02 Jul 2015

5 things to know about the USA National Military Strategy

USA military strategyThe Pentagon has released a new National Military Strategy, the first update to the USA’s military strategy since 2011, at a time of growing global tensions and emerging security threats.

The report is the USA’s blueprint for ensuring the nation remains the ‘best led and best equipped force in the world’.
So given the importance of this document, here’s 5 things you should know about the National Military Strategy.

1) Security concerns are a priority

According to the report, “the probability of US involvement in interstate war with a major power is assessed to be low, but growing.”

As the international military situation becomes increasingly complicated, the USA has listed its main perceived future military threats: Russia, Iran, North Korea and, to a lesser extent, China.

The potential threats from these nations include nuclear capability, challenges to sovereignty, terrorism lack of adherence to international law.

With no sign of these international situations becoming resolved in the near future, the USA will seek to maintain or improve current levels of defence security.

This leads to:

2) Investments in technology

The strategy also devotes a lot of time to the issue of the USA’s technology concerns.

While maintaining that the US is “the world’s strongest nation, enjoying unique advantages in technology”, it also highlights the fact that the US is no longer guaranteed technological superiority, or that in conflicts with groups like the Islamic State, this technological superiority may not be a guarantee of victory.

Of particular concern to the US is the growing use of missiles, cyber attacks and attempts to disrupt US communications capabilities.

To combat this, the USA is seeking to become more technologically innovative, ensuring that the tech-savvy youth of today are ready to become the military leaders of tomorrow. As a result, you can expect technology investments to be at the fore of the US military agenda.

3) The USA values its allies

According to the Military Strategy report, building and securing alliances with allies across the world remains a priority.

Specifically, relationships with Australia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand are to be strengthened, while established partnerships with India, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Bangladesh are expected to deepen in future.

As a result, market relationships between the US and these countries could improve resulting in increased opportunities in missile defence, cyber security, maritime security and disaster relief efforts.

4) Anti-terror capabilities are still paramount

One of the world’s most pressing security concerns is the continued, even growing prevalence of terror activities.

As new groups including ISIS emerge, the National Military Strategy focuses heavily on counter-terror measures, continued partnership with global allies including the UK, and progress in defeating not only the effects of terrorist activity but also the causes of it through education and outreach programmes designed to fight against the ideology of these groups.

5) Innovation. Innovation. Innovation.

While the Strategy does not list specific budgetary values or plans directly, it is very clear that one issue will be at the heart of budgets moving forward: innovation.

The report states: “We will not realise the goals of this 2015 National Military Strategy without sufficient resources… To execute this strategy the US military requires a sufficient level of investment in capacity, capabilities and readiness…”

In particular, the strategy says ‘we must think innovatively, challenge assumption and embrace change.’
To improve the USA’s defensive and military capabilities at a time of gradually tightening budgets, the US must be more innovative in sourcing skills, technology and resources.

Part of this is a plan to expand relations with American businesses, ‘including many of the most innovative companies in the world to learn their best practices’.

Business opportunities in the USA

Global spending on defence was over $1.7 trillion in 2014, and 34% of this came from the USA.

With the USA remaining the world’s largest military market and with plans in place to grow relations with businesses, your firm could gain an advantage by looking for opportunities in the US.

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