This last year was supposed to be a reprieve for the United States military, and the American people. We would finally withdraw from the war in Afghanistan and take a small step back from global conflict. Instead we saw the Islamic State emerge and steamroll through Iraq and Syria, plunging the region into further chaos. Russia began a proxy war with Ukraine. Acts of global terrorism continue, enhanced by disturbingly effective public relations campaigns on the part of these terrorist organizations. Finally, we have been repeatedly probed, hacked and generally embarrassed online due to a decentralized and poorly structured cyber security program.
And much of this has to do with the speed of modern aggression. Our enemies are moving faster and coming at us from different directions and in new ways. Meanwhile, our “Institutions pivot as slow as aircraft carriers,” writes Kevin Baron in Defense One in a State of Defense article, and “that’s a luxury modern national security professionals can no longer afford.”
We need to get with the times and stop claiming that we can’t prepare for the unexpected, because that’s what’s coming.