Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the security and defense environment the United States faced was characterized by a range of sophisticated, evolving state and non-state threats and transnational challenges. The U.S. Department of Defense's 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) articulates goals for U.S. military planning, and identifies capabilities required to support the approach set forth in the broader National Security Strategy. The RAND Corporation, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, supported the framing, shaping, and implementation of the NDS, which represented a noteworthy shift in focus for the Pentagon. In this article we offer a U.S. perspective on the evolution of threats from the recent past, and posit several considerations for the next NDS, expected sometime within the next year.
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