Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era

Brookings Institution Press
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The Brookings Institution has long produced an analysis of America's defense budgets and policies. The war on terror and the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have forced upon this country soaring defense budgets and unprecedented challenges in policymaking. In the newest installment in this tradition, leading foreign policy expert Michael O'Hanlon offers policy recommendations for strengthening the ability of America's military to respond to international crises in a tumultuous world. The United States can, for the foreseeable future, be confident that its armed forces will remain engaged in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan and other theaters in the war on terror. It will also need to remain involved in deterrence missions in the western Pacific, most notably in Korea and the Taiwan Strait. It will wish to remain engaged in European security, since the capabilities and cohesion of the NATO alliance have important implications for the United States globally. O'Hanlon reviews these priorities, asking tough questions and developing frameworks for answering them: • What military will the United States need in the future? • How much will it cost? • How can the U.S. increase the size of its ground forces without increasing the size of the defense budget? • In an era of apocalyptic terror threats, and at a time of $400 billion defense budgets and $400 billion federal budget deficits, how can this country protect its citizens while maintaining fiscal responsibility?
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About the author

Michael E. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the Sydney Stein Jr. Chair. His recent books include The Future of Arms Control (Brookings, 2005; with Michael A. Levi), Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary (Brookings, 2004), and Crisis on the Korean Peninsula (McGraw Hill, 2003; with Mike Mochizuki).

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Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2005
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Pages
148
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ISBN
9780815797685
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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This content is DRM protected.
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What happens if we bet too heavily on unmanned systems, cyber warfare, and special operations in our defense?

In today's U.S. defense policy debates, big land wars are out. Drones, cyber weapons, special forces, and space weapons are in. Accordingly, Pentagon budget cuts have honed in on the army and ground forces: this, after the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seems like an appealing idea. No one really wants American boots on the ground in bloody conflicts abroad. But it is not so easy to simply declare an end to messy land wars. A survey of the world's trouble spots suggests that land warfare has more of a future than many now seem to believe.

In The Future of Land Warfare, Michael O'Hanlon offers an analysis of the future of the world's ground forces: Where are large-scale conflicts or other catastrophes most plausible? Which of these could be important enough to require the option of a U.S. military response? And which of these could in turn demand significant numbers of American ground forces in their resolution? O'Hanlon is not predicting or advocating big American roles in such operations—only cautioning against overconfidence that we can and will avoid them.

O'Hanlon considers a number of illustrative scenarios in which large conventional forces may be necessary: discouraging Russia from even contemplating attacks against the Baltic states; discouraging China from considering an unfriendly future role on the Korean peninsula; handling an asymmetric threat in the South China Sea with the construction and protection of a number of bases in the Philippines and elsewhere; managing the aftermath of a major and complex humanitarian disaster superimposed on a security crisis—perhaps in South Asia; coping with a severe Ebola outbreak not in the small states of West Africa but in Nigeria, at the same time that country falls further into violence; addressing a further meltdown in security conditions in Central America.

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What happens if we bet too heavily on unmanned systems, cyber warfare, and special operations in our defense?

In today's U.S. defense policy debates, big land wars are out. Drones, cyber weapons, special forces, and space weapons are in. Accordingly, Pentagon budget cuts have honed in on the army and ground forces: this, after the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seems like an appealing idea. No one really wants American boots on the ground in bloody conflicts abroad. But it is not so easy to simply declare an end to messy land wars. A survey of the world's trouble spots suggests that land warfare has more of a future than many now seem to believe.

In The Future of Land Warfare, Michael O'Hanlon offers an analysis of the future of the world's ground forces: Where are large-scale conflicts or other catastrophes most plausible? Which of these could be important enough to require the option of a U.S. military response? And which of these could in turn demand significant numbers of American ground forces in their resolution? O'Hanlon is not predicting or advocating big American roles in such operations—only cautioning against overconfidence that we can and will avoid them.

O'Hanlon considers a number of illustrative scenarios in which large conventional forces may be necessary: discouraging Russia from even contemplating attacks against the Baltic states; discouraging China from considering an unfriendly future role on the Korean peninsula; handling an asymmetric threat in the South China Sea with the construction and protection of a number of bases in the Philippines and elsewhere; managing the aftermath of a major and complex humanitarian disaster superimposed on a security crisis—perhaps in South Asia; coping with a severe Ebola outbreak not in the small states of West Africa but in Nigeria, at the same time that country falls further into violence; addressing a further meltdown in security conditions in Central America.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”

The Talmud says: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively.

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Arms control, for decades at the core of the foreign policy consensus, today is among the more contentious issues in American politics. It is pilloried and considered out of mode in many conservative quarters, while being viewed as nearly sacrosanct in many liberal circles. In this new book, Michael Levi and Michael O'Hanlon argue that neither the left nor the right has a correct view of the proper utility of arms control in the age of terror. Arms control in the traditional sense--lengthy treaties to limit nuclear and other military competitions among the great powers--is no longer particularly useful. Nor should arms control be pursued as a means to the end of constraining the power of nations or of promoting global government. It is still a critical tool, though, for controlling dangerous technologies, particularly those that, in the hands of hostile states or terrorist organizations, could cause massive death and destruction. Arms control and coercive action, including military force, must be integrated into an overall strategy for preventing proliferation, now more than ever before. Arms control should be used to gain earlier warning of illicit activities inside dangerous states, allowing the international community to take coercive action in a timely way. The authors propose three new criteria to guide future arms control efforts, designed to respond to today's geopolitical realities. Arms control must focus on the dangers of catastrophic technology, not so much in the hands of major powers as of small states and terrorist groups. Their criteria lead to a natural focus on nuclear and biological technologies. Much tougher measures to prevent countries from gaining nuclear weapons technoloty while purportedly complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and procedures for controlling dangerous biological technologies will be most prominent in this framework, while lower priority is giben to efforts such as bilateral nuclear accords and most types of arms control for outer space. This book provides a framework for an effective arms control strategy in a new age of international security.
Arms control, for decades at the core of the foreign policy consensus, today is among the more contentious issues in American politics. It is pilloried and considered out of mode in many conservative quarters, while being viewed as nearly sacrosanct in many liberal circles. In this new book, Michael Levi and Michael O'Hanlon argue that neither the left nor the right has a correct view of the proper utility of arms control in the age of terror. Arms control in the traditional sense--lengthy treaties to limit nuclear and other military competitions among the great powers--is no longer particularly useful. Nor should arms control be pursued as a means to the end of constraining the power of nations or of promoting global government. It is still a critical tool, though, for controlling dangerous technologies, particularly those that, in the hands of hostile states or terrorist organizations, could cause massive death and destruction. Arms control and coercive action, including military force, must be integrated into an overall strategy for preventing proliferation, now more than ever before. Arms control should be used to gain earlier warning of illicit activities inside dangerous states, allowing the international community to take coercive action in a timely way. The authors propose three new criteria to guide future arms control efforts, designed to respond to today's geopolitical realities. Arms control must focus on the dangers of catastrophic technology, not so much in the hands of major powers as of small states and terrorist groups. Their criteria lead to a natural focus on nuclear and biological technologies. Much tougher measures to prevent countries from gaining nuclear weapons technoloty while purportedly complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and procedures for controlling dangerous biological technologies will be most prominent in this framework, while lower priority is giben to efforts such as bilateral nuclear accords and most types of arms control for outer space. This book provides a framework for an effective arms control strategy in a new age of international security.
These are extraordinary times in U.S. national security policy. America remains engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan while facing a global economic downturn. Homeland security concerns still abound in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Even as the financial crisis places considerable pressure on the U.S. budget, President Obama will have to spend a great deal of time and money on national security, hard power, and war. How should these competing demands be prioritized? How much money will be needed? How much will be available, and how should it be spent?

Budgeting for Hard Power continues the long and proud tradition of Brookings analysis on defense spending. As with previous volumes, this book examines the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs. But Michael O'Hanlon takes his analysis further, addressing the wide range of activities crucial for American security as a result of 9/11 and the ongoing wars. He considers homeland security resources and selected parts of the State Department and foreign operations budgets—offering a more complete overall look at the elements that make up America's "hard power" budget, a concept that he and Kurt Campbell wrote about in Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security (2006).

With future federal deficits projected to top $1 trillion, O'Hanlon calls for Defense, State, and Homeland Security budgets to be as frugal as possible. At the same time, he recognizes that resources should be selectively increased in certain areas to compensate for years of systematic underfunding, especially in certain areas of homeland security, diplomacy, and foreign assistance. In his typically clear and concise manner, O'Hanlon shows policymakers how to wrestle with the resource allocation decisions affecting the national security of the United States.

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