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US Army Chief of Staff reflects on the need for “difficult choices”

On 9 May, the Chief of Staff for the US Army, General Randy George delivered the annual Kermit Roosevelt Lecture at RUSI, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly complex global strategic landscape.

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In his opening remarks and over the course of a Q and A session, General George provided his insights on the contemporary geopolitical context – as seen through the lens of the United States – and discussed the implications for US national security.

Drawing on his experience as a military leader, including first-hand perspectives on effective leadership and the strategies for driving meaningful change within a military organisation, General George also outlined how the US Army is transforming to meet the demands of an increasingly dangerous world.

In his prepared remarks, General George recently said:

Today, there is clearer cooperation between adversaries than we’ve seen in a long time, and those adversaries are blatantly challenging the rules-based world order. Nothing made that clearer than when Russia launched its conventional assault on Ukraine just over 800 days ago… there are flashing red lights in the world around us, requiring us to make difficult choices and move with a greater sense of urgency… [looking ahead] we need to ensure that we are prepared to warfight at scale.

Reflecting on General George’s address, Director of RUSI’s Military Sciences Research Group, Matthew Savill recently said:

“The UK government has argued that we are in a pre-war period, necessitating an increase in defense spending and a more assertive foreign policy that support our values and interests. What General George provided today is an insight into how the US Army will be approaching modern challenges and preparing for contemporary warfare, and by extension provided lessons for the British Army and UK Armed Forces about where they may need to prioritise to be able to fight effectively and make a valuable contribution to working with our international partners.”

About the Kermit Roosevelt Lecture

The Kermit Roosevelt Exchange Lecture Series, paying tribute to Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, holds a special place in transatlantic military history. Kermit Roosevelt's dual service in the US and British armies during the First and Second World Wars underscores the deep-rooted military alliance between the two nations. The annual lecture series serves as a poignant reflection of the enduring dedication to Anglo-American military collaboration.

The lectures provide a valuable opportunity for enhancing mutual understanding and collaboration between the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom. They serve as a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas, aiming to strengthen relations and improve understanding of how to achieve operational effectiveness.

The attendance of military personnel, policymakers, and scholars at these lectures underscores the importance of fostering transatlantic relationships and promoting greater interoperability between the two nations' military forces. By engaging in these lectures, participants aim to contribute to the continued advancement of Anglo-American military cooperation and the preservation of shared security interests.


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