A new great game is underway. The United States’ unipolar moment is coming to a close. As a hegemon on borrowed time, we must compete to secure our interests. China offers an alternative vision of the future. Russia seeks a return to faded glories. Iran envisions a fundamentally different Middle East. Regional powers like Turkey, India, and Brazil chart their own, independent paths into the future.
Confronted with global uncertainty, America faces two critical challenges: how to understand this new environment, and how to optimize its military to compete therein. On both counts, consensus has been reached. On both counts, it is wrong.
Two questions remain, however: Will the US military recognize the importance of expeditionary scouts in the new great game, with a mandate to understand the nuances of the playing field? And, if so, will it divert expenditure away from unreasonably expensive technology and weapons platforms (which are all too often obsolete before they are actually fielded) and invest in relevant and timely capabilities?