The gravity and complexity of threats emerging to challenge the United States is proliferating as technological advancements in artificial intelligence, quantum information science, and biotechnology transform society and weaponry at an exponential rate. This is occurring as adversarial capability is increasing to the point where the United States may soon lose the competitive military advantage it has enjoyed for decades.
The free world order the U.S. has led for more than 70 years is now in danger of becoming a historical outlier as an alternate form of authoritarianism, one that seeks to emulate capitalism and supplant western-style democracy as the governing standard, is on the rise.
To remain economically and militarily competitive, and to ensure American leadership into the next century, policy makers and the Pentagon must navigate a major course correction in how we invest in national security. This will require a paradigm shift in our defense posture from heavy, expensive, and antiquated, to lean, adaptive, and integrated.