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Hoffman on the New Strategic Guidance

Strategist and military analyst Frank Hoffman, now Director of National Defense University Press, takes a warm view of the new strategic guidance from DoD as a risk balancer in line with a dire fiscal and political reality. A “Pivot and Partner” strategy:

DefenseNews – Pentagon’s New Guidance: Sound Strategy Intricately Linked to Policies 

….Despite the fact that the Pentagon’s guidance represents the essence of “good strategy,” it was immediately panned by numerous pundits and several serious commentators who should know better.

What my critical colleagues have a problem with is not this document’s long-overdue need to reconcile our interests, priorities and resources. No, the real problem is that this guidance reflects a policy decision to sacrifice nearly $500 billion of planned increases to the defense budget over the next decade. Rather than resolve the strategic solvency gap between America’s goals and funding, the guidance’s critics want to continue to borrow money to maintain an unsustainable agenda.

The most common criticism is that the guidance is risky. There is little doubt that reductions in defense spending of the size now contemplated will increase risk. Such risks would be even more severe if sequestration is triggered by political gridlock.

However, the critics have no concern for the risk of fiscal collapse or the risks borne by the lack of renewal in the foundation of America’s power. Nor can they find fault with the increased risk borne by the $2 trillion already spent to prosecute two wars and build up America’s military budget to its current high of $550 billion, which exceeds Cold War-era spending levels. That’s the sort of thinking that partially got us into our economic crunch in the first place.

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