Top Defense Priorities

As of 1 December, according to a memo from the Trump transition team, the top defense priorities were (only four listed):

1) Develop a strategy to defeat/destroy ISIS,

2) Build a strong defense [Eliminate caps from Budget Control Act; improve force strength/size/readiness],

3) Develop a comprehensive USG cyberstrategy,

4) Find greater efficiencies [pursue/build on ‘great work’ led by DSD Work; open to new ideas from the Department].


Article is here: trump-administrations-top-defense-priorities

Now, I believe #1 is already being done…except maybe for the emphasis on “defeat/destroy.” “Contain, disrupt and reduce” may be more viable consideration. Pretty hard to “defeat and destroy” a guerilla movement that spans across multiple countries and continents. It will also take a decade or two (or more). It is kind of like “defeating and destroying” the anarchist movement or the communist movement a hundred years ago.

“Finding greater efficiencies” is an effort that many administrations have pursued. Traditionally there has been no significant impact from these efforts, although it is hard to argue that they don’t need to be done. I suspect it will be hard to fundamentally improve the system without significant changes in the civil service system, addressing means and methods of government management, and addressing the oversight of government programs by uniformed personnel. It may also require the restructuring of the contractors. Like any truly challenging problem, there are multiple aspects to addressing this.

I might also have a few other things on my top defense priorities list.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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