Because the U.S. cannot afford to prioritize and defend against every possible threat, it must accept risk with each decision. And the more adaptive the adversary, the more likely it will confound readiness investments made previously to confront it.
Focusing on one type of threat or the other — whether state or non-state in its general nature — is becoming a less tenable option as the United States considers how to assess and improve its military readiness.
Presence involves global military deployments to counter potential aggressors, reassure allies, underwrite extended deterrence, build partner capacity, and more. It is now as important, in terms of its stabilizing and deterrent effect, as warfighting capabilities. Yet U.S. force posture falls short.
Many of the challenges the U.S. will face in the coming years across the range of military operations could be deep inland and require rapid response. Airborne forcible entry — with reimagined and modernized airborne forces — would offer decisionmakers options in crises that they do not possess today.
Reforms within the Chinese People's Liberation Army are in the process of delivering sweeping changes to its day-to-day operations, despite concerns held by some military members. Whether or not the overall implementation is successful as envisioned, assessing the operational implications of the reforms will require more time.
What must the Army be ready to do as part of a joint force, now and in the future? What capacities and capabilities should the Army have in order to be ready? The NCFA comes up short in its answers to both of these questions.
Converting the Army into a force suited only for homeland defense or humanitarian missions abroad, without the ability to fight sophisticated foes as part of a joint force, would result in an unprepared Army.
The Air Force's latest budget plan proposes to cut 25,000 airmen. The recommendations made by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) offer an alternative — and less risky — way forward.
Despite the fears of some, but in line with the experience of every other institution, both in the US and abroad, that has experienced such a transition, there have been no significant problems, writes Bernard Rostker.
As America embarks on a tough strategic journey in the aftermath of Iraq, and contends with an ailing economy, it is wise to be mindful of the difference between hope and fact, writes Paula G. Thornhill.