A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Ronald O’Rourke. January 21, 2015.

World events since late 2013 have led some observers to conclude that the international security environment is undergoing a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the last 20-25 years, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different strategic situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition and challenges to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II. A shift in the international security environment could have significant implications for U.S. defense plans and programs. A previous shift in the international security environment—from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era—prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs.

[PDF format, 43 pages, 463.36 KB].

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