Posts Tagged ‘Affordability’

U.S. National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years

December 12, 2012

The election is over.  President Obama’s administration will be in charge of national security policy for the next four years.  The product of this tenure will have long lasting consequences for American security, for good or for ill.

The next issue of the National Strategy Forum Review presents a comprehensive and succinct overview of what lies ahead for the next four years—trends, options, and consequences.  It is our forecast of the major issues and challenges that will shape U.S. national security discussion in 2013 and beyond.  Articles in this issue include:

  • The Threat Array: Knowns and Unknowns: Given that there are many unknown emerging threats, it may be prudent to develop national resilience rather than to counter every known threat to U.S. national security.
  • Military Policy in a Time of Fiscal Retrenchment: The U.S. military is in a state of flux as a result of the Afghan and Iraq wars. U.S. military resources and doctrine must adapt to asymmetry, terrorism, insurgency, and a constrained defense budget.
  • Pivot to Asia: Calculus and Consequences: The American destiny may lie more with countries in the Asia-Pacific than with traditional Western European orientation.  What are the consequences and how can this shift be managed?
  • Flashpoint Mediterranean: Middle Eastern conflicts are continuing and are unresolved.  There is a Mediterranean connection that should be explored, resulting in potential amelioration of the conflict.  The realistic goal is political stability rather than peace.
  • The National Security Benefit of Good Neighbors – Canada And Mexico: America’s backyard is composed of Canada, Mexico, and Latin America.  These states are expanding their economic and political stability.  Although the U.S. has not been an exceptionally good neighbor, there is opportunity for the U.S. to initiate actions that could result in an enhanced relationship.
  • Proactive Asymmetry: To counter ongoing terrorist threats, the U.S. needs to “think small”—an asymmetric, proactive offensive doctrine.

The National Strategy Forum mission is to assist our members to become more informed about U.S. national security issues through our lecture series, conferences, and publications.  It is our hope that this new issue of the National Strategy Forum Review proves useful to you.

National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years can be read online at the link here.

Winter 2011 National Strategy Forum Review

February 21, 2011

 

The Winter 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review is now available online.  This issue titled “Thinking About National Security: An NSF Guidebook for 2011” serves as a concise overview of the emerging trends in national security and national strategy.

There are a number of emerging national security threats that will define this decade.  How should the US think about economic security?  What are the trends in homeland security?  How can the DoD respond to budget cuts while preparing the military for the future?  Is US foreign policy focusing enough attention on emerging regions?  Given the challenges in Afghanistan, what should be our strategy with Pakistan?

Crafting a national security strategy requires: 1) an understanding of the issues; and 2) developing possible policy solutions.  The Winter 2011 NSFR puts these emerging trends in context and suggests ways of thinking about policy solutions.  Articles are available for download as PDFs.

Winter 2011 National Strategy Forum Review: “Thinking About National Security: An NSF Guidebook for 2011”

Fighter Gaps: Why the Chinese J-20 Matters for U.S. Air Power

January 27, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates laid out a comfortable air defense scenario in a July 16, 2009 speech to the Economic Club of Chicago:

“[B]by 2020, the United States is projected to have nearly 2,500 manned combat aircraft of all kinds. Of those, nearly 1,100 will be the most advanced fifth generation F-35s and F-22s.  China, by contrast, is projected to have no fifth generation aircraft by 2020. And by 2025, the gap only widens…”

Mr. Gates went back to China in January 2011.  U.S. and international news sources reported test flights during his trip for a “J-20” fighter, whose external appearance, at least, resembled the U.S. F-22 Raptor.  Old fighter program data and old relative power projections for 2015-2025 may need revision.

The past few weeks have seen a significant re-evaluation of U.S. air power strategy.  The J-20 appears to have caught the U.S. militay by surprise and it is questionable how they will adapt their strategy to meet this new challenge.

William A. Price evaluates the F-22 fighter program in an National Strategy Forum Review: Special Report titled Fighter Gaps.  Mr. Price’s detailed analysis of the F-22 and F-35 strike fighter programs, the U.S. Air Force procurement strategy, and comparisons of aircraft capabilities pose some striking questions.  Is the U.S. adequately preparing for the air superiority challenges of the future?

Fighter Gaps

By William A. Price

Green Coal?

December 3, 2010

As Sam complained in that famous Dr. Suess poem, “I don’t like green eggs and ham,” so too have environmentalists not preferred the terms “green” and “coal” on the same page.  Unfortunately, the reality of the environmental and energy challenges are growing more difficult by the day.  The U.S. and China—both the largest consumers of energy and the largest producers of carbon emissions—are facing unpalatable tradeoffs in their strategic energy portfolios as they plan for increased energy consumption in the future.  The link between the environment and national security is clear.  Environmental instability must be incorporated into a national security strategy. In the case of energy, the difficult tradeoff is providing the massive power necessary to fuel the world’s largest economy while remaining mindful of the damaging effects on the environment.

Are you willing to turn off your refrigerator or computers for the next 30 years while alternative energy technology catches up to power needs?  Would you expect the Chinese to do the same?  Riding the wave of alternative energy is satisfying, but it is bound to end in disappointment—at least for now.  Better to hitch a ride on “dirty” coal to power the economy of tomorrow, so argues James Fallows in his new article featured this month in The Atlantic, “Dirty Coal, Clean Future.” Fallows presents one of the most clear-eyed, realistic approaches to the energy and climate change problem in a long while.  It is time to seriously consider America’s strategic approach and financial investments in the energy economy of tomorrow.  Before betting the farm on alternative energy, a realistic assessment of this problem and the available solutions may save both the environment and a few bucks in the process.

Read the full article by Eric S. Morse: “Green Coal?  The Environmental / Strategic Tradeoff.”

Russian Roulette with Project BioShield

July 28, 2010

House Democrats have proposed to strip $2 billion from the nation’s bioterrorism emergency fund, Project BioShield.  Recent studies demonstrate the danger of bioterrorism and pandemics to the U.S., in addition to precarious nature of our country’s bioterrorism preparation.  Consequently, the House bill is cause for concern.  Individual preparedness may be the only remedy for an ill-equipped federal emergency response to biological attacks or pandemics, but there are a number of impediments to this recourse.  The following article  suggests that U.S. biological attack and pandemic preparations are threatened by the funding cuts to Project BioShield.

Russian Roulette with Project BioShield
By Eric S. Morse