Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Military’

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.

Pew Global Attitudes Survey: U.S. Image in Pakistan

June 22, 2011

A new Pew Global Attitudes Project poll was released on June 21, 2011 detailing the U.S. image in Pakistan.  The survey data is available at the link here.

Many of these findings echo NSF research completed in March-April of 2011.  The Spring 2011 NSFR report titled “The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Towards a Complementary Strategy” analyzed many of these trends and suggested a complementary strategy for achieving U.S. objectives in Pakistan.

To improve the relationship, the report suggested a number of initiative (details found on page 14):

  • Restructuring American aid to Pakistan by emphasizing targeted project investments that are highly visible to the Pakistani public. Several common sense ideas include power plants and natural gas facilities.
  • Establishing anti-corruption controls to facilitate future American aid and support.
  • Emphasizing U.S. communications and branding. America must rebrand its image, sense of purpose, and policy actions in the eyes of Pakistan’s public.
  • Encouraging cultural diplomacy that leverages civilian cross-cultural exchanges and study abroad opportunities.
  • Increasing medical collaboration in projects that provide visible assistance to the Pakistani people.
  • Setting a new diplomatic tone to make it more likely that the two countries listen to one another.

The new Pew Global Attitudes survey on Pakistan reinforces a number of the trends identified in the NSF report.  There are ten notable results from the Pew Global Attitudes survey data:

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The Pentagon’s Energy Plan

June 15, 2011

Energy security has long been the U.S.’s Achilles heel.  The Pentagon released today a new strategy aimed at developing fuel-efficient weapons, embracing non-oil energy sources, and requiring troops to behave in a more energy-responsible manner.  These plans are fleshed out in two news articles below.

Pentagon Presents Its First Energy Plan (Wall Street Journal)

Pentagon to Prioritize Energy Use in Acquisition (Defense News)

In addition, the National Strategy Forum Review has focused on energy security and energy strategy in recent issues.  The articles below amplify the Pentagon’s new approach.  The U.S. economy is already undergoing changes to its energy infrastructure and consumer behavior.  Given that the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., if not the world, the Pentagon’s new plan is a welcome step in the right direction.

Energy Performance in the Department of Defense by Oliver Fritz

Energy Security: Protecting Our Environment, Our Economy, and Our Independence by Endy Zemenides

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”

Missiles and the Balance of Power

February 9, 2011

Missiles are again prominent in international news.  This time, however, it is not the United States or Russia that is making headlines, as was the case during the Cold War, but rather small and rising powers across the globe.  The ramifications of diffuse missile technology is altering the face of geopolitical power and causing advanced countries to rethink their strategies.  Developing countries with small military forces are finding that they can effectively counter-balance larger, more advanced militaries by deploying low-tech missile technology.

There are four recent examples of missiles changing the balance of power in the international system.  Read the analysis in the article below.

Missiles and the Balance of Power

By Eric S. Morse

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