Posted: December 18, 2017 4:44 PM

New National Security Strategy: U.S. Must Maintain ‘Overmatch’

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON — The new National Security Strategy announced Dec. 18 by President Donald J. Trump calls for the United States to maintain an “overmatch” in capabilities and an increase in military strength to sustain that.

“The United States must retain overmatch — the combination of capabilities in sufficient scale to prevent enemy success and to ensure that America’s sons and daughters will never be in a fair fight,” the strategy document said. “Overmatch strengthens our diplomacy and permits us to shape the international environment to protect our interests. To retain military overmatch the United States must restore our ability to produce innovative capabilities, restore the readiness of our forces for major war, and grow the size of the force so that it is capable of operating at sufficient scale and for ample duration to win across a range of scenarios.”

The strategy also calls for strong deterrence combined with the will to win in conflicts.

“We must convince adversaries that we can and will defeat them — not just punish them if they attack the United States,” the document said. “We must ensure the ability to deter potential enemies by denial, convincing them that they cannot accomplish objectives through the use of force or other forms of aggression. We need our allies to do the same — to modernize, acquire necessary capabilities, improve readiness, expand the size of their forces, and affirm the political will to win.”

The strategy calls for developing new capabilities and improving existing systems; pursuing new approaches to acquisition; reversing force reduction and growing the size of the military forces while modernizing and improving readiness; and retaining force capable of waging the full spectrum of conflict, including deterrence.

The strategy document notes the “erosion of American manufacturing over the last two decades” and the impact of that erosion on capabilities.

“Support for a vibrant domestic manufacturing sector, a solid defense industrial base, and resilient supply chains is a national priority,” the document said.

The strategy also supports maintaining the U.S. strategic nuclear triad, noting that “the United States must maintain the credible deterrence and assurance capabilities provided by our nuclear Triad and by U.S. theater nuclear capabilities deployed abroad. Significant investment is needed to maintain a U.S. nuclear arsenal and infrastructure that is able to meet national security threats over the coming decades.”

The strategy also addressed the importance of agile cyber warfare capabilities and maintaining freedom of action in outer space.

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