On the Cusp

Providing a glimpse into the findings of the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said in London on Monday that the threat of hybrid war—where even weak states and terrorists have access to sophisticated, deadly weapons—requires “significant shifts” in how the Pentagon trains, equips, and structures its forces. In a speech before the British House of Commons all-party parliamentary group on transatlantic security, Lynn highlighted three areas of change. First, he said, the Defense Department is institutionalizing its ability to wage irregular war. Second, it is restructuring its forces to prepare for a range of potential conflicts, including those of longer duration. Third, it is broadening military capabilities to counter unconventional weapons, “from anti-satellite technologies and cyber threats on the high-end to [improvised explosive devices] and guerilla tactics on the low end.” The QDR is set for release next week. (Lynn speech)