The Post-Cold War Force-Sizing Debate
Paradigms, Metaphors, and Disconnects
This report contains four "essays" on strategy and force structure. While related and presented in a natural sequence, each essay can be read as a freestanding commentary on the post-Cold War force-sizing debate between the Bush administration and the Congress. The report outlines the debate, offers different perspectives for restructuring it, and sets out recommendations for defining force requirements. The role of certitude vs. uncertainty in force sizing is discussed. It pays particular attention to the "tyranny of plausible scenarios" and the delays inherent in rebuilding forces if the United States misjudges its security needs. The report is just as relevant for the Clinton administration as it was for the Bush administration, since Secretary of Defense Aspin continues as one of the protagonists in the debate that is described.