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Chapter One: The Evolution of America's Strategic Competence


Published June 3, 2020

American foreign policy became complacent in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the end of the Cold War. As a result, several flawed assumptions about the nature of the post–Cold War world underpinned our national security strategy. However, with the emergence of new transnational threats and hostile states, the United States needs to think about how to cope with these significant challenges to security and prosperity.

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Discussion Questions

  1. What is the impact of climate change on national security?
  2. How do nations perceive one another’s interests, goals, intentions, and capabilities?

Additional Resources

  •  In “H. R. McMaster: Battlegrounds—Competitions That Will Determine American Security, Prosperity, and Influence in a New Era,” H. R. McMaster discusses how to restore America’s strategic competence. Available here.
  • Read “Competence and Confidence” by H. R. McMaster. Available here.