About the Current Strategy Forum
This year marks the 71st Current Strategy Forum (CSF) at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport. The first CSF was held on May 9th, 1949 under the title “Round Table Talks.” This event offered an opportunity for the Nation’s public servants, scholars, and senior military officers to join the College faculty and students to discuss the future strategy of the United States. Over the years, the CSF has expanded to include a cross section of America’s civilian and military leadership to encourage a wide-ranging debate on national and international security.
This year’s theme is “Net Assessment – Great Power Competition.”
In February 1946, George Kennan, then the chargé d’affaires in Moscow, wrote what is famously known as the “Long Telegram” that provided his assessment of the political, economic, ideological and cultural drivers that he believed would influence the post-war great power competition between the Soviet Union and the United States and its western allies. This analysis is credited with creating the basis for a serious policy and strategy debate on the relative balance of power between the two superpowers, the application of the net assessment methodology and the development of a successful containment strategy. This year’s forum will explore a better understanding of what history tells us about the practical value of a net assessment approach and how it applies to the strategic challenge posed by China’s ambition and Russia aggression to replace the current American-led rules-based, liberal international order. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III states that the Department of Defense “will prioritize China as our number one pacing challenge and develop the right operational concepts, capabilities, and plans to bolster deterrence and maintain our competitive advantage.” Our forum will likewise prioritize understanding the competition with China by conducting a net assessment of each side’s strengths and weaknesses.
"Know the enemy and know yourself: in a hundred battles, you will never be in peril."Explore More on CSF
-Sun Tzu, The Art of War