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Report to Congress on Great Power Competition

The following is the Oct. 7, 2021 report, Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress.

From the report

The emergence of great power competition with China and Russia has profoundly changed the conversation about U.S. defense issues from what it was during the post-Cold War era: Counterterrorist operations and U.S. military operations in the Middle East—which were moved to the center of discussions of U.S. defense issues following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—are now a less-dominant element in the conversation, and the conversation now features a new or renewed emphasis on the following, all of which relate to China and/or Russia:

  • grand strategy and the geopolitics of great power competition as a starting point for discussing U.S. defense issues;
  • organizational changes within DOD;
  • nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence, and nuclear arms control;
  • the global allocation of U.S. military force deployments;
  • U.S. and allied military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region;
  • U.S. and NATO military capabilities in Europe;
  • new U.S. military service operational concepts;
  • capabilities for conducting so-called high-end conventional warfare;
  • maintaining U.S. superiority in conventional weapon technologies;
  • innovation and speed of U.S. weapon system development and deployment;
  • mobilization capabilities for an extended-length large-scale conflict;
  • supply chain security, meaning awareness and minimization of reliance in U.S. military systems on foreign components, subcomponents, materials, and software; and
  • capabilities for countering so-called hybrid warfare and gray-zone tactics.

The issue for Congress is how U.S. defense planning should respond to renewed great power competition with China and Russia, and whether to approve, reject, or modify the Biden Administration’s proposed defense funding levels, strategy, plans, and programs for addressing renewed great power competition. Congress’s decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.

Download the document here.