Dec 042017

Statement Before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Recommendations for a Future National Defense Strategy

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain and Ranking Member, Senator Jack Reed hosted a hearing for outside experts to explore recommendations for a future national defense strategy. CSBA President and CEO Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken was invited to give testimony.

Among his recommendations:

  • First, the National Defense Strategy should address the threats and challenges that the United States faces and determine the priority for addressing them.
  • Second, the National Defense Strategy should provide both a global and regional look at U.S. defense strategy and set priorities there.
  • Third, the National Defense Strategy should provide focus on spending priorities on readiness, force size, and modernization.
  • Fourth, the National Defense Strategy should balance the need to fight and win wars with the need to deter and compete in peacetime.
  • Fifth, the National Defense Strategy should speak to how the United States can work more effectively with our allies.
  • Sixth, the National Defense Strategy should put forward a force planning construct to guide the shape and size of U.S. forces.

Dr. Mahnken concludes by noting that the answers the NDS provides to these six questions will also help answer one that is much more fundamental:

What role will the United States play in coming decades? Will we continue to lead and defend the international order – an order that has benefited us greatly – or will we retreat into a diminished role? Will we compete, or will we sit on the sidelines as states who seek to reshape the world to their benefit and our detriment take the field? And if we answer in the affirmative, then we need to acknowledge the magnitude of the task ahead. It
will take time, resources, and political will.

Read Dr. Mahnken’s full SASC statement here.