Overcoming the Threats of Our Strategic Competitors

The 2018 National Defense Strategy states that long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the primary national security concerns of the United States and will require increased and sustained investments. The United States will also need to counter and deter North Korea and Iran and defeat terrorist threats. Wargaming and analysis point to serious and growing gaps in the ability of U.S. and allied forces to defeat aggression by the most capable of these competitors. What weapon systems and posture enhancements should Congress and the Defense Department consider in order to ensure that the United States will be prepared for responsive and resilient operations in theaters of potential conflict?

In this RAND Congressional Briefing, David A. Ochmanek discusses findings from his recent report, including

  • how U.S. forces and force planning are in need of revision
  • the challenges posed by China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Salafist-Jihadi groups
  • weapon systems and posture enhancements that have the potential to overcome those challenges

Learn More

  • A U.S. soldier takes part in a defense exercise with British and Lithuanian soldiers in Mikyciai, Lithuania, June 17, 2017


    Rethinking the U.S. Approach to Force Planning

    The force planning standard used since the end of the Cold War is ill-suited for today. Force planning should focus on modernizing the capabilities and posture of U.S. forces to better enable them to deter and defeat aggression by China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Salafist-jihadi groups.

    Dec 7, 2017