On November 15, 2014 Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA, Saturday, November 15, 2014.
Here is a partial except of that important speech:
“The Department of Defense is undergoing a defining time of transition. After 13 years of war fought by an all-volunteer force, we’re facing a reshaping of our enterprise by a fiscal environment plagued by constant budget uncertainty and a large, continuing decline in resources, and by a historic realignment of interests and influences around the world.
Enduring and emerging powers are challenging the world order that American leadership helped build after World War II. In the Middle East, in North Africa, the order within and between states is being recast in ways that we’ve not seen for almost a century, often leaving dangerous ungoverned spaces in their wake.
In West Africa, a virus 1,000 smaller than a human hair has in less than a year infected over 13,000 people, killed 5,000 people, and shook governments and health care systems alike. In Europe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represents one of the most blatant acts of state-on-state aggression on that continent since the end of World War II. And in the Asia-Pacific competition between rising powers threatens to undermine the stability that has allowed the region to prosper and thrive.
We are at the beginning, not at the end, of this realignment. And as Henry Kissinger recently put it in his new book, World Order, “only a subtle balance of restraint, force, and legitimacy will help forge a new order” – an order that will be years, and probably decades, in the making. This means that the missions and focus of the Defense Department will continue to be marked and defined by transition.
As these dynamics unfold, the U.S. military is engaging in today’s crises and security challenges around the world – degrading ISIL, helping stop the spread of Ebola, and reinforcing our NATO allies. Few would have predicted these missions a year ago, and as you all know well, uncertainty is the only certainly in an interconnected world of seven billion people.
DoD’s responsibilities are to be prepared to address a broad range of contingencies and unpredictable crises well into the future. That means we must prepare our defense enterprise – prepare our defense enterprise for the challenges of that uncertain future. We face the rise of new technologies, national powers, and non-state actors; sophisticated, deadly and often asymmetric emerging threats, ranging from cyberattacks to transnational criminal networks; as well as persistent, volatile threats we have faced for years.
Our long-term security will depend on whether we can address today’s crises while also planning and preparing for tomorrow’s threats. This requires making disciplined choices and meeting all our nation’s challenges with long-term vision.”
To read the speech in its entirety click here: http://www.defense.gov/Speeches/Speech.aspx?SpeechID=1903