Dec. 12, 2016 —
This volume represents a year-long effort by some of the best scholars
at the National Defense University (NDU). No editor could be more
fortunate than I have been to work with these talented writers. Their
backgrounds are varied, combining high-level government service with
sterling academic credentials, along with brilliant work by some superb
young researchers who will make their mark in the coming years. I wish
to express my deep appreciation to all who contributed to this effort.
Special praise is due to the outstanding staff at NDU Press, whose hard
work has been instrumental in bringing this volume to completion.
Directly or indirectly, our efforts have been supported by our many
friends and colleagues at NDU, the Joint Staff, Service and combatant
command staffs, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Their support
of NDU research makes our contributions possible. Special thanks
are due to NDU President Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC;
Lieutenant General Thomas D. Waldhauser, USMC, director for Joint
Force Development/J7 on the Joint Staff; his successor, Vice Admiral
Kevin D. Scott, USN; and, of course, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. NDU takes great pride in being
“The Chairman’s University,” and the strong support of these key senior
leaders has been essential to bringing this project to fruition.
Our intention is to offer useful policy advice and strategic recommendations
to those senior leaders who will staff and lead the new administration
in national security affairs. Only they can determine whether we
have succeeded. Their task is not an easy one, and we offer our insights
and reflections not with certainty, but with an ample dose of humility.
We see no silver bullets, no elegant solutions to the complex problems
we face. If we have helped to provide context and understanding to those
who bear the heaviest responsibilities, we will have been well rewarded.