Emerging Threats and Capabilities Chairman Ernst on National Defense Strategy

“The threats posed by our top adversaries, China and Russia, in addition to those by North Korea, Iran, and global terrorism, demand a clear and concise strategy to guide the Department of Defense and prioritize our efforts.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Mattis released the National Defense Strategy. Senator Ernst, combat veteran and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, issued the following statement:

“Today, Secretary Mattis delivered a National Defense Strategy that preserves peace through strength and protects the American way of life. After 10 years without a National Defense Strategy, this plan sets American on a path to ‘compete, deter and win’ against any enemy. To achieve these goals, the new strategy prioritizes the need to continue working by, with, and through our allies to maintain global security.

“As near-peer adversaries like China and Russia continue to expand their military capabilities, this strategy makes clear we can no longer afford to sacrifice modernization. From rifles, to shipbuilding, to missile defense, it is critical that the U.S. maintain a competitive edge over countries that wish us harm. The National Defense Strategy calls for not only modernization of our warfighting equipment and capabilities, but innovation through the establishment of a National Security Innovation Base to ensure our force is more lethal and agile than ever before.

“The threats posed by our top adversaries, China and Russia, in addition to those by North Korea, Iran, and global terrorism, demand a clear and concise strategy to guide the Department of Defense and prioritize our efforts. The National Defense Strategy seeks to address the emerging threats posed by our most advanced adversaries by increasing the lethality of our force. In order to maintain our military edge over these near-peer adversaries, the strategy also calls for an end to the burdensome and bureaucratic acquisition process plaguing the Department. As Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, I will continue to keep a watchful eye on technologically advanced adversaries such as North Korea and continue to promote the development of new capabilities vital to the defense of our homeland and American interests.

“I am also encouraged to see an emphasis placed on creating a more efficient and agile Department that implements best practices to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously. In Congress, we must also do our part to provide our military with stable and long-term funding so the Pentagon can properly plan and execute the missions ahead.

“I look forward to working with Secretary Mattis and my colleagues in Congress to protect the security of our nation.”