The NDS has two pieces to it: it says you have to compete with China and Russia and prepare for conflict with China and Russia. Those are different. The way you would manage and develop your force is different depending on which one you are biasing towards.
Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, MD
The challenge of course with an acting [defense secretary] is no one knows how long they will actually be around. A confirmed [defense secretary] just has more clout, period. More clout within the Pentagon, more clout on the Hill, more clout on the National Security Council, and with the American public.
At the end of the day, as we all know thorny national security issues don’t just involve the military; political-military considerations invariably bleed into them. If the senior military’s leadership views are going to be just constrained to military advice … who is thinking about issues from that broader perspective?