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    Policy, Strategy & Partners: SFA Implications in the 2022 National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act

    House Armed Services Committee hearing fiscal 2023 defense budget request

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Jackie Sanders | Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman, Joint...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff   

    Policy, Strategy & Partners:
    SFA Implications in the 2022 National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act

    by MAJ Jacob Elders, JCISFA Military Analyst & MAJ James Micciche, Army SFAC G-5

    The White House and Department of Defense (DoD) released the updated National Security Strategy (NSS) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS) in October 2022. These documents serve as the “Ends” and “Ways” of the overall U.S. strategy by identifying vital national interests (ends) and describing how the instruments of national power will be employed to address challenges and achieve objectives (ways). Both documents view modern geopolitics through the lens of strategic competition, a contest between democratic and autocratic nations for international influence. Moreover, both strategies stress the importance of Allies and partners in campaigning to achieve integrated deterrence and prevail against contemporary strategic competitors.

    In December 2022, Congress passed the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. Through both funding and authorities, the NDAA provides the resources (means) that operationalize America’s instruments of national power in support of national interests. The FY23 NDAA provides additional employment authorities and substantially increased funding for regional security cooperation (SC) programs, demonstrating legislative concurrence on the importance of Allies and partners in support of the America’s national security policy.

    The following is a summary of aspects of the NSS, NDS and NDAA with implications for the SC and Security Force Assistance (SFA) Enterprise.

    2022 National Security Strategy

    The 2022 NSS shows a return to a foreign policy built primarily around the principles and concepts of liberalism in international relations theory. This is a marked departure from the 2017 NSS’ more realist approach, and a return to the orthodox underlying principle of U.S. foreign policy since the fall of the USSR in 1991. The NSS emphasizes both working through and protecting/expanding the systems, structures, organizations, and alliances that maintain the current global order, and underscores the importance of incorporating Allies and partners across all defense activities.

    With its emphasis on building, strengthening, and working through alliances and partnerships, the 2022 NSS highlights the significant role of SFA in national policy and strategy. SFA practitioners enable the Joint Force to “[use] and [apply] our power in combination with our Allies and partners who add significantly to our own strengths.”1 Additionally, the NSS’ emphasis on both campaigning and integrated deterrence amplifies the need for Combatant Commands (CCMDs) to generate long-term SFA plans to maximize the effect of SFA across the competition continuum. SFA practitioners remain a major tool for the U.S. to maintain and improve its “unrivaled network of allies and partners [that] protects and advances our interests around the world—and is the envy of our adversaries.”2

    2022 National Defense Strategy

    The 2022 NDS is a self-proclaimed “call to action…to incorporate Allies and partners at every stage of defense planning.”3 The NDS elevates the role and importance of Allies and partners in security strategy, calling them the strategy’s “center of gravity” and devoting an entire section on “anchoring our strategy in Allies and partners.” The emphasized role of Allies and partners is present in every section of the NDS as the document uses the term “partner(s)” 71 times and “Allies/Alliances” 66 times throughout its 32-pages.

    The foundational concept of the 2022 NDS is integrated deterrence, “aligning [DoD] policies, investments, and activities to sustain and strengthen deterrence.”4 Deterrence is achieved through the tailored combination of perception and integration of denial, resilience, and cost imposition strategies towards a specific actor within a given setting. The NDS links successful deterrence of regional and global threats to coalitions of interoperable Allies and partners. To build and strengthen U.S. interoperability with global partners, it directs the DoD to “reduce institutional barriers, including those that inhibit collective research and development, planning, interoperability, intelligence and information sharing, and export of key capabilities.”5

    James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023
    Each year, the NDAA authorizes funding levels and authorities to the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities. The FY 2023 NDAA authorizes roughly $816.7 billion for defense programs focused on America’s vital national security priorities and directs DoD efforts to meet objectives outlined in the NSS/NDS. Several sections of this year’s 4,400-page NDAA have implications that directly inform and enable for SC planning and execution.

    At the federal and institutional level, the FY23 NDAA aligns with objectives and priorities in the NSS/NDS to reduce barriers to collaboration and information sharing, bolstering our network of capable mission partners. Section 1507 directs the alignment of DoD cyber and SC strategies by exploring enhanced training, coordination, and potential operational and intelligence-sharing partnerships to advance cyberspace SC with foreign partners. Section 1211 directs the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to identify resource or authority gaps hindering efforts to bolster SC activities at the Counter-UAS University. The Act also authorizes a $198.5 million increase in funding for institutional capacity building (ICB) through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s International Security Cooperation Programs (ISCP) account which primarily funds §333 and §332 activities designated as Significant Security Cooperation Initiatives. Finally, the NDAA amends §331 which authorizes SECDEF to provide logistical support to friendly foreign countries participating in operations that serve the U.S. interests. The amendment more than doubles the authorized expenditures from $450 million to $950 million annually. While there exists a logical linkage between this increase and U.S. support for Allies and partners aiding Ukraine, this amendment expands U.S. support for Allies and partners globally in current and future operations because §331 funds are regionally agnostic. It should be noted, however, that increased funding and authorities noted here and later are accompanied by further expanded oversight and reporting requirements to Congress for all DOD SC activities.

    For Europe, this year’s NDAA expresses America’s ironclad commitment to NATO and emphasizes the importance of a unified response to Russia's unjust war in Ukraine and other shared security challenges. The NDAA authorizes the full FY23 budget request of $4.2 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative to allow USEUCOM to further enhance U.S. force posturing in Europe and maintain a committed schedule of joint and multinational exercises. Additionally, Section 1241 extends the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and authorizes $800 million in USAI funding, a $500 million increase from FY22 legislation. The USAI allows the federal government to fund production and procurement of defense articles for Ukraine through the defense industrial complex rather than by drawing directly from current U.S. stockpiles. The provision also allows U.S. forces to train militia groups under the authority of the Ukrainian government, potentially expanding the training audience for organizations like Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine and 7th Army Training Command.

    The Indo-Pacific theater received the lion’s share of DoD funding in this year’s NDAA. Section 1254 extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) and authorizes $12.5 billion, a sharp increase from $7.1 billion in FY22 and nearly double the amount requested in the DoD’s annual budget request. PDI funds do everything from building new infrastructure to increasing the number of exercises and training events with U.S. Allies and partners in the Pacific. Section 1252 amends the FY16 NDAA by authorizing the use of Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) funds and authorities for U.S. Coast Guard activities to build partner nation capacity under §333. While MSI itself is not new, the amendment increases SC/SFA resources in the pacific by authorizing the use of America’s tailor-made coastal and littoral security forces. Other notable sections for USINDOPACOM include 1263 and 1264, which codify the U.S. policy to build and maintain the capacity to resist a fait accompli that would jeopardize the security of Taiwan and to improve readiness and interoperability. Finally, Section 1260 directs SECDEF to expand defense cooperation with India on emerging technologies and logistics to enhance interoperability.

    This year’s legislation also authorizes the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act of 2022 (TERA), which is designed to expand U.S. SC efforts with Taiwan. Under TERA, Congress directs SECDEF and the Secretary of State to deepen the U.S. military’s rapport and interoperability with Taiwan by expanding their inclusion in International Military Education and Training programs. TERA also adds Taiwan as a major non-NATO nation eligible to receive defense articles under Title 22, authorizes $10 billion in grants for Taiwan to purchase U.S.-made military equipment, and authorizes the president to establish a regional contingency stockpile in Taiwan and drawdown of up to $1 billion from DoD stocks to provide to Taiwan.

    The NDAA addresses several SC programs beyond the priority theaters of Europe and the Indo-Pacific. Most notably, it provides a new SC authority for SOUTHCOM. Title 10, §335 authorizes SECDEF to cover certain expenses for developing foreign nations to attend Colombian-led training programs. The NDAA also authorizes $10 million for AFRICOM to diversify its multilateral exercise locations. The Act also reauthorizes and extends programs like the Counter ISIS Train and Equip Fund for CENTCOM to continue providing defense articles to Iraq and Syria to combat insurgency and terrorism by violent extremist organizations.

    As the U.S. enters this “decisive decade,” the centrality of America’s “unmatched network of Allies and partners” throughout these national strategic documents highlights the critical role of SC and SFA in America’s changing approach to modern military operations. Expanded authorities, increased funding, and explicit calls to enhance access, influence and interoperability with foreign partners signals a potential change in the tides for the SC/SFA Enterprise. It is incumbent on members of this community to proactively seek ways to implement this executive and legislative guidance to drive change, achieve objectives, and secure national interests.

    References and Notes
    1. National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington, DC: The White house, 2022), 7.
    2. Ibid., 16.
    3. National Defense Strategy of the United States of America, (Washington, DC: DOD, 2022), 14.
    4. Ibid., 8.
    5. Ibid., 14.
    Article Approved for Public Release by JS J7 PAO

    The opinions, conclusions, and recommendations expressed or implied within are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense or any other agency of the Federal Government.

    The National Security Strategy (October 2022), 2022 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America, and the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

    (Cover photos courtesy of the White House, DoD, and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee)

    Additional photos on DVIDS associated with this article are image IDs 7126726, 7594773, 7230798, 7305734, 7602684.



    Date Taken: 03.16.2023
    Date Posted: 03.16.2023 09:35
    Story ID: 440538
    Location: LEAVENWORTH, KS, US

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