The 2018 National Defense Strategy called out the “reemergence of long-term, strategic competition.” While this was a smart shift in focus, the widely-used “great power competition” is the wrong term to describe this new priority.
In this brief, the authors explore a defense approach they have labeled the Progressive Values Strategy. The strategy is grounded in a view that the military instrument is not well suited to meeting many of the security challenges facing the United States. It focuses on achieving a level of military sufficiency that deters adventurism by others—as well as itself.
As Arctic temperatures rise and the region undergoes extreme environmental change, new economic, scientific, maritime, and political opportunities have led to the gradual militarization of the region and its potential as a new theater for strategic competition between the United States and Russia. Amid such rapid change, the strategic outlook of the Arctic over the next two decades—whether cooperative or competitive—is an open question.
Geopolitical competition is increasingly playing out in the gray zone—the space beyond diplomacy and short of conventional war. The nature of this competition is forcing the United States to confront the liabilities of its strengths. This report assesses current U.S. government actions to deter, campaign through, and respond to competitors’ gray zone tactics.
On July 12, Turkey received the first elements of the S-400, a fourth-generation surface-to-air Russian missile system. Few recent weapon sales have been as geopolitically charged as this one. U.S. officials have threatened both military and economic sanctions should Turkey acquire the Russian system.