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Challenges to Military Operations in Support of U.S. Interests. Volume 2: Main Report
OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION AND TECHNOLOGY) WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
The first and most important duty of the government is spelled out clearly in the Constitution To provide for the common defense. The highest priority national objective of which there is little disagreement as to purpose is preservation of the Republic and protection of its citizens. Thus, Job 1 for the U.S. military is defense of the homeland. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the United States faced little direct threat to the homeland other than the specter of a full arsenal exchange with the former Soviet Union a threat dealt with by symmetrically assuring the destruction of their homeland. Mutually assured destruction, and deterrence more generally, seemed sufficient to protect the homeland from attack. This complacency was shattered along with the World Trade Center in 2001. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the nation has begun to reconsider both the threats to its homeland and the appropriate military countermeasures to those threats. If the threats were conventional bombardment andor invasion of the continent, there would be little difficulty defining the role of the Department of Defense DOD and the military force it manages. The difficulty arises when valid threats appear to come from non-state actors, loosely networked, and potentiated by weapons of mass destruction, or at least weapons of mass disruption. At issue is the ambiguous, officially unresolved, expectations of the military in the event when remediation and, perhaps, internal peacekeeping are the order of the day.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE