Some Thoughts on the New Defense Strategy

It’s hard to say a lot about the new strategic guidance released by the Pentagon on Thursday since the document (pdf), titled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” doesn’t say all that much.  A more detailed assessment may be possible when the defense budget is released in February.  It’s noteworthy that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted that the new defense plan did not factor in the $500 billion is cuts over the next decade mandated by the supercommittee’s failure to reach a deal late last year.  According to Panetta, if a compromise isn’t reached and . . .
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Letting the Military be the Military

During George W. Bush’s tenure in the Oval Office, there was plenty of ink spilled about the accelerated militarization of American foreign policy.  Of course, Bush didn’t start this trend—see Dan Priest’s series, from 2000, on America’s “proconsuls” in the form of the military’s various combatant commands for just one example.  And, based on his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, initiation of a war in Libya, and the likely interruption in ending in the war in Iraq, even President Obama’s supposed disdain for hard power seems unlikely to change this trend any time in the near future.

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Making Sense of the 2011 National Military Strategy

This is a guest contribution from Mr. Z.  Mr. Z is the pseudonym for a career strategist at the Department of Defense and an active duty 06.

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When the 2011 National Military Strategy (NMS) (pdf) was released in February it received very little attention and fanfare outside the small cadre of military officer and defense analysts anticipating its arrival. While it is a document the vast majority of Americans have never heard of, much less read, it plays an important role in shaping the broad strategy of the US military. Given its rather radical effort to . . .
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