National defense is prime to the President’s National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. In pursuing its military strategy, the Administration faces the twin challenge of readying U.S. forces to handle a more diverse set of threats while at the identical time downsizing and restructuring our forces to reply to the defense needs of the 21st century. The Administration has launched a series of initiatives designed to capture and apply science and technology to retort to those challenges, specializing in the subsequent objectives: supporting our military forces within the range of missions they will be assigned, reducing acquisition costs, and nurturing a healthy national science and technology infrastructure to spawn innovation and therefore the vital industrial capacity to maximize it.
Science, Technology, and military posture
Our defense science and technology investment enables us to counter military threats and to beat any advantages that adversaries may seek. It also expands the military options available to policymakers, including options aside from warfare in pursuing the objectives of promoting stability and preventing conflict. Science and technology help to counter special threats like terrorism that can’t be met by conventional warfighting forces, and that they underpin the intelligence capabilities necessary to assess the risks our nation faces. The U.S. military also relies on science and technology to form our advanced military systems more cost-effective throughout their entire life cycle. And by maintaining an in-depth dialogue with the warfighters, the defense S&T community not only remains sensitive to user needs but also sensitizes the user to the probabilities that technology offers for responding to evolving threats.
- U.S. military capabilities not only protect the U.S. and its citizens from direct threats, but they also help maintain peace and stability in regions critical to U.S. interests and underwrite U.S. defense commitments around the world. Forward stationing and periodic deployments also permit U.S. forces to realize familiarity with overseas operating environments, promote joint and combined training among friendly forces, improve interoperability with friendly forces throughout the planet, and respond in a timely manner to crises.
Conducting contingency operations. The U.S. must be prepared to undertake a large range of contingency operations in support of U.S. interests.
- Countering weapons of mass destruction. While we are redoubling its efforts to forestall the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and associated missile delivery systems, we must at the identical time improve our military capabilities to discourage and forestall the effective use of those weapons.
Finally, to fulfill these requirements successfully, U.S. forces must be capable of responding quickly and operating effectively across a large range of environments. That is, they need to be able to fight. Such high combat readiness demands well-qualified and motivated people; adequate amounts of recent, well-maintained equipment; realistic training; strategic mobility; and sufficient support and sustainment capabilities.