National Defense Strategy

The 2008 National Defense Strategy
Defense Department's natural tendency is to focus excessively on winning conventional conflicts rather than "irregular wars" such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Defense Strategy (NDS) aims to promote a more balanced U.S. national security policy by bolstering the non-military elements of power at the disposal of American policy. The 2008 NDS gives importance to the lessons learned from a decade of the extremism and “irregular” conflicts. Its objectives are to defend the Homeland, win the long war, promote security, deter conflict and win our Nation’s Wars.  
The NDS makes it clear that we must become skillful in our employment of irregular warfare by the utilizing the variety and advantages of hard and soft power. The Department of Defense must use both “hard” and “soft” power to not only continue the modernization of conventional military resources, but better prepare itself to react to terrorists who are using asymmetric tactics. The NDS describes some of these tactics as nuclear and missile proliferation, chemical and biological threats, and electronic and cyber warfare. The key to success is to have a balance strategy that protects the Homeland, but at the same time manages to deter terrorists who threaten globalization. The overwhelming theme throughout the NDS is that in order to make these things possible and lasting, the U.S. cannot act alone. The priority is to better enable our allies and vulnerable nations to secure their borders and stabilize their governments, hence denying safe havens for terrorists.
    The NDS explains that traditional means of conflict still have utility, but must be foreshadowed by measures to boost participation by the local populace in government and economic programs. This, in turn, will to stimulate growth, all while fostering clarity about the core issues inciting insurgents.   According to the NDS, we must limit our direct engagement and “prepare our partners to defend...