Using the references presented, answer the question below in 300 words.
Q1) What military force will the U.S. need to ensure its future security?
1-America Unrivalled: Chapter 5, 9 and Conclusion
2-American Grand Strategy after 9/11, Biddle, pages 1-44
3-Strategic Assessment 1999: Review the “Key Findings” chapter, pages xi-xx
4-Add any new ref. related to the subject.
Q2- (65 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”
What military force will the U.S. need to ensure its future security?
Our military forces today are organized according to current threats. But today\’s threats are not necessarily the ones we will see in the future. Unless we are willing to pursue a new course, we are likely to have forces that are ill-suited to protect our security twenty years in the future. The adversaries we may face in the future will learn from the past and will likely confront us in very different ways. New challenges will surely emerge. Even a regional power with a relatively modest defense budget could alter its force posture and operational concepts to present us with significant problems by avoiding our strengths and attacking our weaknesses. So the first real step in protecting our country as we know it is to stop increasing and decreasing our military forces. One year they want to cut troops, move many into the guard and reserve components, and then the next year we are reactivating and begging people to enlist. I, for one, was an ROTC commissioned officer and at the time there wasn’t a large need for officers and we had to fight tooth and nail to keep my commission, then a couple years after I graduated they don’t have enough cadets to fill the wing. Obviously an increase in the military budget would give the military a better opportunity to expand and build the necessary building, equipment and all necessary to predict and protect against future attacks. While these funds are not readily available there are other things that can and should be done to improve the military’s capability. We, as in the Air Force/Army, are making a joint effort in combining our bases and using the same facilities that normally each installation would have on their own. Also, reconvening and not spreading our forces out over many different conflicts but focusing on the hot areas at the time. Focusing on two regional conflicts at a time or large scale operations would defiantly make more soldiers and funds available on the home front. The DoD cannot preserve US interests on its own and needs support from the politicians and even the general public. We need to fund a better process of experimentation and hope to change to new force structures, platforms, operational concepts, and doctrine; consider what revisions might be necessary in the unified command plan that delineates geographic and functional responsibilities of the uniformed services; review Defense infrastructure and support systems. These steps would be used to consider how to best shape our national security arrangements for the twenty-first century. Based on tow reports recently released, one from the Center for American Progress and the Center for National Policy – both conclude that the U.S. military must better address unconventional threats, restore the strength of our ground forces, and rebalance the budget to match resources to priorities (Defense, 2008). These reports were preceded by an essay from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Foreign Affairs that argued along similar lines: \”The United States cannot expect to eliminate national security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything. The Department of Defense must set priorities and consider inescapable tradeoffs and opportunity costs (Gates, 2008)”. This vision is in stark contrast to the \”transformation\” strategy the Bush administration and Secretary Rumsfeld brought to the Pentagon. Future warfare, they said, would involve high tech fights between states; large ground forces were unnecessary, because high-tech precision weapons would obviate the need for boots on the ground. As a result, not enough U.S. troops were initially sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to secure the countries and billions were spent on outdated weapons systems with little relevance to 21st century challenges. This misguided defense strategy has had severe implications for our military, and has left the U.S. dangerously exposed and strategically adrift. In the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, says \”The Department of Defense must set priorities and consider inescapable tradeoffs and opportunity costs (Gates, 2008)”. The strategy Gates talks about strives for balance in three areas: between trying to prevail in current conflicts and preparing for other contingencies, between institutionalizing capabilities such as counterinsurgency and foreign military assistance and maintaining the United States\’ existing conventional and strategic technological edge against other military forces, and between retaining those cultural traits that have made the U.S. armed forces successful and shedding those that hamper their ability to do what needs to be done. I truly believe if we focus our spending on the protection of the homeland and building the military in aims to debilitate insurgents we will have a much greater grasp on the future security of America.
Defense, D. o. (2008). Growing Consensus on Need for Military Reform. Washington DC: DoD.
Gates, R. (2008, Decemeber). A Balanced Strategy . Foreign Affairs .
Q3- (65 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”
What model of Grand Strategy should guide US national security policy and why? The US’s national security policy should be guided by the Rollback model. However, it is my opinion that the Rollback model outlined in Mr. Stephen Biddle’s “American Grand Strategy” requires a few alterations in order to properly encompass the current policy of the US. For instance, Mr. Stephen Biddle sites the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as an attempt by the US to “rely on the catalytic effect of creating an exemplar democracy in the region itself: they argue that the presence of a true democracy in the heart of Arabia will compel other regimes to reform or be overthrown themselves.” (Biddle April 2005) However, Mr. Biddle neglects the more subtle efforts of the US to encourage the establishment of democracies in the other countries of the region. The US has established Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, and Morocco. Aside from the economical benefits of these FTAs, they also serve as a way to indirectly empower the people of these nations to demand that their governments be responsive to the needs of the citizenry. While Iraq represents direct action on the part of the US, FTAs are but one example in which the US uses soft power in order to maintain national security. Containment as a policy would only postpone the inevitable and negatively impact the image of the US. Mr. Biddle is correct in his assessment that “We may share that responsibility with the Iraqis, but to abdicate it altogether would incur an important moral cost in America’s standing in the world, and in our ability to sustain domestic political consensus behind a strategy.” (Biddle April 2005) Sufficed to say, it is too late to attempt such a policy. The US has started down a path in which any deviations, such as a containment policy, would have irreparable repercussions. Even if such a policy could be enacted and the damage to US standing was mitigated, such a direction would only serve to ensure that the future would be full of even more Afghanistan-style parts of the world. Prior to 9/11 the US maintained a relatively low profile on the global stage in terms of armed interdictions and robust regime changes. However, despite the reactive stance of the US 9/11 still happened. Mr. Biddle states that the US has yet to fully define the enemy and the war on terror is the same as a war on strategic bombing. I tend to disagree. The enemies are those people who pursue agendas outside of the law and structures of governments. Terrorism is the recourse of those people who have no other way to adjudicate their issues. Attempting to individually target specific terrorist groups is useless. What the current strategy attempts to do is provide a means in which people can enact change through their respective governments. In order to do this, their governments must be responsive to their citizens. The terrorism that is occurring now is primarily due to the fact that these groups of people believe that they do not a voice. In order to be heard, they carry out terrorist attacks. However, if a government was representative of the people, then their issues could be addressed. To this end, the US seeks ways to improve the responsiveness of other governments. Sometimes this calls for an outright replacement, such as Iraq. Other times a subtler approach can be employed, such as FTAs.
Biddle, Stephen D. \”American Grand Strategy After 9/11.\” April 2005.
Q4- (65 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”
Technological advances significantly changed the nature of warfare of our military force. US national security may be threatened in some aspects but with our forces continue to grow our ability to provide security to our citizens is second to none. The concepts, methods and technologies used from the past have evolved to become more reliable, accurate, and more strategic in an effort to ensure future security. The increase of tactical, operational and strategic battle information has lead the way for better war policy and in turn has helped the span of control of governments while in conflict. There have been technological advances across the military. We have seen after the 9/11 attacks, advances in technology has equipped our soldiers, airmen and seaman in the areas of Ariel Warfare, information warfare, nuclear warfare, and space warfare. From submarines to satellites, from knives to nuclear warheads all of these tools have played a tremendous role in the make-up our military force. The first advancement that contributed to success in war was the role of ammunitions. The general use of weapons by military personnel, explosives and propellants, high explosive warheads, small arms ammunition, grenades, mines, improved conventional munitions, and terminally guided munitions are all new advancements developed to protect our nation’s security. The use of military aviation has definitely come along way. Because of technological advances, our military is able to conduct and enable warfare, including national airlift to provide logistical supplies to forces stationed in theater. The advances of Air power bombers, fighters, fighter bombers, transports, trainers, and reconnaissance aircraft. These varied types of aircraft allow for the completion of a wide variety of objectives. The way we process, analyze, and disseminate information or potential threats of the enemy has also played a major role in modern warfare in the 20th century. Information technology has given us the ability to improve information sharing, increase situational awareness, enhances collaboration and self-synchronization. It increases mission effectiveness through speed of command and sustainability. An example of how we execute or information technology is through the Global Information Grid (GIG) which is the primary technical framework to support network-centric warfare/network-centric operations. Under this system all advanced weapons platforms, sensor systems, and command and control centers are linked via the GIG. The need to control the seas was an endeavor our military sought to accomplish. The need for military forces principally designated for naval warfare and amphibious warfare was essential for modern warfare. Today ships are significantly faster than in former times, thanks to much improved propulsion systems. Also, the efficiency of the engines has improved a lot, in terms of fuel, and of how many sailors it takes to operate them. In World War II, ships needed to refuel very often. However, today ships can go on very long journeys without refueling. The primary role of the Navy is the projection of maritime force into nation’s shores. The strategic task of the navy includes nuclear deterrence by use of nuclear missiles. The rise of espionage, surveillance, and military communications clearly contributes to our national security. Space warfare therefore includes ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from the Earth, as well as space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites. Most of the US communications systems rely heavily on satellites in orbit around Earth. Because of this, the US military [mainly Air Force] has been working to protect these assets. The most important military capability for our forces nuclear capability. We first saw our capability in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki against the Empire of Japan in World War II. Because nuclear warfare is much more destructive in both range coverage and extent of damage, and has long-term, severe, damaging effects that can last decades the US has sought to control the nuclear arms race. Technological advancements has significantly transformed the way our military forces due business. In order for US security to be protected in the future, we must constantly invest in our military. It is important to produce the best technology to counter enemy systems.
Q5- (65 words ) Read the following comments and write your opinion ( Why you agree with this comments or why not ACCORDING TO the references presented above in the first question. “Your comments must be substantive, meaning that you are adding something new and thoughtful to the discussion. It’s not sufficient to say you agree or disagree. Explain why.”
The US role in a Liberal Security Community should be a one of leadership. Western nations in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are primarily democracies that work on capitalism. There are a few exceptions, but this is mainly the norm. Liberal democracies are ones who tend not to fight each other. Security between liberal nations is hardly looked upon as a problem. It would be a rare case to see a conflict between two or more liberal democracies. There are too many connections to be lost with conflagration between liberal states. Mainly economic and diplomatic ties would be at risk. There is a feeling of trust and predictability between liberal communities, a sense of community. For example, France and England possess the ability to inflict massive destruction on the United States with WMD’s but this is not a concern for the United States. Many nations become annoyed with the US’s unilateralism on issues such as global warming, but annoyance is all it amounts to. Again too much is to be lost over conflict between these nations. (Risse 2003) It is clear that the US needs these liberal nation relationships just as those nations need the United States. There is an undisputed interdependence that needs to be retained in order to promote democracy around the globe. The US needs to remain a leader to nations in Europe and Asia to continue to grow and foster relationships. Without maintaining these relationships, the US is opening the door for other nations to foster their own needed relationships. China and Russia are searching for willing partners as they try and grow to counterbalance US unipolarity in their own regions and perhaps beyond. It is in all of the liberal security communities’ interest to maintain relationships with the US and each other to maintain the positive ground gained by the liberal nations over the last 20 years.
Risse, Thomas. Beyond Iraq: Challenges To The Transatlantic Security Community. Seminar, New York: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, 2003.
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