The National Defense Strategy counterbalances the DoD’s tendency to focus on conventional conflicts by focusing on the importance of irregular warfare. The concepts of working with allies and expanding our warfare research are both focused towards irregular warfare. Additionally, studying insurgency operations and placing less emphasis on conventional tactics further emphasizes irregular warfare. The National Defense Strategy understood the need to transition from conventional to irregular war tactics.
First, our country along with our allies have been attacked by al Qaeda over the years; therefore, a common threat exists. As stated in the NDS, the U. S. must work with their allies in order to “address security concerns” since “we cannot prevail if we act alone”. (NDS 2008) Secondly, terrorists are always learning new tactics to destroy our country and our allies; therefore, we must be one step ahead of them.
As stated in the NDS, “we must develop better intelligence capabilities to detect, recognize, and analyze new forms of warfare as well as explore strategies to counter them”. (NDS 2008) Furthermore, insurgents, terrorists, and al Qaeda all have a commonality between them. The U. S. must find the commonality in order to defeat the insurgents and bring terrorism to an end. As stated in the NDS, “military efforts to kill terrorists are likely subordinate to measures to understand and address grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies”. NDS 2008). Finally, the U. S. must learn there are other ways to defeat the terrorist even though the tactics are not doctrine. As stated in the NDS, “we must display a mastery of irregular warfare comparable to that which we possess in conventional combat”. (NDS 2008) Overall, the NDS emphasized the importance of irregular warfare with the DoD’s tendency to focus on conventional conflicts.
National Defense Strategy: The strategic environment. June 2008. Washington D.C.: US Government Printing Office.