More than half of the world’s population lives in struggling and fragile states. Hundreds of armed groups, political movements, and extremists are competing for control of these territories, using irregular techniques. This current environment contrasts sharply with the kind of conflict and wars fought between states in the 20th century.
Yet the U.S. national security system–and those of most allies–is still too calibrated to clashes between major powers rather than the persistent conflicts that are now predominate. The traditional U.S. security paradigm and operational capabilities need adaptation.
The National Strategy Information Center worked with creative senior practitioners from democracies around the world to identify key 21st century actors, their visions, strategic cultures, and techniques. NSIC also examined effective practices from U.S. and foreign experiences.