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Strategy in a Year of Fiscal Uncertainty

Defense strategy is about choices. In peacetime, strategy is often expressed in the budget as choices among different types of weapon systems and force structure. Bernard Brodie, writing in a 1959 RAND report, noted, “We do not have and probably never will have enough money to buy all the things we could effectively use for our defense. The choices we have to make would be difficult and painful even if our military budget were twice what it is today.” He went on to write, “In


Backgrounder: Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats

The Obama administration has released new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense (DoD) that announces its intent to “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region” and maintain the capability to “project power despite anti-access and area-denial challenges.” As the U.S. military assesses planning and resource initiatives required to support these objectives, it should not forget the need to address Iran’s emerging anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategy and the threat that it represents to the peace and stability of the Persian Gulf.


Changing the Business of Defense

DoD faces a fundamental choice in how it prepares to trim its budget under such a high degree of uncertainty. It can change the way it does business or change the business it does. Under the deepest cuts proposed, it may well need to do both.


Defense Funding in the Budget Control Act of 2011

While the Budget Control Act of 2011 resolves the debt ceiling issue through 2012, it leaves many budget issues unresolved. The future of the defense budget remains uncertain


Selected Options and Costs for a No-Fly Zone Over Libya

US policymakers and other world leaders have watched intently as civil war has erupted in Libya. In recent days, reports of air strikes on Libyan rebels and civilians have led some in the international community to call for a no-fly zone. Some argue that since US vital interests are not at stake, America should not become engaged in yet another military operation while the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq remain unresolved. There are also those who argue that given the United States’ declining fiscal position, those African and European states whose interests are directly involved in Libya should step-up and implement a no-fly zone. The Pentagon has weighed in, urging caution, and noting that the costs and difficulties of no-fly zones are generally higher than perceived.