Charting the Future of Defense

The National Defense Strategy (NDS) sets the strategic direction for our military to meet the security threats of tomorrow. Overall, the Defense Strategy focuses on China and Russia as the primary adversaries, but it also emphasizes the importance of global cooperation among allies as well as adversaries to meet threats that are bigger than any one country including climate change, food insecurity, and pandemics. The defense strategy lays out three primary tactics for advancing U.S. and global security.

Integrated Deterrence

The practice of integrated deterrence involves working closely across all branches of the military, warfighting domains, and even across other federal entities to ensure national security. It expands responsibility for deterring adversaries beyond the Department of Defense (DoD), involving the intelligence community, health agencies, environmental agencies, and more.

This concept is akin to the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) program that is focused on enabling all of the military forces to better share information and collaborate in real-time in theater as well as at headquarters.

With this focus, the DoD is signaling that it knows the nuclear weapon threat cannot credibly deter aggression, especially with non-military actions such as cyber terrorism and misinformation proving to be just as disruptive as physical threats.


Campaigning could be seen as an extension of integrated deterrence. It involves multi-faceted approaches to deterring and deflecting competitors' coercive actions. The NDS states that the DoD will align activities with other instruments of national power to complicate competitors' military preparations, and develop warfighting capabilities together with Allies and partners.

Warfighter Focus

Similar to the President's Management Agenda, the NDS includes a focus on the people of the DoD with the goal of accelerating force development. This involves "getting the technology we need more quickly and making investments in the extraordinary people of the Department."

This piece of the NDS involves examining the defense industrial complex as well as emerging companies that have not traditionally been a part of the Defense supply chain. The strategy highlights the need to invest in "a range of advanced technologies" including space and cyber technologies, missile defeat capabilities, artificial intelligence, and quantum systems. It also challenges industry to be able to rapidly manufacture proven capabilities that can defend against aggression and help support response to evolving battlefield conditions.

GovEvents and GovWhitePapers offer insights into DoD strategy, planning, and activity with a wide variety of events and resources.

  • 33rd Annual NDIA SO/LIC Symposium (November 17-18, 2022; Washington, DC) - This conference explores how Special Operations Forces (SOF) can meet and defeat adversaries who are using a wide array of military, economic, technological tools carried out directly and by disaggregated surrogates, proxies and cybercriminal syndicates.
  • 15th Annual CDCA Defense Summit (December 7-8, 2022; North Charleston, SC) - The CDCA Defense Summit brings key defense industry leaders together to focus on innovative technologies around digital, cyber, and unmanned systems to enhance interoperability across Defense Assets.
  • 11th Annual SOF & Worldwide Operations Symposium (December 7-8, 2022; Tampa, FL) - Senior level leaders and decision makers from across the Special Operations Forces community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, the IC, academia, and industry discuss the initiatives and imperatives required to prepare U.S. Special Operation Commands for the future battlespace amid highly adaptive adversaries and progressively complex threat environments.
  • 2022 DoDIIS Worldwide Conference (December 12-15, 2022; San Antonio, TX) - Hear from distinguished speakers, collaborate with trusted partners, and experience ground-breaking technical solutions to support the warfighter. The conference is an immersive in-person event designed to bring together leading subject matter experts, decision makers, and stakeholders to collaborate and partner.
  • Military Service's Intelligence: Plans and Priorities Forum (December 14, 2022; Falls Church, VA) - Distinguished military service branch officials and industry experts discuss how modernization strategies, acquisition reforms and intelligence innovations will shape the future of U.S. military capabilities in alignment with the 2022 National Defense Strategy.
  • State of Competition within the Defense Industrial Base (white paper) - This report lays out five broad recommendations to spur increased competition in the DIB: strengthening merger oversight, addressing intellectual property limitations, increasing new entrants, increasing opportunities for small businesses, and finally, implementing sector-specific supply chain resiliency plans.
  • Measuring Congressional Impact on Defense Acquisition Funding (white paper) - To measure Congress's impact on defense acquisition funding, this study compares the actual funding level for procurement and RDT&E accounts with the original level proposed in the administration's budget request and identifies patterns in which accounts are regularly adjusted by Congress.
  • FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act: Context and Selected Issues for Congress (white paper) - This report compares authorizations for major defense appropriations titles, programs, and policy matters in the Administration's FY2022 budget request, House-passed and SASC-reported versions of the FY2022 NDAA, and enacted legislation. This report also provides references to other CRS reports that provide in-depth analysis and contextual information on certain defense and foreign policy issues.

For more on Defense strategy and planning check out GovEvents and GovWhitePapers.

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