Redefining the Military Element of National Power
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
The military element of national power has arguably been the dominant factor by which a nation assesses its relative strength among the community of nations. Military strength generally determines the symmetric ability of one nation to impose its will upon another nation. Variables such as manpower and equipment provide a quantitative summary against which to judge military strength, while leadership, training, and morale are some qualitative variables of the military strength equation. Using this type of calculus in todays national security environment may not be an appropriate or sufficient way to gauge relative national power. Today, the ability of a nations military to project itself, operate, and sustain itself throughout the spectrum of conflict frequently exceeds the boundaries of the military element of power. For example, the Gulf War and U.S. peace support operations in the Balkans, such as Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard, indicate the militarys increasing reliance on contractors to support and sustain its forces. Not only are these non-military capabilities essential to the success of U.S. military operations, but they are typically discounted in any equation that assesses relative national military strength. Similarly, the defense against terrorism in the homeland relies on synergistic combination of many national non-military capabilities.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics