Sen. Ernst lauds National Defense Strategy

On Jan. 19, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis released the Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy.

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, reacted to this new game plan for the Department of Defense with strong support. She noted that the nation has not had a formal National Defense Strategy for a decade.

Her assessment of this important planning guide is especially helpful because in addition to her current role on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, the Iowa Republican brings the perspective of a combat veteran with long service in the Iowa National Guard.

Ernst in a statement released by her office stressed the following:

• Modernization of the U.S. military forces is critical. “The National Defense Strategy calls for not only modernization of our warfighting equipment and capabilities, but innovation through the establishment of a National Security Innovation Base to ensure our force is more lethal and agile than ever before.”

• Threats by an assortment of adversaries necessitate guidance to the Pentagon so that its priorities are in sync with our national interests. “The threats posed by our top adversaries, China and Russia, in addition to those by North Korea, Iran, and global terrorism, demand a clear and concise strategy to guide the Department of Defense and prioritize our efforts.”

• Bureaucratic obstacles to success need to be eliminated. “In order to maintain our military edge over these near-peer adversaries, the strategy also calls for an end to the burdensome and bureaucratic acquisition process plaguing the Department.”

• Efficiency is important. “I am also encouraged to see an emphasis placed on creating a more efficient and agile Department that implements best practices to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously.”

Iowa and the nation are fortunate to have Ernst serving as a strong advocate of a carefully crafted strategy for the defense of the United States. At the same time, because of her military career, she is exceptionally well-qualified to oversee the implementation of the prudent game plan that the president and Mattis have outlined.

The Times-Republican shares with the senator her high regard for the newly released National Defense Strategy. We are confident that her insights will help ensure that what is a well-argued concept will be turned into a successful operational reality.