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Challenges to Military Operations in Support of U.S. National Interests. Volume 1: Executive Summary (Defense Science Board 2007 Summer Study)
DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD WASHINGTON DC
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U.S. conventional military capability remains unmatched by any state. As a result, no adversary--peer, near peer, or powerful non-state actor--with objectives in conflict with U.S. interests will oppose our nation with conventional military means. The United States is too strong and capable. Yet, this strength in the conventional arena does not mean that the nation is unmatched across the spectrum of conflict. The proliferation of technology, technical information, and technical skills facilitates access to a range of weaponry, other than conventional, that can be used to attack the United States both at home and abroad. These include weapons of mass destruction WMD, such as biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological, electromagnetic pulse, directed energy, and high explosives, as well as cyber warfare. No longer are adversaries limited to nation states. Technology proliferation has afforded access to the tools of warfare to non-state actors, such as terrorists, insurgents, and groups not bound by geography and the traditional trappings and vulnerabilities of statehood. These asymmetric tools of war may well be employed using non-traditional concepts of operation. Moreover, the battlefield may no longer be limited to regions afar, but may include the U.S. homeland. The United States could well confront the possibility of going to war abroad in the face of significant devastation in the homelanddividing forces between homeland catastrophe relief operations and combat abroad, or even facing the possibility that deploy and supply of U.S. military forces could be delayed and disrupted. How to contemplate this future over the next two decades was the focus of the Defense Science Board 2007 Summer Study. The question asked by the study was this Is the United States maintaining its capability to deter and defeat a nation or non-state actor who might employ unconventional or conventional means, in non-traditional as well as traditional ways to thwart U.S. interests
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