One of the new administration’s most difficult decisions will be how to move forward in Afghanistan, particularly in light of the Trump administration’s recent decision to draw down troops. Doing so hastily would be a mistake.
For some time, trust in U.S. democratic institutions has been declining. There is an immediate need to rebuild and sustain public confidence in democracy and in U.S. national security institutions, and that starts by elevating civic education as a national security imperative.
The expansion of dual-capable delivery systems and the diversification of strategic forms of warfare to include cyber, space, and advanced high precision conventional strike capabilities have sharply eroded structural conventional-nuclear firebreaks.
Russia has been dismissed as a declining by some policymakers and analysts who prefer to focus on competition with China. Yet Russia remains one of the most assertive and powerful states in the international system and ignoring the threat it poses is a strategic error.
JADC2 is supposed to give U.S. forces a competitive advantage by connecting sensors to shooters. But centralizing data streams only makes a bigger target — one that U.S. adversaries are already planning to take down. JADC2 should instead be reenvisioned into a more flexible, bottom-up system.
DoD should not make the mistake of preparing for “great power competition” by investing only in high-intensity capabilities. While the U.S. should indeed be prepared for direct conflict, much of the fighting will be conducted through irregular warfare operations.
While the U.S. is prioritizing relationships with nations that have highly-developed space programs, China is building out partnerships with nations that have underdeveloped programs. If the U.S. does not reorient its focus, it risks ceding leadership in this critical domain to China.
A presidential transition usually means a new direction for NASA. But in this case, the Biden administration should prioritize two key Trump-era initiatives — the Artemis Program and LEO commercialization — given their importance to the future of space exploration and development.