivia: A Strategy for Sustainment and Fiscal Responsibility, Center for a New American Security, February 2015, 36 pp.

Jim Mattis, "A New American Grand Strategy," Hoover Institution, February 26, 2015.

Stewart Patrick and Isabella Bennett, "Geopolitics Is Back—and Global Governance Is Out," The National Interest, May 12, 2015.

Alfred McCoy, "The Geopolitics of American Global Decline," Real Clear World, June 8, 2015.

Steve LeVine, "How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History," Defense One, June 9, 2015.

Thomas Vien, "The Grand Design of China's New Trade Routes," Stratfor, June 24, 2015.

Citations from July through December 2015

John R. Deni, "General Dunford Is Right About Russia, But Not Because of Their Nukes," War on the Rocks, July 13, 2015.

Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, "Putin Ushers in a New Era of Global Geopolitics," AEI Warning Intelligence Update, September 27, 2015.

Gideon Rachman, "A Global Test of American Power," Financial Times, October 12, 2015.

Joschka Fischer, "The Return of Geopolitics to Europe," Project Syndicate, November 2, 2015.

Marian Leighton, "Go South, Young Russian," Weekly Standard, December 28, 2015.

Citations from January through June 2016

John E. McLaughlin, "US Strategy and Strategic Culture from 2017," Global Brief, February 19, 2016.

Michael Auslin, "Asia's Mediterranean: Strategy, Geopolitics, and Risk in the Seas of the Indo-Pacific," War on the Rocks, February 29, 2016.

Eliot Cohen, Eric S. Edelman, and Brian Hook, "Presidential Priority: Restore American Leadership, World Affairs, Spring 2016.

H.R. McMaster, "Probing for Weakness," Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2016.

Parag Khanna, "The Brilliance of China's Grand Strategy: Don't 'Won' Land, Just 'Use' It," The National Interest, April 11, 2016.

Seth Cropsey, "New American Grand Strategy," Real Clear Defense, April 13, 2016.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Toward a Global Realignment," The American Interest, April 17, 2016.

Michael Mandelbaum, "America in a New World," The American Interest, May 23, 2016.

Robert D. Blackwell, "China's Strategy for Asia: Maximize Power, Replace America," National Interest, May 26, 2016.

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, "The Case for Offshore Balancing," Foreign Affairs, June 13, 2016.

Stephen Sestanovich, "Do Americans Want a New 'Grand Strategy' or Less Overseas Engagement?" Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2016.

Denny Roy, "A More-Selective US Grand Strategy," PacNet #53 (Pacific Forum CSIS), June 29, 2016.

Citations from July through September 2016

Frank G. Hoffman, "Retreating Ashore: The Flaws of Offshore Balancing," Foreign Policy Research Institute, July 5, 2017.

James Holmes, "Why Offshore Balancing Won't Work,: National Interest, July 18, 2016.

Schuyler Foerster and Ray Raymond, "Balanced Internationalism: 5 Core Principles to Guide U.S. National Security Policy," National Interest, July 31, 2016.

Robert D. Kaplan, "Is Primacy Overrated?" National Interest, August 7, 2016.

Barry R. Posen, "The High Costs and Limited Benefits of America's Alliances," National Interest, August 7, 2016.

Christopher Preble, Emma Ashford, and Travis Evans, "Let's Talk about America's Strategic Choices," War on the Rocks, August 8, 2016.

Ted Galen Carpenter and Eric Gomez, "East Asia and a Strategy of Restraint," War on the Rocks, August 10, 2016.

Michael Lind, "Can America Share Its Superpower Status?" National Interest, August 21, 2016.

Doug Bandow, "Why Washington Is Addicted to Perpetual War," National Interest, August 28, 2016.

Andrew J. Bacevich, "Ending Endless War," Foreign Affairs, September/October 2016.

Frank Hoffman, "The Consistent Incoherence of Grand Strategy," War on the Rocks, September 1, 2016.

Gregory R. Copley, "The Era of Strategic Containment is Over," Defense & Foreign Affairs, September 7, 2016.

Barry F. Lowenkron and Mitchell B. Reiss, "Pragmatic Primacy: How America Can Move Forward in a Changing World," National Interest, September 11, 2016.

William Ruger, "The Myth of American Retreat," American Conservative, September 13, 2016.

Christopher Preble, "New Rules for U.S. Military Intervention," War on the Rocks, September 20, 2016.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, "Free Nations of the World, Unite!" National Review, September 22, 2016.

Citations from October through December 2016

Michael J. Mazarr, "The World Has Passed the Old Grand Strategies By," War on the Rocks, October 5, 2016.

Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, "Syria Provokes an American Anxiety: Is U.S. Power Really So Special?" New York Times, October 8, 2016.

Uri Friedman, "Donald Trump and the Coming Test of International Order," Atlantic, November 9, 2016.

Robert Kagan, "Trump Marks the End of America As World's 'Indispensable Nation,'" Financial Times, November 19, 2016.

Hugh White, "What's So Great About American World Leadership?" Atlantic, November 23, 2016.

Peter Feaver, "A Grand Strategy Challenge Awaits Trump," Foreign Policy, November 29, 2016.

Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, "Stress-Testing American Grand Strategy," Survival, vol. 58, 2016, Issue 6: 93-120 (published online November 21, 2016) (see also Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, "Stress-Testing the Foundations of American Grand Strategy," War on the Rocks, December 13, 2016).

Christopher A. Preble, "Should the United States Wage War for Friends?" National Interest, December 15, 2016.

Citations from January through June 2017

Andrew F. Krepinevich, Preserving the Balance, A U.S. Eurasia Defense Strategy, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2017, 117 pp.

Hal Brands et al., Critical Assumptions and American Grand Strategy, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2017, 57 pp.

Kori Schake, "Will Washington Abandon the Order?" Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017: 41-46.

Robert D. Kaplan, "Why Trump Can't Disengage America From the World," New York Times, January 6, 2017.

Frank Hoffman, "The Case for Strategic Discipline During the Next Presidency," War on the Rocks, January 10, 2017.

Robert "Jake" Bebber and Richard J. Harknett, "Thoughts on Grand Strategy," The Navalist, January 12, 2017.

Colin Kahl and Hal Brands, "Trump's Grand Strategic Train Wreck," Foreign Policy, January 31, 2017.

Robert Kaplan, "America Is a Maritime Nation," Real Clear Defense, January 24, 2017.

Robert Kagan, "Backing Into World War III," Foreign Policy, February 6, 2017.

David H. Petraeus, "America Must Stand Tall," Politico Magazine, February 6, 2017.

Randall L. Schweller, "A Third-Image Explanation for Why Trump Now: A Response to Robert Jervis's 'President Trump and IR Theory,'" ISSF Policy Series, February 8, 2017.

Stephen M. Walt, "The Donald versus 'The Blob,'" ISSF Policy Series, February 14, 2017.

Ash Jain, et al, Strategy of "Constrainment:" Countering Russia's Challenge to the Democratic Order, Atlantic Council, March 2017, 23 pp.

Robert C. Rubel, "Exporting Security: China, the United States, and the Innovator's Dilemma," Naval War College Review, Spring 2017, pp. 11-28.

Paul Miller, "Reassessing Obama's Legacy of Restraint," War on the Rocks, March 6, 2017.

Mercy A. Kuo, "Statecraft and Grand Strategy: Assessing the US and China," Diplomat, March 31, 2017.

Patrick Cronin, "Maritime Power and U.S. Strategic Influence in Asia," War on the Rocks, April 11, 2017.

Hal Brands, "America's Allies Are in Decline. Here's How the US Should Adjust," Defense One, May 5, 2017.

Robert D. Kaplan, "The Return of Marco Polo's World and the U.S. Military Response," Center for a New American Security, undated but posted ca. May 12, 2017.

Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang, "Behind China's $1 Trillion Plan to Shake Up the Economic Order," New York Times, May 13, 2017.

Jane Perlez and Keith Bradsher, "Xi Jinping Positions China at Center of New Economic Order," New York Times, May 14, 2017.

Citations from July 2017 through December 2017

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, "Opinion: Control of Trade Routes Is Decisive," Geopolitical Intelligence Services, July 21, 2017.

Andrew Beddow, "America Cannot Become a Global Rome," National Interest, July 25, 2017.

Enea Gjoza, "America Historically Had a Retrained Foreign Policy: It's Time to Return to It," National Interest, July 25, 2017.

Leon Hadar, "Why Washington's Global Strategy Failed," National Interest, July 30, 2017.

Harvey M. Sapolsky, "America's Endless Search for a Strategy," National Interest, August 4, 2017.

David Haas and Jack McKechnie, "U.S. Peacetime Strategy with China," EastWest Institute, August 11, 2017.

Robert D. Kaplan, "America's Darwinian Nationalism," National Interest, August 13, 2017.

Andrew A. Michta, "The West Needs a Strategy," American Interest, August 25, 2017.

Auston Long, Linda Robinson, and Seth G. Jones, "Managing Chaos in an Era of Great Power Competition," War on the Rocks, September 5, 2017.

Daniel Kliman, "Wanted: A U.S. Strategic Response to China's Belt and Road Initiative," National Interest, September 7, 2017.

James Jay Carafano, "America Desperately Needs a New Grand Strategy for its Role in the World," Heritage Foundation, September 11, 2017.

Thorsten Benner, "An Era of Authoritarian Influence? How Democracies Should Respond," Foreign Affairs, September 15, 2017.

Dean Cheng, "Confronting the Eurasian Powers of Russia and China," Heritage Foundation, September 28, 2017.

Matthew Kroenig and Miyeon Oh, A Strategy for the Trans-Pacific Century: Final Report of the Atlantic Council's Asia-Pacific Strategy Task Force, Atlantic Council, October 2017, 58 pp. (Atlantic Council Strategy Paper No. 12)

Gal Luft, "Silk Road 2.0: US Strategy toward China's Belt and Road Initiative, Atlantic Council, October 2017, 59 pp. (Atlantic Council Strategy Paper No. 11)

Mercy A. Kuo, "US Leadership in Asia and the Future of Geopolitics, Insights from Jamie Fly," Diplomat, October 11, 2017.

David Santoro, "Collective Security Is America's Only Hope," National Interest, October 15, 2017.

C. Raja Mohan, "The Confluence of Two Seas," Indian Express, October 26, 2017.

Ionut Popescu, "Grand Strategy Is Overrated," Foreign Policy, December 11, 2017.

Citations from January 2018 through June 2018

Francis P. Sempa, "Needed: A National Security Strategy Rooted in Geopolitics," Real Clear Defense, January 9, 2018.

Benn Steil, "How to Win a Great-Power Competition," Foreign Affairs, February 9, 2018.

Alasdair Roberts, "Grand Strategy Isn't Grand Enough," Foreign Policy, February 20, 2018.

Francis P. Sempa, "Mackinder's Century," Real Clear Defense, March 2, 2018.

Jennifer Loy, "Mackinder and Mahan: The Chinese Geopolitics in South Asia," Real Clear Defense, March 15, 2018.

Ionut Popescu, "Trump Doesn't NeeddNeed a Grand Strategy," Foreign Affairs, May 21, 2018.

Thomas P. Cavanna, "What Does China's Belt and Road Initiative Mean for US Grand Strategy?" Diplomat, June 5, 2018.

Citations from July 2018

John Schuessler, "Making Grand Strategy Grand Again," National Interest, July 25, 2018.

Appendix C. Articles on Countering Russia's Hybrid Warfare Tactics

This appendix presents citations to articles discussing Russia's hybrid warfare tactics and possible U.S. strategies for countering Russia's hybrid warfarethose tactics.

Citations from July through September 2015

Thomas Gibbons-Neff, "The 'New' Type of War That Finally Has The Pentagon's Attention," Washington Post, July 3, 2015.

Mark Galeotti, "Time to Think About 'Hybrid Defense,'" War on the Rocks, July 30, 2015.

A. Wess Mitchell, "The Case for Deterrence by Denial," American Interest, August 12, 2015.

[author name scrubbed], "The Changing Face Of War In The 21st Century," Real Clear Defense, August 18, 2015.

Aapo Cederberg and Pasi Eronen, "Wake Up, West! The Era of Hyrbid Warfare Is Upon Us," Overt Action, August 25, 2015.

Marcus Weisgerber, "Now NATO's Prepping for Hybrid War," Defense One, August 27, 2015.

Maria Snegovaya, Putin's Information Warfare in Ukraine, Washington, Institute for the Study of War, September 2015, 26 pp.

Citations from October through December 2015

Jan Joel Andersson and Thierry Tardy, "Hybrid: What's In a Name?" European Union Institute for Security Studies, October 2015, 4 pp.

Megan Eckstein, "U.S. Naval Commander in Europe: NATO Needs to Adapt to Russia's New Way of Hybrid Warfare," USNI News, October 6, 2015.

Tony Wesolowsky and Mark Krutov, "Activist Says Russia Using 'Hybrid Warfare' in Syria," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 11, 2015.

Howard Altman, "'Gray Zone Conflicts Far More Complex to Combat, Says Socom Chief Votel," Tampa Tribune, November 28, 2015 (pdated November 29, 2015).

Jordan Chandler Hirsch and Peter Feaver, "Obama's Thin Gray Line," Foreign Policy, December 2, 2015.

Eric Olsen, "America's Not Ready for Today's Gray Wars," Defense One, December 10, 2015.

Adam Elkus, "50 Shades of Gray: Why Gray Wars Concept Lacks Strategic Sense," War on the Rocks, December 15, 2015.

Peter Pomerantsev, "Fighting While Friending: The Grey War Advantage of ISIS, Russia, and China," Defense One, December 29, 2015.

For citations from January through June 2016

David S. Maxwell, "Congress Has Embraced Unconventional Warfare: Will the US Military and The Rest of the US Government?" Small Wars Journal, December 29, 2016.

Joseph L. Votel, et al., "Unconventional Warfare in the Gray Zone," Joint Force Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2016: 101-109.

Julian E. Barnes, "NATO Works to Adapt to More Ambiguous Warfare Techniques," Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2016.

Andreas Umland, "Russia's Pernicious Hybrid War Against Ukraine," Atlantic Council, February 22, 2016.

Maxim Trudolyubov, "Russia's Hybrid War," New York Times, February 24, 2016.

Bret Perry, "How NATO Can Disrupt Russia's New Way of War," Defense One, March 3, 2016; Michael Kofman, "Russian Hybrid Warfare and Other Dark Arts," War on the Rocks, March 11, 2016.

Eerik-Niiles Kross, "Putin's War of Smoke and Mirrors," Politico, April 9, 2016.

Molly McKew, "Estonian Report Details Russia's 'Hybrid Threat' to Europe," Washington Free Beacon, April 18, 2016.

David Barno and Nora Bensahel, "A New Generation of Unrestricted Warfare," War on the Rocks, April 19, 2016.

Nathan Freier and Christopher Compton, "Gray Zone: Why We're Losing the New Era of National Security," Defense One, June 9, 2016.

Citations from July through December 2016

Dan Goure, "NATO vs. Russia: How to Counter the Hybrid Warfare Challenge," National Interest, July 7, 2016.

Dominik P. Jankowski, "Hybrid Warfare: A Known Unknown?" Foreign Policy Blogs, July 18, 2016.

Nicholas Fedyk, "Russian 'New Generation' Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists," Small Wars Journal, August 25, 2016.

Martin N. Murphy, "Understanding Russia's Concept for Total War in Europe," Heritage Foundation, September 12, 2016.

Robert Caruso, "To Counter Russian Disinformation, Look to Cold War Tactics," Defense One, September 20, 2016.

Max Boot, "How to Wage Hybrid War on the Kremlin," Foreign Policy, December 13, 2016.

Citations from January through June 2017

Raine Tiessalo, "Finland Prepares for 'Manifold Warfare' as Russia Feeds Paranoia," Bloomberg, January 19, 2017.

Tim Mak, "U.S. Preps for Infowar on Russia," Daily Beast, February 6, 2017.

Joe Gould, "European Diplomats Urge Support for U.S. Soft Power Against Russia," Defense News, March 7, 2017.

Jakub Janda, "Six Immediate Steps to Stop Putin's Aggression," Atlantic Council, March 13, 2017.

Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell, "EU, NATO Countries Kick Off Center to Counter 'Hybrid' Threats," Reuters, April 11, 2017.

Jen Judson, "Countering 'Little Green Men': Pentagon Special Ops Studies Russia 'Gray Zone' Conflict," Defense News, May 15, 2017.

Peter Kreko and Lorant Gyori, "From Russia with Hate: The Kremlin's Support for Violent Extremism in Central Europe," Atlantic Council, May 17, 2017.

Molly K. McKew, "Forget Comey: The Real Story Is Russia's War on America," Politico, June 11, 2017.

Ben Schreckinger, "How Russia Targets the U.S. Military," Politico, June 12, 2017.

Van Jackson, "Tactics of Strategic Competition," Naval War College Review, Summer 2017: 39-61.

James J. Wirtz, "Life in the 'Gray Zone': Observations for Contemporary Strategists," Defense & Security Analysis, vol. 33, no. 2, 2017: 106-114.

Citations from July 2017 through December 2017

Daniel Calingaert, "How Dictators Use Our Open Society Against Us," The Hill, July 6, 2017.

Christopher Walker, "A New Era of Competition, The Growing Threat from Authoritarian Internationalism as a Global Challenge to Democracy," International Reports, Issue 2, 2017 (July 13, 2017): 16-25.

Maxim Eristavi, "Why the US Keeps Losing the Fight Against Disinformation," Atlantic Council, July 24, 2017.

Anne Applebaum, "Maybe the A.I. Dystopia Is Already Here," Washington Post, July 28, 2017.

Sean Illing, "China Is Perfecting A New Method for Suppressing Dissent on the Internet," Vox, August 2, 2017.

Jim Rutenberg, "RT, Sputnik and Russia's New Theory of War," New York Times, September 13, 2017.

Susan Landau, "Russia's Hybrid Warriors Gor the White House. Now They're Coming for America's Town Halls," Foreign Policy, September 26, 2017.

Karina Orlova, "Make America Vigilant Again," American Interest, September 29, 2017.

Patrick M. Cronin and Harry Krejsa, "5 Ways America Can Defends Itself from 'Nonphysical' Attacks," National Interest, October 3, 2017.

"Baltics Battle Russia in Online Disinformation War," Deutsche Welle (DW), October 8, 2017.

Reid Standish, "Russia's Neighbors Respond to Putin's 'Hybrid War,'" Foreign Policy, October 12, 2017.

Max Boot, "Russia Has Invented Social Media Blitzkrieg," Foreign Policy, October 13, 2017.

David Ignatius, "Russia Is Pushing to Control Cyberspace. We Should All Be Worried," Washington Post, October 24, 2017.

Patrick Tucker, "How NATO Is Preparing to Fight Tomorrow's Information Wars," Defense One, October 26, 2017.

Dan Lamothe, "In Finland, Mattis Backs Creation of a Hybrid Warfare Center Focused on Russia," Washington Post, November 6, 2017.

Citations from January 2018 through June 2018

David Ignatius, "Russia's Radical New Strategy for Information Warfare," Washington Post, January 18, 2018.

Reid Standish, "Inside a European Center to Combat Russia's Hybrid Warfare," Foreign Policy, January 18, 2018.

Ihor Kabanenko, "Russian 'Hybrid War' Tactics at Sea: Targeting Underwater Communications Cables," Eurasia Daily Monitor, January 23, 2018.

Joshua Stowell, "What is Hybrid Warfare?" Global Security Review, February 2, 2018.

Mark Pomerleau, "Why DoD Leaders Are Increasingly Worried About the 'Gray Zone,'" C4ISRNet, February 5, 2018.

Dan Mahaffee, "We've Lost the Opening Info Battle against Russia; Let's Not Lose the War," Defense One, February 23, 2018.

Max Boot, "Russia's Been Waging War on the West for Years. We Just Haven't Noticed." Washington Post, March 15, 2018.

Chris Meserole and Alina Polyakova, "Disinformation Wars," Foreign Policy, May 25, 2018.

Max Boot, "The United States Is Preparing for the Wong War," Washington Post, March 29, 2018.

Giorgi Menabde, "Russia Employs New 'Hybrid War' Methods Against Georgia," Eurasia Daily Monitor, March 29, 2018.

Abigail Tracy, "'A Different Kind of Propaganda': Has America Lost the Information War," Vanity Fair, April 23, 2018.

Hal Brands, "Putin Is Playing With Fire and We All May Get Burned," Bloomberg, May 8, 2018.

John Grady, "Panel: U.S. Needs Non-Military Options to Handle 'Gray Zone' Warfare from Russia, China, Iran," USNI News, May 15, 2018.

Jed Willard, "What Europe Can Teach America About Russian Disinformation," Atlantic, June 9, 2018.

Janusz Bugajski, "Moscow's Anti-Western Social Offensive," Center for European Policy Analysis, June 13, 2018.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., "Russia, China Are Outmaneuvering US: Generals Recommend New Authorities, Doctrine," Breaking Defense, June 15, 2018.

Citations from July 2018

Joe Pappalardo, "Now NATO Says Russian 'Hybrid Warfare' Could Start a Real War," Popular Mechanics, July 13, 2018.

Richard A. Bitzinger, "Russia's Trump Card: Hybrid Warfare," Asia Times, July 18, 2018.

Nathan Freier, "The Darker Shade of Gray: A New War Unlike Any Other," Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 27, 2018.

Appendix D. Congress and the Previous Shift

This appendix provides additional background information on the role of Congress in responding to the previous change in the international security environment—the shift in the late 1980s and early 1990s from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era.

As noted earlier, this shift prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs. Many of these changes were articulated in the 1993 Bottom-Up Review (BUR),54 a reassessment of U.S. defense plans and programs whose very name conveyed the fundamental nature of the reexamination that had occurred.55 In general, the BUR reshaped the U.S. military into a force that was smaller than the Cold War U.S. military, and oriented toward a planning scenario being able to conduct two major regional contingencies (MRCs) rather than the Cold War planning scenario of a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict.56

Through both committee activities and the efforts of individual Members, Congress played a significant role in the reassessment of defense funding levels, strategy, plans, and programs that was prompted by the end of the Cold War. In terms of committee activities, the question of how to change U.S. defense plans and programs in response to the end of the Cold War was, for example, a major focus for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in holding hearings and marking up annual national defense authorization acts in the early 1990s.57

In terms of efforts by individual Members, some Members put forth their own proposals for how much to reduce defense spending from the levels of the final years of the Cold War,58 while others put forth detailed proposals for future U.S. defense strategy, plans, programs, and spending. Senator John McCain, for example, issued a detailed, 32-page policy paper in November 1991 presenting his proposals for defense spending, missions, force structure, and weapon acquisition programs.59

Perhaps the most extensive individual effort by a Member to participate in the reassessment of U.S. defense following the end of the Cold War was the one carried out by Representative Les Aspin, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. In early 1992, Aspin, supported by members of the committee's staff, devised a force-sizing construct and potential force levels and associated defense spending levels U.S. defense for the new post-Cold War era. A principal aim of Aspin's effort was to create an alternative to the "Base Force" plan for U.S. defense in the post-Cold War era that had been developed by the George H. W. Bush Administration.60 Aspin's effort included a series of policy papers in January and February 199261 that were augmented by press releases and speeches. Aspin's policy paper of February 25, 1992, served as the basis for his testimony that same day at a hearing on future defense spending before the House Budget Committee. Although DOD and some other observers (including some Members of Congress) criticized Aspin's analysis and proposals on various grounds,62 the effort arguably proved consequential the following year, when Aspin became Secretary of Defense in the new Clinton Administration. Aspin's 1992 effort helped inform his participation in DOD's 1993 BUR. The 1993 BUR in turn created a precedent for the subsequent Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) process (renamed Defense Strategy Review in 2015) that remained in place until 2016.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Naval Affairs ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

See, for example, "Aspin Defense Budget Plans Rebuffed By Committee," Defense Daily, February 24, 1992: 289; "Pentagon Spurns Aspin's Budget Cuts as 'Political,'" Washington Post, February 28, 1992: A14.
1.

The term international order is generally used to refer to the collection of organizations, institutions, treaties, rules, and norms that are intended to organize, structure, and regulate international relations during a given historical period. Key features of the U.S.-led international order established at the end of World War II—also known as the open international order, liberal international order, or postwar international order, and often referred to as a rules-based order—are generally said to include the following: respect for the territorial integrity of countries, and the unacceptability of changing international borders by force or coercion; a preference for resolving disputes between countries peacefully, without the use or threat of use of force or coercion; strong international institutions; respect for international law and human rights; a preference for free markets and free trade; and the treatment of international waters, international air space, outer space, and (more recently) cyberspace as international commons.

2.

CRS Report R44891, U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

3.

For discussions of these actions, see CRS Report R42784, China's Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed] , and CRS Report R42930, Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed], [author name scrubbed], and [author name scrubbed].

4.

For discussion Russia's seizure and annexation of Crimea, see CRS Report RL33460, Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, by [author name scrubbed].

5.

For citations to articles by or about observers who have concluded that the international the international security environment has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era to a new and different situation, see Appendix A.

6.

See, for example, Gideon Rachman, "The West Has Lost Intellectual Self-Confidence," Financial Times, January 5, 2015; Garry Kasparov, "The Global War on Modernity," Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2015; Anna Borshchevskaya, "Moral Clarity Is Needed In Countering Anti-Western Propaganda," Forbes, March 14, 2015; Ellen Bork, "Democracy in Retreat," World Affairs Journal, May 11, 2015; Christopher Walker, "The New Containment: Undermining Democracy," World Affairs Journal, May/June 2015; Michael J. Boyle, "The Coming Illiberal Order," Survival, Vol. 58, April-May 2016: 35-66; Larry Diamond, "Democracy in Decline," Foreign Affairs, June 13, 2016; Sohrab Ahmari, "Illiberalism: The Worldwide Crisis," Commentary, June 16, 2016; Larry Diamond, "Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy," Atlantic, December 9, 2016; Alexander Cooley, "How the Democratic Tide Rolled Back," Real Clear World, January 17, 2017; Christopher Walker and Jessica Ludwig, "The Meaning of Sharp Power," Foreign Affairs, November 16, 2017.

7.

Department of Defense, The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015, The United States Military's Contribution To National Security, June 2015, pp. i, 1-4.

8.

Office of the President, National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, 55 pp.

9.

Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge, undated but released January 2018, 11 pp.

10.

For more on the 2017 NSS and 2018 NDS, see CRS Insight IN10842, The 2017 National Security Strategy: Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed], and CRS Insight IN10855, The 2018 National Defense Strategy, by [author name scrubbed].

11.

Office of the President, National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, pp. 2-3, 25, 26-27.

12.

Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge, undated but released January 2018, pp. 1-4. Emphasis as in original.

13.

For more on the Indo-Pacific, see CRS Insight IN10888, Australia, China, and the Indo-Pacific, by [author name scrubbed]; CRS In Focus IF10726, China-India Rivalry in the Indian Ocean, by [author name scrubbed]; and CRS In Focus IF10199, U.S.-Japan Relations, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

14.

Office of the President, National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, pp. 45-47.

15.

Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge, undated but released January 2018, pp. 2, 4, 6, 9. See also Eric Sayers, "15 Big Ideas to Operationalize America's Indo-Pacific Strategy," War on the Rocks, April 6, 2018; Lindsey Ford, "Promise vs. Experience: How to Fix the 'Free & Open Indo-Pacific," War on the Rocks, April 10, 2018.

16.

Michael J. Abramowitz, Freedom in the World 2018, Democracy in Crisis, Freedom House, undated but released January 2018, p. 8.

17.

For an English-language transcript of the speech, see "Putin's Prepared Remarks at 43rd43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy," Washington Post, accessed April 26, 2018m, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/12/AR2007021200555.html .

18.

See, for example, Howard W. French, "China's Dangerous Game," Atlantic, October 13, 2014.

19.

See, for example, Walter Russell Mead, "Who's to Blame for a World in Flames?" The American Interest, October 6, 2014; Robert Kagan, "End of Dreams, Return of History," Policy Review (Hoover Institution), July 17, 2007.

20.

See Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom-Up Review, Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, October 1993, 109 pp.

21.

Secretary of Defense Les Aspin's introduction to DOD's report on the 1993 BUR states:

In March 1993, I initiated a comprehensive review of the nation's defense strategy, force structure, modernization, infrastructure, and foundations. I felt that a department-wide review needed to be conducted "from the bottom up" because of the dramatic changes that have occurred in the world as a result of the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These changes in the international security environment have fundamentally altered America's security needs. Thus, the underlying premise of the Bottom-Up Review was that we needed to reassess all of our defense concepts, plans, and programs from the ground up.

(Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom-Up Review, Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, October 1993, p. iii.)

22.

For additional discussion of the results of the BUR, see CRS Report 93-839 F, Defense Department Bottom-Up Review: Results and Issues, October 6, 1993, 6 pp., by [author name scrubbed], and CRS Report 93-627 F, Defense Department Bottom-Up Review: The Process, July 2, 1993, 9 pp., by Cedric W. Tarr Jr. (both nondistributable and available from the author of this report).

23.

See, for example:

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1991 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 101-665 of August 3, 1990, on H.R. 4739), pp. 7-14;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1991 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 101-384 of July 20 (legislative day, July 10), 1990, on S. 2884), pp. 8-36;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1992 and FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 102-60 of May 13, 1991, on H.R. 2100), pp. 8 and 13;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1992 and FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 102-113 of July 19 (legislative day, July 8), 1991, on S. 1507), pp. 8-9;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 102-527 of May 19, 1992, on H.R. 5006), pp. 8-10, 14-15, and 22;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 102-352 of July 31 (legislative day, July 23), 1992, on S. 3114), pp. 7-12;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1994 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 103-200 of July 30, 1993, on H.R. 2401), pp. 8-9 and 18-19;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1995 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 103-499 of May 10, 1994, on H.R. 4301), pp. 7 and 9;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1995 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 103-282 of June 14 (legislative day, June 7), 1994, on S. 2182), pp. 8-9; and

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1996 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 104-131 of June 1, 1995, on H.R. 1530), pp. 6-7 and 11-12.

24.

See, for example, Clifford Krauss, "New Proposal for Military Cut," New York Times, January 7, 1992: A11 (discussing a proposal by Senator Phil Gramm for reducing defense spending by a certain amount); "Sen. Mitchell Proposes $100 Billion Cut in Defense," Aerospace Daily, January 17, 1992: 87; John Lancaster, "Nunn Proposes 5-Year Defense Cut of $85 Billion," Washington Post, March 25, 1992: A4.

25.

Senator John McCain, Matching A Peace Dividend With National Security, A New Strategy For The 1990s, November 1991, 32 pp.

26.

See, for example, "Arms Panel Chief Challenges Ending Use of Threat Analysis," Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 13, 1992: 28; Patrick E. Tyler, "Top Congressman Seeks Deeper Cuts in Military Budget," New York Times, February 23, 1991: 1; Barton Gellman, "Debate on Military's Future Crystallizes Around 'Enemies List,'" Washington Post, February 26, 1992: A20; [author name scrubbed], "Planning the Nation's Defense," CQ, February 29, 1992: 479. For more on the Base Force, see CRS Report 92-493 S, National Military Strategy, The DoD Base Force, and U.S. Unified Command Plan, June 11, 1992, 68 pp., by John M. Collins (nondistributable and available from the author of this report).

27.

These policy papers included the following:

National Security in the 1990s: Defining a New Basis for U.S. Military Forces, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, Before the Atlantic Council of the United States, January 6, 1992, 23 pp.;

An Approach to Sizing American Conventional Forces For the Post-Soviet Era, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, January 24, 2991, 20 pp.;

Tomorrow's Defense From Today's Industrial Base: Finding the Right Resource Strategy For A New Era, by Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, Before the American Defense Preparedness Association, February 12, 1992, 20 pp.; and

An Approach to Sizing American Conventional Forces For the Post-Soviet Era, Four Illustrative Options, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, February 25, 1992, 27 pp.

28.

See, for example, "Aspin Defense Budget Plans Rebuffed By Committee," Defense Daily, February 24, 1992: 289; "Pentagon Spurns Aspin's Budget Cuts as 'Political,'" Washington Post, February 28, 1992: A14.

29.

The term grand strategy generally refers to a country's overall strategy for securing its interests and making its way in the world, using all the national tools at its disposal, including diplomatic, information, military, and economic tools (sometimes abbreviated in U.S. government parlance as DIME). For the United States, grand strategy can be viewed as strategy at a global or interregional level, as opposed to U.S. strategies for individual regions, countries, or issues.

3024.

The term geopolitics is often used as a synonym for international politics or strategy relating to international politics. More specifically, it refers to the influence of basic geographic features on international relations, and to the analysis of international relations from a perspective that places a strong emphasis on the influence of such geographic features. Basic geographic features involved in geopolitical analysis include things such as the relative sizes and locations of countries or land masses; the locations of key resources such as oil or water; geographic barriers such as oceans, deserts, and mountain ranges; and key transportation links such as roads, railways, and waterways.

3125.

For citations to articles discussing grand strategy and geopolitics for the United States in the new international security environment, see Appendix B.

3226.

Bradley Peniston, "Work: 'The Age of Everything Is the Era of Grand Strategy'," Defense One, November 2, 2015.

3327.

For additional discussion, see CRS In Focus IF10485, Defense Primer: Geography, Strategy, and U.S. Force Design, by [author name scrubbed].

3428.

For further discussion, see CRS Report R44550, NATO's Warsaw Summit: In Brief, by [author name scrubbed]; CRS Report R43698, NATO's Wales Summit: Outcomes and Key Challenges, by [author name scrubbed]; CRS Report R43478, NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

3529.

For citations to articles discussing Russia's hybrid warfare tactics and possible U.S. strategies for countering Russia's hybrid warfarethose tactics, see Appendix C. See also CRS In Focus IF10771, What Is Information Warfare? A Primer, by [author name scrubbed].

3630.

See CRS Report R42784, China's Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

3731.

For more on China's military modernization effort, see CRS Report RL33153, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed]; and CRS Report R44196, The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

3832.

For more on the F-35 program, see CRS Report RL30563, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, by [author name scrubbed].

3933.

CRS Report RL34406, Air Force Next-Generation Bomber: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4034.

For more on the Virginia-class program, see CRS Report RL32418, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4135.

For more on the DDG-51 program, see, Navy DDG-51and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4236.

See, for example, CRS Report R43116, Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition, by [author name scrubbed], [author name scrubbed], and [author name scrubbed], and CRS Report RL33745, Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4337.

See, for example, CRS Report R44175, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4438.

See, for example, CRS In Focus IF10337, Challenges to the United States in Space, by [author name scrubbed] and Clark Groves.

4539.

See, for example, CRS Report R43848, Cyber Operations in DOD Policy and Plans: Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

4640.

Remarks by Secretary Carter on the Budget at the Economic Club of Washington, DC, February 2, 2016, accessed March 30, 2016, at http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/648901/remarks-by-secretary-carter-on-the-budget-at-the-economic-club-of-washington-dc. See also Sam LaGrone, "Little Known Pentagon Office Key to U.S. Military Competition with China, Russia," USNI News, February 2, 2016; Jason Sherman, "Carter Lifts the Veil on Classified Work of Secretive Strategic Capabilities Office," Inside the Pentagon, February 4, 2016; Colin Clark and Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Robot Boats, Smart Guns & Super B-52s: Carter's Strategic Capabilities Office," Breaking Defense, February 5, 2016; Dan Lamothe, "Veil of Secrecy Lifted on Pentagon Office Planning 'Avatar' Fighters and Drone Swarms," Washington Post, March 8, 2016; Anthony Capaccio, "Once-Secret Pentagon Agency Asks Industry to Help Find New Ideas," Bloomberg, March 29, 2016; Reuters, "New 'Take Risk' Office Rebuilds Navy's Arsenal," Maritime Executive, March 29, 2016.

4741.

See, for example, Cheryl Pellerin, "Hagel Announces New Defense Innovation, Reform Efforts," DOD News, November 15, 2014; Jake Richmond, "Work Explains Strategy Behind Innovation Initiative," DOD News, November 24, 2014; and memorandum dated November 15, 2015, from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and other DOD recipients on The Defense Innovation Initiative, accessed online on July 21, 2015, at http://www.defense.gov/pubs/OSD013411-14.pdf.

4842.

Cheryl Pellerin, "DoD Seeks Novel Ideas to Shape Its Technological Future," DoD News, February 24, 2015.

4943.

See Deputy Secretary of Defense Speech, Reagan Defense Forum: The Third Offset Strategy, As Delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA, November 7, 2015, accessed December 21, 2015, at http://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech-View/Article/628246/reagan-defense-forum-the-third-offset-strategy, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Speech, CNAS Defense Forum, As Delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, JW Marriott, Washington, DC, December 14, 2015, accessed December 21, 2015, at http://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech-View/Article/634214/cnas-defense-forum. See also Jason Sherman, "DOD Unveils Technology Areas That Will Drive 'Third Offset' Investments, Experimentation," InsideDefense.com Daily News, December 9, 2014; Aaron Mehta, "Work Outlines Key Steps in Third Offset Tech Development," Defense News, December 14, 2015; Jon Harper, "2017 Budget Proposal to Include Billions for Next-Generation Weapons Research," National Defense, December 14, 2015; Tony Bertuca, "Work Pegs FY-17 'Third Offset' Investment at $12B-$15B," InsideDefense.com Daily News, December 14, 2015; Jason Sherman, "DOD 'Red Teams' Aim to Anticipate Russia, Chinese Reaction to 'Third Offset Strategy,'" Inside the Pentagon, December 22, 2016; Kyle Mizokami, "America's Military is Getting Deadly Serious About China, Russia, and North Korea," The Week, February 10, 2016; Mackenzie Eaglen, "What is the Third Offset Strategy?" Real Clear Defense, February 16, 2016; Tony Bertuca, "DOD Breaks Down 'Third Offset' FYDP Investments," Inside the Pentagon, February 17, 2016; David Ignatius, "The Exotic New Weapons the Pentagon Wants to Deter Russia and China," Washington Post, February 23, 2016; Amaani Lyle, "Pentagon: New Technology Deters Russia, China," Scout, March 13, 2016; Shawn Brimley and Loren DeJonge Schulman, "Sustaining the Third Offset Strategy in the Next Administration," War on the Rocks, March 15, 2016.

5044.

See CRS Report RL33640, U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, by [author name scrubbed], and Congressional Budget Office, Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2015 to 2024, January 2015, 7 pp.

5145.

CRS Report R41129, Navy Columbia Class (Ohio Replacement) Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

5246.

CRS Report RL34406, Air Force Next-Generation Bomber: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

5347.

See, for example, John Grady, "Sean Stackley Asks Congress for More department of Navy Flexibility in Acquisition," USNI News, January 7, 2016; Valerie Insinna, "Acquisition Officials Call For Quicker Access to Funds For Prototyping, Experimentation," Defense Daily, January 8, 2016: 1-3.

5448.

Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge, undated but released January 2018, p. 10.

5549.

See CRS Report R44498, National Security Space Launch at a Crossroads, by [author name scrubbed].

5650.

For more on foreign-origin electronic components, see the section entitled "National Security Concerns" in CRS Report R44544, U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed] For more on China and rare earth elements, see CRS Report R43864, China's Mineral Industry and U.S. Access to Strategic and Critical Minerals: Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed], and CRS Report R41744, Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress, by [author name scrubbed]. See also Michael Peck, "The U.S. Military's Greatest Weakness? China 'Builds' a Huge Chunk of It," National Interest, May 26, 2018.

5751.

One observer states that this question was reviewed in 1992, at the beginning of the post-Cold War era:

As a Pentagon planner in 1992, my colleagues and I considered seriously the idea of conceding to great powers like Russia and China their own spheres of influence, which would potentially allow the United States to collect a bigger "peace dividend" and spend it on domestic priorities.

Ultimately, however, we concluded that the United States has a strong interest in precluding the emergence of another bipolar world—as in the Cold War—or a world of many great powers, as existed before the two world wars. Multipolarity led to two world wars and bipolarity resulted in a protracted worldwide struggle with the risk of nuclear annihilation. To avoid a return such circumstances, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney ultimately agreed that our objective must be to prevent a hostile power to dominate a "critical region," which would give it the resources, industrial capabilities and population to pose a global challenge. This insight has guided U.S. defense policy throughout the post–Cold War era.

(Zalmay Khalilzad, "4 Lessons about America's Role in the World," National Interest, March 23, 2016.)

5852.

For additional discussion of this issue, see CRS Report R44891, U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

5953.

For further discussion regarding the third offset strategy, see Paul McLeary, "The Pentagon's Third Offset May Be Dead, But No One Knows What Comes Next," Foreign Policy, December 18, 2017.

54.

See Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom-Up Review, Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, October 1993, 109 pp.

55.

Secretary of Defense Les Aspin's introduction to DOD's report on the 1993 BUR states:

In March 1993, I initiated a comprehensive review of the nation's defense strategy, force structure, modernization, infrastructure, and foundations. I felt that a department-wide review needed to be conducted "from the bottom up" because of the dramatic changes that have occurred in the world as a result of the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These changes in the international security environment have fundamentally altered America's security needs. Thus, the underlying premise of the Bottom-Up Review was that we needed to reassess all of our defense concepts, plans, and programs from the ground up.

(Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom-Up Review, Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, October 1993, p. iii.)

56.

For additional discussion of the results of the BUR, see CRS Report 93-839 F, Defense Department Bottom-Up Review: Results and Issues, October 6, 1993, 6 pp., by [author name scrubbed], and CRS Report 93-627 F, Defense Department Bottom-Up Review: The Process, July 2, 1993, 9 pp., by Cedric W. Tarr Jr. (both nondistributable and available from the author of this report).

57.

See, for example, the following:

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1991 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 101-665 of August 3, 1990, on H.R. 4739), pp. 7-14;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1991 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 101-384 of July 20 (legislative day, July 10), 1990, on S. 2884), pp. 8-36;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1992 and FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 102-60 of May 13, 1991, on H.R. 2100), pp. 8 and 13;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1992 and FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 102-113 of July 19 (legislative day, July 8), 1991, on S. 1507), pp. 8-9;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 102-527 of May 19, 1992, on H.R. 5006), pp. 8-10, 14-15, and 22;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1993 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 102-352 of July 31 (legislative day, July 23), 1992, on S. 3114), pp. 7-12;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1994 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 103-200 of July 30, 1993, on H.R. 2401), pp. 8-9 and 18-19;

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1995 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 103-499 of May 10, 1994, on H.R. 4301), pp. 7 and 9;

the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1995 National Defense Authorization Act (S.Rept. 103-282 of June 14 (legislative day, June 7), 1994, on S. 2182), pp. 8-9; and

the House Armed Services Committee's report on the FY1996 National Defense Authorization Act (H.Rept. 104-131 of June 1, 1995, on H.R. 1530), pp. 6-7 and 11-12.

58.

See, for example, Clifford Krauss, "New Proposal for Military Cut," New York Times, January 7, 1992: A11 (discussing a proposal by Senator Phil Gramm for reducing defense spending by a certain amount); "Sen. Mitchell Proposes $100 Billion Cut in Defense," Aerospace Daily, January 17, 1992: 87; John Lancaster, "Nunn Proposes 5-Year Defense Cut of $85 Billion," Washington Post, March 25, 1992: A4.

59.

Senator John McCain, Matching A Peace Dividend With National Security, A New Strategy For The 1990s, November 1991, 32 pp.

60.

See, for example, "Arms Panel Chief Challenges Ending Use of Threat Analysis," Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 13, 1992: 28; Patrick E. Tyler, "Top Congressman Seeks Deeper Cuts in Military Budget," New York Times, February 23, 1991: 1; Barton Gellman, "Debate on Military's Future Crystallizes Around 'Enemies List,'" Washington Post, February 26, 1992: A20; [author name scrubbed], "Planning the Nation's Defense," CQ, February 29, 1992: 479. For more on the Base Force, see CRS Report 92-493 S, National Military Strategy, The DoD Base Force, and U.S. Unified Command Plan, June 11, 1992, 68 pp., by John M. Collins (nondistributable and available from the author of this report).

61.

These policy papers included the following:

National Security in the 1990s: Defining a New Basis for U.S. Military Forces, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, Before the Atlantic Council of the United States, January 6, 1992, 23 pp.;

An Approach to Sizing American Conventional Forces For the Post-Soviet Era, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, January 24, 2991, 20 pp.;

Tomorrow's Defense From Today's Industrial Base: Finding the Right Resource Strategy For A New Era, by Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, Before the American Defense Preparedness Association, February 12, 1992, 20 pp.; and

An Approach to Sizing American Conventional Forces For the Post-Soviet Era, Four Illustrative Options, Rep. Les Aspin, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, February 25, 1992, 27 pp.

62.

For further discussion regarding the third offset strategy, see Paul McLeary, "The Pentagon's Third Offset May Be Dead, But No One Knows What Comes Next," Foreign Policy, December 18, 2017.