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This research brief describes work documented in Strategic Appraisal 1997: Strategy and Defense Planning for the 21st Century (MR-826-AF).

Excerpt: How ready will the United States be to face the security challenges of the 21st century? The answer will depend greatly on choices made by U.S. defense planners over the next few years. Given a demanding national security strategy, evolving threats, and continuing constraints on defense resources, the margin for error is not great. One option for adjusting the U.S. defense posture is a "business as usual" approach that makes only modest changes in warfighting concepts and force mix. Another option is to embark on a fundamental assessment of U.S. strategy and defense planning — one that takes full advantage of emerging capabilities and exploits technological, organizational, and operational innovations to make a smaller force more capable.

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