Though threats to American security have changed dramatically in the last decade, US defence policy and military forces look a lot like they did during the closing days of the Cold War - only smaller. Are the policies and the forces adequate to deal with a wide range of threats and uncertainties or should they be redesigned before it's too late? That question drives this book. Council on Foreign Relations staff, joined by a wide range of other experts, offer four choices: First, meet present threats seriously, that is, by building up forces with a 10 percent spending increase; second, anticipate breakthroughs in military technology by possible future adversaries and concentrate now on U.S. technological superiority at about present spending levels; third, focus more on low-level but serious threats from terrorists and civil/ethnic wars and answer with greater reliance on our allies and international organizations and cut expenditures by 15 to 20 percent; or fourth, maintain present capabilities and hold spending at about $250 billion yearly.
This volume, the first in a series of Council Policy Initiatives (CPI), presents these choices as Presidential speeches, so that they can be read and understood by interested Americans. The speeches are preceded by a memo that explains the strengths, weaknesses, and politics of each alternative. The aim is to involve Americans in thinking about and debating their national security.
Publisher: Brookings Institution