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Monday, March 22, 2021

The Biden "Interim National Security Strategic Guidance" March 2021

You can read this and assess what "strategic guidance" it offers. As noted by Thomas Spoehr here it has some "hits and misses" but also as noted in Don’t Let the Department of Defense Become the Department of Distraction to have some confusion about what constitutes a national security threat and what is a national problem. As Spoehr sets out:

To guide the Biden administration’s initial efforts, the White House recently published a 24-page guidance document on the interim national security strategy. Unfortunately, if you were the secretary of defense hoping to glean insights on how the administration wants you to shape the nation’s defenses, you would come away unfulfilled after reading this document.

While many believe a strong Navy will be important to contain China, there is curiously no mention of the service in the new guidance.

Maybe some thoughts about the new Space Force and the significant challenges America faces in space? Nope.

The role of the Air Force? Nada.

What about climate change? Jackpot! Mentioned 14 times.

COVID-19 gets a shout-out nine times, and racial justice or equity—three times. Keep in mind, this is national security guidance.

Ten days into his presidency, Biden signed an executive order calling for the need to put “the climate crisis at the center of United States foreign policy and national security.”

Climate change is real, and as many are quick to point out, can lead to global instability and could be the spark that ignites conflict between nations. But so too can rapid population growth, disputes concerning sovereign fishing rights, or conflicting claims regarding off-shore oil fields.

Other national problems which threaten our well-being and similarly warrant attention include the rise in obesity, youth hunger, and the opioid epidemic.

But, national security threats are different. Not more important, but distinct from other national problems. When prior administrations sought to characterize the fight on illegal drugs as a “war” and involve the Pentagon, there is a reason that never felt quite right. It was a conflation of a national problem with a national security threat.

By their nature, national security threats represent proximate dangers to America’s safety or security. Left unaddressed they can lead to a profoundly injurious change in the American way of life.

Interim National Security S... by lawofsea

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