Nov. 20, 2017
Introduction: Defense Institution Building: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century
Today, the United States faces a security paradox. On the one hand, the U.S. military is unrivaled in size, strength, capacity, and budget; on the other hand, the global operating environment of the 21st century is diffuse and complex. Beyond the rise of geopolitical challenges from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, threats to the United States are increasingly unpredictable and often asymmetrical. From terrorist groups that thrive in the absence of strong governance to transnational criminal networks unhindered by state borders, such challenges stipulate that no single nation, regardless of its traditional military might, can completely address its security objectives alone. The United States is no exception. Developing a network of competent partners that can share the burdens and responsibilities of global security, embracing a strategy of coalition and cooperation, is therefore vital to U.S. interests.