Tailored Deterrence

Strategic Context to Guide Joint Force 2020

Published in: Joint Force Quarterly, v. 74, no. 3, July 2014, p. 22-29

Posted on RAND.org on July 01, 2014

by Michael Johnson, Terrence Kelly

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The Nation's defense and security strategies seek to deter enemies, yet DOD does not define precisely what or who is to be deterred or the cost that can be met to achieve it. Accordingly, force-sizing draws on assumptions, operational concepts, and programmatic priorities that may or may not relate directly to articulate defense policies regarding tangible threats. For instance, there is overinvestment in offensive capabilities to defeat China in Air-Sea Battle when a defensive posture and A2/AD efforts with partners would be more cost-effective; simultaneously, there is underinvestment in combined arms measures for confronting such regional powers as North Korea and Syria and securing WMD in failed or failing states. DOD must array its resources against clearly identified threats and tasks.

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