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IP: an interesting book from RAND -- Strategic Appraisal 1997
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 09:43:21 -0400

Strategic Appraisal 1997


The difficulty in life is the choice.=A0=20
-- George Moore=A0=20
In the preface to his classic work On Thermonuclear War, RAND's Herman Kahn
mused on what he called the painful problem of choice. Writing in 1960, Kahn
was concerned with the weightiest issues of his day. He pointed to choices
"open to the free world" that included peaceful coexistence, rearmament,
domination, and thermonuclear war. Like Bernard Brodie, Albert Wohlstetter,
other defense strategists of his day, Kahn was preoccupied with problems
associated with trying to contain Soviet power and expansionism while
minimizing the risk of war. Thanks in part to the efforts of Kahn and others
like him, those engaged in defense strategy and planning today are=
with problems for which the stakes involved are considerably less grave.=
the collapse of the Soviet Union and the tentative embrace of less
confrontational objectives by the most important of its successor states,=
security environment is no longer dominated by the reality of vast military
power in the hands of an implacable foe. In this sense, the risks of failure
for defense planners are certainly less starkly immediate than they were in
Kahn's day.=20

et the posture and capabilities of the U.S. armed forces remain central
in global stability. Put simply, the United States is the world's preeminent
military power and the chief "exporter" of security. For the foreseeable
future, if the industrial democracies of North America, Europe, and East=
are confronted with serious military challenges to their interests, it will=
up to the United States to take the lead in defeating these challenges. More
broadly, whether the world evolves toward a more stable, peaceful, and
prosperous future or toward a future characterized by instability, deepening
rivalry, and conflict depends very much on future U.S. policies and=
capacity to effectuate its policies. Hence, even in the absence of a
adversary, much depends on the United States getting its defense strategy,
planning, and resource allocation right.=20

his book is intended to contribute to that effort. It is the product of many
hands and is more a collection of the ideas of individuals than a tightly
cohesive treatment of the problems of defense strategy and planning. While=
chapters, in toto, address what we see as the most significant issues facing
defense planners, the book is not comprehensive. For example, this volume=
almost nothing about the future U.S. nuclear posture (something that would
astonished Herman Kahn), although it considers from several aspects the
challenge of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in the hands of=
adversaries. There is also little discussion of individual defense programs=
weapon systems. Likewise, the reader who is looking for "RAND's force
structure"--specific numbers and types of units that the authors believe
be fielded--will be disappointed.=20

he intent here is rather to cast light on the issues that will bear most
heavily on policymakers and analysts as they grapple with the need to=
U.S. military forces and capabilities for the 21st century. Too often work
on and for the U.S. defense community offers specific "answers" while going
light on whatever analysis might underpin those answers. We reverse that
emphasis on the assumption that what decisionmakers most need is help in
understanding the primary factors at play in an issue, the ways in which=
interact, and the kinds of outcomes that might result from particular=
Armed with this sort of analysis, they can then make informed choices.=20

his book is dedicated to the goal of a U.S. defense program that is=
on the basis of a careful and honest assessment of future needs, an
appreciation of the possibilities offered by emerging technologies and
operational concepts, and a willingness to adopt new approaches when these
been shown to be relevant and feasible. The United States has rightly=
an expansive and ambitious strategy to guide its actions in the post-Cold=
world. Superior military capabilities will be needed to support this=
Yet the resources available to sustain U.S. forces will be tight.=20

All of which brings us back to the necessity for choice. Within the U.S.
defense establishment, it is less and less possible to hedge against
uncertainty by fielding redundant capabilities. Likewise, the cost--in
terms of
forgone military capabilities--of avoiding politically painful initiatives=
make our defense establishment more efficient is mounting inexorably. Hence,
U.S. defense planners will be confronted with stark choices between
high-priority modernization needs and force structure, between operational
capabilities ("tooth") and support structure ("tail"), and between=
approaches to warfare and innovations that offer appealing efficiencies but
also some risks. There is not, in short, a risk-free option. The choice is
between different types and levels of risk.=20

f there is a single theme that runs through these chapters it is this: The
challenge of fielding the world's most capable military force within strict
resource constraints can be met, but only if the nation's leaders are=
to make extensive changes in the U.S. defense establishment. These changes
encompass the roles assigned to different types of forces, both in peacetime
and war, and the ways in which the Department of Defense does business. The
Department of Defense has started down these roads, but even with committed
leadership and sustained efforts, change of this magnitude will take
considerable time to implement. There is little time to lose.=20

Strategic Appraisal 1997 is RAND's second book in an annual series that
for a broad audience issues bearing on national security and defense=
Strategic Appraisal 1996 assessed challenges to U.S. interests around the
focusing on key nations and regions.=20

t is hoped that this series will contribute to "the public welfare and
of the United States of America"--the purposes for which RAND was chartered.=


Chapter One: Introduction=20

by Zalmay Khalilzad and David Ochmanek=20

Chapter Two: Strategy and Defense Planning for the Coming Century

by Zalmay Khalilzad=20

Chapter Three: The Context for Defense Planning: The Environment,

trategy, and Missions=20

by David Ochmanek and Stephen T. Hosmer=20

Chapter Four: Adaptiveness in Defense Planning: The Basis of a New Framework

by Paul K. Davis, David Gompert, and Richard L. Kugler=20

Chapter Five: New Principles for Force Sizing=20

by Paul K. Davis and Richard Kugler=20

Chapter Six: Capabilities for Major Regional Conflicts=20

by Paul K Davis, Richard Hillestad, and Natalie Crawford=20

Chapter Seven: From Sideshow to Center Stage: The Role of the Army and

ir Force in Military Operations Other Than War=20

by Jennifer M. Taw and Alan Vick=20

Chapter Eight: Managing Regional Security: Toward a New U.S. Military

lignPosture Overseas=20

by Richard L. Kugler=20

Chapter Nine: What Can Likely Defense Budgets Sustain?=20

by David S. C. Chu=20

Chapter Ten: Trading Butter for Guns: Managing Infrastructure Reductions

by Carl J. Dahlman and C. Robert Roll=20

Chapter Eleven: Conclusion=20

by Zalmay Khalilzad and David Ochmanek=20

To order this document . . .=20

RAND's Home Page=20

"Photons have neither morals nor visas"  --  Dave Farber 1994

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