The U.S. Needs New Theories for National Security Success


White House Situation Room
The U.S. Needs New Theories for National Security Success
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

USA – -( Every major American national security victory began with a theory for success. Those theories were used to build strategies, which were then executed through operations and tactics.

Success always begins with a theory, and you cannot achieve success in national security without first starting with a theory.

For example, President Lincoln developed a theory for defeating the Confederacy in the early days of the Civil War based, in part, on General Winfield Scott’s plan to blockade the South by controlling the nation’s coasts and waterways. The influence of Scott’s 1861 Anaconda Plan contributed to the North’s overall strategic initiatives throughout the war, which led to the Union’s victory in four years.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and their chiefs of staff constructed a theory for victory in World War II over a three-week period around Christmas of 1941, just weeks after the United States had formally entered the war. The Allies achieved victory in Europe and Japan in the spring and summer of 1945, respectively.

The National Security Council outlined a theory of Soviet containment in a 1950 paper called NSC-68, which President Harry Truman used to initiate a long-term strategy of alliances. Forty-one years later, the Soviet Union collapsed – just as the Security Council’s theory suggested it would.

Now, look at today.

Sixteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States is not winning the war on terrorism – or many of the other major national security challenges we face.


  • Islamic supremacism is more powerful today as a transnational movement than it was on September 11, 2001.
  • The Taliban is still in Afghanistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.
  • The Iranian dictatorship is steadily growing in power and influence.
  • North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile program is proceeding at an accelerating rate.
  • We are unable to respond effectively to Russia’s system of hybrid warfare, which utilizes political pressure, propaganda, and fluctuating violence to achieve warlike outcomes, while avoiding full war.
  • Cyber and intellectual property theft by China have been debilitating our nation for at least a decade.
  • The list goes on and on.

This ineffectiveness in the face of aggression is not due to a lack of resources or willpower. Instead, it is largely because we lack appropriate theories for success for national security.

Without the right theories, we cannot develop sustainable and executable strategies that will lead us to victory.

While America meanders aimlessly on the world stage, reacting to one crisis after another, our competitors are taking advantage.

The Chinese and Russian regimes work every day to dominate us through economic development, alliance building, technological advancement, and long-term investments that have the potential to strengthen their military capabilities. This is all part of an ongoing competitive engagement that looks nothing like the wars we have fought in the past – but remains no less threatening to our survival.

Further, our theory gap creates more deadly challenges. Since we are failing to keep nuclear weapons away from places such as North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan, we must also develop a doctrine for minimizing American casualties during a potential nuclear war.

So, what can we do?

We must renew the basis of American power. This requires developing a national security theory of succeeding in education and the economy. It also requires assessing the national security implications of public health crises, like the opioid crisis.

A unhealthy, uneducated, and unproductive America will not sustain a global national security system and may not even be able to defend itself.

Specifically, to be successful over the next 20 years, we must develop national security theories for:

  1. Shrinking and eventually eliminating Islamic supremacism as an ideology capable of recruiting soldiers willing to engage in terrorism.
  2. Creating an American response to the Russian model of hybrid warfare which operates with the same capabilities.
  3. Developing systems, strategies, and structures for sustaining continuous competition with China and Russia.
  4. Being prepared for constant change across every career, institution, and system brought about by emerging technologies.
  5. Constantly communicating with Americans and allies to help people understand that mastering the scale and pace of change will be the key to success.

This is a daunting agenda, but it is historically and realistically the right agenda.

Anything less will increase the risk of America’s defeat within the next generation.

Your Friend,

Understanding Trump
Understanding Trump

P.S. Copies of Callista's new children's book, Hail to the Chief, and my new book Understanding Trump are now available

About Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. After he was elected Speaker, he disrupted the status quo by moving power out of Washington and back to the American people.

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  • 15 thoughts on “The U.S. Needs New Theories for National Security Success

    1. Simple, Borders, Language, Culture. Follow the United States of America’s Constitution, and Bill of Rights, also a legal path to citizenship…………Or leave the United States of America. Step Number One! Americans for Americans!

    2. Newt is looking at National Security from a global standpoint, but we will never have any kind of effective national security as long as our borders are unsecured and anyone can cross into this country whenever they like.

      1. Newt is dead on. I am, however, very disappointed that he didn’t include securing our borders and reestablishing our sovereignty. An “Open Borders” nation is no nation at all. I would also have added “Countering/eliminating influences from globalist billionaires (e.g. Soros) on our political life”. Prosecute them or assassinate them for sponsoring domestic and international terrorism (e.g. “Antifa” rent-a-pussy violence).

    3. How about ending the empire by bringing the troops & intel agents home (then discharging them)? Also, end the war on drugs which finances terrorism & dictatorships. Then we can live in peace with the world & preserve our liberty at home.

      1. That’s great. Too bad we are not living in the 19th Century, as that might actually work… back then. Today, that is madness. It may have worked when they could not fly over here from anywhere on the planet in a few hours, or fly to Mexico, or Central/South America and just walk over the border. Today, we can’t keep out 11 million- or 30 million, whatever- illegals including unknown OTMs of possible islamic terrorist bent. Yeah, we are going to build a wall. Still waiting on that, which was authorized 10 or 12 years ago. Oh, and Reagan promised us border security too. Maybe Trump can do better, but we will certainly need that if we are to go the Pat Buchanan Isolationist route. Will need that wall the full length of the Canadian border too. That’s only another 3000 miles or so, no biggie. We will have to wall off the whole country, to keep the barbarians out. Of course, we will destroy all our international trade and economy in the process, but who needs the rest of the world anyway? This is about preserving our liberty at home. Even if that means living in first class, 18th Century luxury.

        Darren, you have a funny definition of “empire.” Go study the British, the Romans, the Ottoman Turks and you will find that what we have is no such thing. We do not occupy and enslave a population like an empire does. Go ask Japan, South Korea, Germany etc if they see themselves as part of the United States Empire. Ask the governments in Kabul and Baghdad if they do. Nice try, but you’ve been taking that Pat Buchanan medication too much.

        So we discharge our troops and intel agents. Now we are essentially defenseless and have no clue what is going on because we have no intel. It’s worth noting that so much of what has gone wrong in the past 30 years is specifically due to the fact that we have gutted our live person intel capabilities since the Clinton days, and even before Reagan under Carter. Losing our intel capabilities is supposed to make us safer… exactly how? Seems a little short sighted, but hey, the bad guys will still have plenty of intel on us, so nothing to worry about, as we can be secure in knowing they will never act unfairly with that unassailable advantage.

        Now, end the war on drugs. Uh, which drugs? The prescription opiods Newt mentioned, that are the most significant part of the drug use epidemic today? My, that’s all going so well, we can just legalize all the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, etc and regulate it like we do prescription opiods! Hey, the marijuana industry is legal in many states, and it is creating jobs, businesses, tax revenue, and ever-growing DWI incidents. But hey, these drivers are not drunk, at least, merely high as a kite. Much improved. So we cut out the drug lords, the Afghan poppy fields, and we just get half the country addicted with the domestic supply. That solves the whole problem. I am sure, Darren, that you have thought this all through like I have. Good for you.

        And you know, on that last point, even though we are infidels, all the islamo-fascists will gladly leave us alone once we surrender our satellite state of Israel to them, withdraw from the middle east and let them gut the Saudi and other arab royal families like the Romanovs, creating a whole new “arab spring” phenomenon. The first one worked out so well, after all. But they will forgive us our being infidels, just for being so nice to let them turn their countries into more dysfunctional rat holes like Libya and Yemen. Not to mention Syria. Now that’s what I call world stability! And we will be so safe, just like Presidents Jefferson and Madison found.

          1. As opposed to the guy who believes that the world hates America because we are an “Empire”, and will simply love and be friendly with us if we only keep our principle of individual liberty here at home?

            Does anybody honestly believe that while still being able to call themselves “Sane”? The answer is no. We are hated because we are successful and we don’t bend to the world’s opinion. Is there a small part that comes from us interfering, sure.. They already view us as being “Holier than thou” because of our constitution though. Why do you think the UN has continuously tried to pass treaties and agreements meant solely to chip away at the sovereignty of the United states since the 1990’s? Hmmmm?? Does any rational person believe that simply coming home will change their view of us? I think not.

            1. For those wanting examples, try any of the small arms treaties, or perhaps the Law of the Sea Treaty which would have endangered our Submarine bases and transferred all royalty rights to the UN for profits made on the continental shelf right off our coasts.

            2. Well Revelator no one was attacking us before we went overseas to attack them. You could try reading the Founders & their warnings about getting caught up in old world fighting. If the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over & over while expecting a different result how does sending/keeping troops overseas & expecting peace not qualify?

              Coming to Terms With the American Empire
              By George Friedman
              Founder, Stratfor

              “Empire” is a dirty word. Considering the behavior of many empires, that is not unreasonable. But empire is also simply a description of a condition, many times unplanned and rarely intended. It is a condition that arises from a massive imbalance of power. Indeed, the empires created on purpose, such as Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany, have rarely lasted. Most empires do not plan to become one. They become one and then realize what they are. Sometimes they do not realize what they are for a long time, and that failure to see reality can have massive consequences.
              World War II and the Birth of an Empire

              The United States became an empire in 1945…The genuine American empire that emerged thereafter was a byproduct of other events. There was no great conspiracy. In some ways, the circumstances of its creation made it more powerful. (snip)

        1. Our empire is built on vassal states & organizations like the UN, IMF, & NGOs rather than direct control. We spread “democracy” to spread our control. What do you call the 700 installations we have around the world? Looks like empire to me.

          The issue today isn’t how to defend the US it’s the projection of US power abroad. It’s this projection of power that triggers attacks on us. Ending this empire will, therefore, keep us safer.

          The side of the war on drugs & this secure the border nonsense that you turn a blind eye to is that you need a police state to enforce these things. The border will never be safe while there are corporate interests that want cheap illegal labor here. The war on drugs failed long ago. More people use drugs today than 100 years ago when it got started. All we have from these 2 efforts are a militarized police, checkpoints, & SWAT raids trampling our liberties.

          1. Darren could you provide a few examples of SWAT raids trampling liberties? Because most of the ones I aware of were DEA, SWAT raids on know illegal activities such as: trafficking, drug labs or distribution points. Sure there has been a couple of mishaps but the only police state raiding, that trapples liberties,I’m aware of has been done by the ATF. Although the FBI’s actions in the Malhuer incident is suspect but that is a different conversation.

        1. I think that Darren keeps lighting up another joint. He does not even want to research the truth…just keep belching out the superficial socialist/progressive/Marxist blather that is provided to him, rather than earn a living at a real job.

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