Warning of a “difficult future” ahead, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey began the National Military Strategy, released this week, on an ominous note.
“Today’s global security environment is the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service. Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode. We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors and transregional networks of substate groups – all taking advantage of rapid technological change,” Dempsey wrote.
“Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. They will have increasing implications to the U.S. homeland.”
The ability to “rapidly adapt to threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones,” Dempsey wrote, will “increasingly depend on how well our military instrument can support the other instruments of power and enable our network of allies and partners.”
“The application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non-state threats.” The report “asserts that we are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly…that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important…and that as a hedge against unpredictability with reduced resources, we may have to adjust our global posture.”
In the military strategy’s text about countries that pose “strategic challenges to the international community,” it notes Iran “is pursuing nuclear and missile delivery technologies despite repeated United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that it cease such efforts.”
“It is a state-sponsor of terrorism that has undermined stability in many nations, including Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Iran’s actions have destabilized the region and brought misery to countless people while denying the Iranian people the prospect of a prosperous future.”
In May, President Obama nominated his fifth Afghanistan commander, commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, to take over for Dempsey, who has been chairman since October 2011 and is retiring.