Sullivan Comments on DOD National Defense Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), announced last week by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

“I applaud Secretary Mattis’ 2018 National Defense Strategy, which I hope will help refocus our military on warfighting and the process of rebuilding the force, deepening and expanding alliances, and improving Department of Defense business practices,” said Senator Sullivan. “I was also very pleased to see that modernizing our missile defenses – something which I’ve worked on extensively – was included in the NDS as a key modernization effort.”

Sullivan highlighted two new elements in the National Defense Strategy that previous Obama-era strategies lacked. 

“This strategy finally addresses the fact that the U.S. is currently engaged in a long-term strategic competition with both Russia and China,” Sullivan said. “It also prioritizes Department of Defense resources towards a more lethal, advanced, and decisive force to begin countering these two strategic competitors, something that is long overdue.”

The NDS strategy, a requirement of the National Defense Authorization Act, also emphasizes forward military presence, the increased need for joint force training against near-peer adversaries, and the critical requirement for more missile defense. 

“Alaskans well know that our state’s strategic location, the amazing training in JPARC, and the vital role that Fort Greely plays in protecting the homeland, are all critical ways in which the Department of Defense can fulfill the needs outlined in the 2018 NDS,” said Sullivan. “That’s a large part of the reason why we’ve been able to authorize over $1 billion in military construction for our state over the last three years.”

During his speech unveiling the NDS, Secretary Mattis said, “This is an American strategy. It belongs to you. You own it” – words which drew praise from Senator Sullivan.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I could not agree more with the Secretary’s words; this is an American strategy, one that reflects American values held by the American people.  It envisions – for the long-term – an international, rules-based order, safeguarded by those American values.  And it seeks to guarantee a peaceful, prosperous, and secure world though diplomatic means backed by credible military options,” said Sullivan.