Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era

Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era

Michael E. O’Hanlon
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 148
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  • Book Info
    Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era
    Book Description:

    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?

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9768-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Strobe Talbott

    This short but timely book by Mike O’Hanlon follows Brookings’s long-standing commitment to in-depth analysis of the federal budget and, in the case of Mike and his predecessors in the Foreign Policy Studies program, to the subject of U.S. military strategy and the defense budget.

    Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Erais Mike’s fourth such study in his ten-year tenure at Brookings and continues a series of analyses that have been written by Barry Blechman, William Kaufmann, Martin Binkin, Lawrence Korb, Joshua Epstein, and others. Mike examines broad questions such as America’s two-war planning framework, the military requirements imposed by...

  4. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    What kind of military will the United States need in the future, and how much will it cost? In an era of apocalyptic terrorist threats and other dangers there is little doubt that the country must do what it takes to protect itself. That said, at a time of $400 billion federal budget deficits, the country must also spend wisely.

    This book argues that the Bush administration’s planned defense budget increase of some $20 billion a year into the foreseeable future is indeed necessary. Half of that increase accounts for inflation, roughly speaking, and the rest represents real growth in...

  5. TWO Setting the Context: The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and Their Lessons
    (pp. 27-38)

    Wars in general always teach a great deal about military operations. Because the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have also helped establish the circumstances in which American armed forces now find themselves around the world, these wars in particular should be reviewed before developing recommendations about the future.

    The most important single question is this: did Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom validate a new theory of warfare according to which special forces, high technology, and creative war plans will replace America’s traditional assets of firepower, maneuver, and brute strength? If so, the implications for defense planning could...

  6. THREE The Need to Increase the Size of U.S. Ground Forces
    (pp. 39-50)

    After criticizing the Clinton administration for overdeploying and overusing the U.S. military in the 1990s, President Bush and his administration did exactly the same thing—but on a much larger scale. That observation is not a criticism of the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. But having made the decision—and having badly underestimated the forces needed to stabilize Iraq after Saddam was overthrown as well as the difficulty of doing so—the Bush administration left the U.S. ground forces too small to meet the ensuing challenges successfully.

    The problem is most acute for the U.S. Army, which numbers only a...

  7. FOUR The Draft, the Overseas Base Structure, and the Allies
    (pp. 51-71)

    The question of whether U.S. ground forces should be increased in size is only one of several key issues concerning how the American military is structured and deployed abroad today. This chapter considers several other, related subjects, including whether the country needs specialized units for peacekeeping and other stabilization missions, whether it should restore the draft, how and where U.S. forces should be stationed abroad, and what help the American public can expect from its overseas allies. All of these issues are important in their own right, and in general the Rumsfeld Pentagon is making bold, smart decisions about how...

  8. FIVE Modernizing Weaponry
    (pp. 72-94)

    In the 1990s, the Department of Defense enjoyed a “procurement holiday,” during which it bought less equipment than usual because it was downsizing the armed forces and because it could rely on stocks purchased during the Reagan era buildup. But like all holidays, this one had to end. The Bush administration is attempting to restore Pentagon procurement funding to a more historically typical share of the overall Department of Defense budget, usually about 25 percent. However, it has not yet achieved that goal, and cost pressures may prevent it from doing so in the future. Indeed, it is falling short...

  9. SIX Beyond Iraq and North Korea
    (pp. 95-120)

    The immediate challenge of U.S. defense planning is to manage the current strain on military forces while keeping the defense budget within bounds. It is entirely appropriate that such a difficult task should command the bulk of the time and intellectual resources of U.S. defense strategists today, but it is time to begin to think about what organizing framework the Department of Defense should employ after the intense period of the Iraq operation is over. This concluding chapter sketches out several broad considerations as well as several specific scenarios to help initiate the process.

    Among its other implications, this chapter...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 121-138)
  11. Index
    (pp. 139-148)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 149-149)