As Goff set forth from the WH web site's own words on defense policy... and looking toward Erick's statements on the recent defense developments... The red italics below are Obama's words, what they really mean I give below in parens... Remember Obama always chooses his words carefully to give himself cover.
that can fight and win the nation’s wars.
(if they are allowed to fight, or if allowed to fight, then if they are allowed to win)
U.S. Armed Forces must be able to prevail
(as above, if we let them and don't sell them out to a diplomatic 'solution'. If there is a sell-out, I want Hillary to get the credit. It's actually a bigger win for us on the left if the military could have prevailed but was prevented politically/diplomatically from doing so. )
while developing capabilities to deter potential adversaries
(I'd rather bow, but all adversaries are only potential adversaries, but that said, the capabilities we want to develop are mostly diplomatic - as in 'reset' - 'deterrence' is entirely political/diplomatic, not military, and politically, potential adversaries includes DOD.)
Our policies will incorporate lessons from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(We've learned that we never should have been involved in these places in the first place - these entities we are fighting should be our allies, not our enemies. Or in the final consideration, we should submit to them.)
and provide a hedge against other risks and contingencies.
(This concerns me the most, as the word 'hedge' has many untoward meanings, most of which lead to despair for conservatives. Please go to dictionary.com and look up the word 'hedge' - in a military sense, a hedge would be based on the postulate that a loss is anticipated, nearly unavoidable, expected and somewhat acceptable. The risks referred to, of course, are more political and diplomatic than military in Obama's view and we can assume that the contingencies considered weigh more heavily toward diplomatic preemptive surrender than toward positive military outcomes. We arrive at the corollary of that postulate if we plunge deeper into the documented meanings of the word 'hedge'... and we get at the real intent of this policy statement. Dictionary.com: "to avoid a rigid commitment by qualifying or modifying a position so as to permit withdrawal".
I suggest that he is not using the word 'hedge' unadvisedly, but instead means 'hedge' in the fullest and ripest sense of the word.