Access denied: during a Chinese naval exercise, April 2009.
GUANG NIU / REUTERS

The next U.S. president will inherit a security environment in which the United States con­fronts mounting threats with increasingly constrained resources, diminished stature, and growing uncertainty both at home and abroad over its willingness to protect its friends and its interests. Revisionist powers in Europe, the western Pacific, and the Persian Gulf—three regions long considered by both Democratic and Republican administrations to be vital to U.S. national security—are seeking to overturn the rules-based international order. In Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has seized Crimea, waged proxy warfare in eastern Ukraine, and threatened NATO allies on

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