A Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Global Go to Think Tank Index ranking #1 U.S. Think Tank and Center of Excellence for Defense and National Security
As the Biden administration takes office, D360’s Transition46 series provides insights from our scholars on the challenges the new administration faces and recommendations for what should change in U.S. defense strategy, forces, operations, and institutions.
The response to Covid-19 presents the Biden administration with its first defining challenge. DoD has played a central role in the response thus far, and the new administration has made clear that DoD will continue to play an important, though supporting, role.
Defense acquisition policy has undergone significant reform over the past several years. The Biden administration will likely focus on implementing those reforms as it prioritizes developing emerging technologies and achieving domestic policy goals.
The Biden administration will face early decision points regarding the modernization of critical elements of the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise in an environment buffeted by competing forces and pressures.
This is a pivotal time for civil and commercial space policy. The Biden administration should build from the successful policies of the Trump administration and look for new ways to engage new partnerships both domestically and internationally.
President Biden’s suspension of arms transfers in support of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen is a major break from the Trump administration. However, there is still likely to be significant continuity over the next four years in U.S. security cooperation policy.
The Biden administration faces a number of challenges in nonproliferation, starting from traditional adversaries like Iran and North Korea but also involving traditional U.S. partners like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Turkey.
While the clean extension of the New START treaty between the United States and Russia is a critical step to promoting arms control strategies, the international environment is changing enough that new ideas and strategies are going to be necessary to ensure a secure future.
It’s been 70 years since the Department of Defense last formally reviewed the roles and missions set of its component services. With the creation of the Space Force and the rise of new technologies, it’s more than time for DoD to conduct a new review.