Looming Discontinuities in U.S. Military Strategy and Defense Planning: Colliding RMAs Necessitate a New Strategy
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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The United States is entering a period of discontinuity in its defense planning, something that may be seen by future historians as a planning crisis. As indicated schematically in Figure S.1, the discontinuity stems from technology diffusion that is leveling aspects of the playing field militarily, geostrategic changes, and the range of potential adversaries. These are leading to 1 the United States having to deal with a demanding mix of complex operations e.g., counterinsurgency and stabilization and traditional challenges 2 the increasing difficulty of force projection in some important circumstances 3 a related block obsolescence of U.S. forces and concepts of operations and 4 the need for a new grand strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. Obstacles exist to taking on these challenges-notably, the demands of current wars, military complacency due to decades of military overmatch, and severe national fiscal constraints.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics