Atlantic Council Board Member and Scowcroft Center Distinguished Fellow Franklin Kramer cowrites for Defense News on what things Ashton Carter should take into consideration when thinking about how to respond to twenty-first century geopolitical challenges:

As Ashton Carter prepares for his Senate confirmation hearings, he will need to consider not just defense budgets but the creation of new strategies and operational capabilities to meet 21st century geopolitical challenges.

But with his experience and skills, Carter can use the next two years to design changes to significantly improve US national security capabilities. Here are six key areas where American security demands innovative strategic development:

■ Building partnership capacity. The collapse of the Iraqi armed forces in the face of the Islamic State’s advances illustrates the difficulty of developing the forces of another country. Multiple billions of dollars were spent to build up those forces and several of America’s best generals led the program at various times. By contrast, the Islamic State developed its forces with substantially fewer resources, as did the Taliban in Afghanistan, and yet they have done very well against American-trained forces.

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