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National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015

Chairman’s Foreword Despite what is likely to be a difficult future, we are blessed to be able to count on the young Americans who choose to serve, to live an uncommon life, and to defend their fellow citizens. Our focus must remain that they are the best-led and best-equipped force in the world. The 2015 National Military Strategy of the United States offers a blueprint towards that end. 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 sub-state groups – all taking advantage of rapid technological change. 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. This National Military Strategy describes how we will employ our military forces to protect and advance our national interests. We must be able to rapidly adapt to new threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones. Success 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 2015 NMS continues the call for greater agility, innovation, and integration. It reinforces the need for the U.S. military to remain globally engaged to shape the security environment and to preserve our network of alliances. It echoes previous documents in noting the imperative within our profession to develop leaders of competence, character, and consequence. But it also asserts that the application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non-state threats. 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.

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