Building a Force That Wins: Recommendations for the 2022 National Defense Strategy

ARLINGTON, VA (June 15, 2021) | The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of a new research study, Building a Force That Wins: Recommendations for the 2022 National Defense Strategy, by Mark Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments at the Mitchell Institute; and Lukas Autenried, Senior Analyst at the Mitchell Institute.

Every four years, each administration must evaluate the global threat picture and develop an overarching framework known as the National Defense Strategy (NDS) that establishes priorities for the size of its forces, new weapon systems investments, and its operating concepts. While the 2018 NDS succeeded in reorienting DOD’s planning and resource priorities toward great power competition, persistent issues remain that, if left unaddressed, increase the risk of failure in the event of future great power conflict.

This report offers recommendations on three of the most critical issues the administration should address as it develops its next National Defense Strategy. Specifically, the 2018 NDS directed the services to organize, train, and equip for a single war instead of two, and does not adequately hedge against a protracted conflict with a peer adversary. The third issue is created by the lack of all-domain warfighting concepts that are critical to determining capability and force structure trade-offs that will maximize DOD’s combat power given flat or declining defense spending. Gunzinger and Autenried address how the 2022 National Defense Strategy should selectively increase the size of the U.S. military and field next-generation capabilities needed to simultaneously defeat peer aggression in two theaters, defend the U.S. homeland, and deter other threats to America’s global security interests.

The Mitchell Institute’s Research Studies serve as an authoritative avenue for innovative, in-depth, insightful, and effective ideas and solutions for strengthening America’s aerospace power.

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