The Looming Crisis in Defense Planning

Published in: JFQ, Joint Force Quarterly, no. 63, Oct. 2011

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2011

by Paul K. Davis, Peter A. Wilson

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Technology diffusion, geostrategic changes, and a proliferation of well-armed adversaries are forcing Washington to deal with a mix of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism and at the same time provide against traditional challenges. Taken together, these factors are brewing a "perfect storm" that will not be adequately addressed by current attempts to balance investments between traditional combined arms warfare with complex operations. This toxic combination will take more than incremental changes to fix, and a few writers along with parts of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review touch on the scope of this largely unappreciated danger. The authors call for necessity-driven experimentation--vigorous and competitive exploration of ideas to aid in making "once-in-a-century" decisions.

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