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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey wrote the introduction to the Pentagon’s National Military Strategy, which has just been updated:
Today’s global security environment is the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service. Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode. We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors and transregional networks of sub-state groups – all taking advantage of rapid technological change. Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield.
I note (with cool detachment) that the Kremlin “regrets [the] new military strategy targeting Russia.”
… the security concept is a document intended for a medium and long-term perspective, and the emergence of such language in the document suggests a confrontational attitude devoid of any objectivity in regard to our country,” Russia’s president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Washington’s new military strategy will “hardly contribute to attempts to steer our bilateral relations in the direction of normalization, which is needed for a joint fight against existing challenges,” such as the Islamic State, the spokesman added.
I observe (with equal sangfroid) that China is “angered by [the] new U.S. military strategy report.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States was pushing unfounded exaggerations.
“We express dissatisfaction and opposition towards the U.S. side’s report’s irrational exaggerations of China’s threat,” she told a daily news briefing.
“We have already clearly explained our stance on the issue of construction on islands and reefs in the South China Sea several times,” Hua added.
“We believe that the U.S. should abandon their Cold War mentality.”
Ladies and Gentlemen of Ricochet, I introduce to you a beloved figure of international relations theory, Secretary of State Thucydides-Machiavelli-Hobbes-Morgenthau-Kissinger-Waltz.
Some of you may have met him before. SecState ThuMaHoMoKissWa (for short) is devoutly committed to the realist or neo-realist perspective in international relations. (Click on the link for a quick tour of the history of this school of thought.)
Consider the circumstances described in the Pentagon’s report, which I’m sure you’ll study with the same calm I did. (After all, freaking out never did anyone a damned bit of good.) These circumstances are rather dreary. It doesn’t seem things are quite going well on the international scene. So let’s ask SecState ThuMaHoMoKissWa for some advice, shall we?
What would SecState ThuMaHoMoKissWa do?
Would he be correct to pursue this strategy?
If not, why not?