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A global redistribution of economic power from the West to the “Rest”.
The partial emergence of a multipolar world.
An information revolution that leaves modern societies vulnerable.
The acceleration of an energy and environmental security tipping point.
The mounting challenges emanating from many fragile states and ungoverned spaces.
The increasingly transnational dimensions of terrorism.
The changing character of conflict from conventional to irregular and hybrid warfare.
The potential further spread of nuclear and biological weapons.
First, a global redistribution of economic power is under way. The subprime mortgage crisis, the Wall Street meltdown, the temporary freezing of credit markets, and the reverberations around global markets are all reminders that economic power is the bedrock of sustainable military and political power
Second, it is fashionable to point to the declining influence of the United States over the past decade and in the decades ahead
Seventh, the character of war is changing. The most complex challenges of the future could involve synergies from the simultaneous application of multiple modes of war. The most capable opponents may seek to pursue what has been called hybrid warfare—the combination of conventional, irregular, and catastrophic forms of warfare
We can prevent a second nuclear age, and perhaps an expansion of a costly proliferation of military platforms in space, but it will take considerable effort. In the meantime, and more ominously, we still do not fully understand how the rapid advances in biological and chemical science and technology will change the landscape for biological and chemical weapons.
This recalibration is central to the administration as it seeks to recover America’s political legitimacy and influence. This section looks at sustaining a unique— albeit evolving—U.S. role in the changing security environment.
American contributions to the international security arena are unsurpassed yet unsustainable. To manage global disorder, U.S. leadership and greater assistance by more actors are necessary to seize opportunities to cope with a range of serious challenges.
How to strengthen civilian capacity outside of the defense establishment should receive special attention. Finally, the recent transformations of both the intelligence and homeland security communities are best seen as works in progress, with the reform of intelligence remaining open to debate and the enhancements in homeland security an ongoing challenge.
Strategies focused on rehabilitating the image of America in the world; advancing soft as well as smart power to influence rather than intimidate
Managing alliances is a persistent task, but such alliances are vital to the United States, particularly in the Asia- Pacific region. In addition, strengthening Middle Eastern partnerships will be challenging for the Nation in promoting greater stability in that region