A NEW JOINT FORCE
As noted in the President’s National Security Strategy, in the Defense Secretary’s strategic guidance for 2012,1 and in ‘‘A National Strategic Narrative,’’2 our enduring national interests—prosperity and security—and our leadership role on the world stage are underpinned and bounded by liberty and the values that have characterized us as Americans since the founding of our Republic. But the complexity, competition, and interconnectedness of a new century require a fresh perspective on how best to secure these enduring interests—our current path is simply unsustainable. The time has come for our military to evolve from a strategy based on containment to a strategy focused on the sustainability of our security and prosperity in a dynamic and uncertain strategic environment. To accomplish this, we will need to apply credible influence and strength through a balanced Joint Force integrated within a flexible interagency construct and interoperable with international partners—a Joint Force with the agility to rapidly transition from low-end to high-end missions when directed to do so by our commander in chief.
While our near-term priority is to succeed in our ongoing campaign in Afghanistan and against the shadowy networks of crime and extremism that promote mayhem, fear, and oppression worldwide, we must reconstitute our strategic depth by developing the right capabilities and capacity to balance risk and opportunities in the mid- to long term. Over time, the best way to shape the force of the future is to invest in the science, technology, education, and training that will equip our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to adapt to an increasingly complex and dynamic environment. The hardware and software we buy and build are secondary to the gray matter we must cultivate now.
Our goal is to provide the nation with the most flexible and agile military force possible with which to pursue and safeguard our enduring national interests while concurrently sustaining a leadership role for the United States in the greater world order.