There are some worrying indicators within the military bureaucracy about our readiness. They should be fixed immediately.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he U.S. faces both the immediacy of great-power competition and the prospect of great-power war. Both of these require a military that is wholly prepared for combat. This preparation includes all the standard aspects of military power — personnel, matériel, and training. But most important and least measurable is intellectual readiness. There is no sign that the armed services, or the defense establishment more broadly, are intellectually prepared for a Sino–American clash.

A military organization’s first peacetime task is preparing for combat. Americans could be forgiven for forgetting this fact, given the state of our contemporary political debate, some of which


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