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By Nick Horney, Ph.D., Principal, Agility Consulting
The changing global security landscape and worsening fiscal outlook demand significant adjustments to national security strategy and budgeting, according to an extensive, year-long study released today by The Stimson Center: A New US Defense Strategy for a New Era.
The report is the work of an independent task force of experts - the "Defense Advisory Committee" - convened by Stimson to explore the question of US defense planning and spending in light of looming defense cuts that are part of the Fiscal Cliff.
The diverse committee, which draws on the expertise of 15 former military officers, defense strategists, and international affairs experts, including General James Cartwright, Leslie Gelb, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, came to a consensus on how best to approach today's military threats and priorities. In addition to setting out ten key operating principles that emphasize greater agility throughout the Defense Department, the report concludes that a successful defense strategy could be achieved at budget levels significantly lower than present.
Dr. Barry Blechman, Chairman of the Committee and Co-Founder of Stimson, explains "The vast experience and perspectives this committee brought to the table helped shape a promising new defense strategy. It does not dictate a particular force structure but demonstrates how the US can achieve a better defense strategy to meet our security needs, while acknowledging the fiscal crisis facing the country." In light of a rapidly changing global security environment and rising concern about long-term US debt and deficits, the Defense Advisory Committee met over the course of a year to examine and discuss US defense strategy. The result is a new national security strategy that it calls "Strategic Agility" - designed to strengthen US military superiority while meeting realistic budgetary expectations.
The report highlights ten operating principles that emphasize relying on smaller military units that can be based in the United States and rotated quickly to more austere bases around the world; rebalancing US forces to focus on Asia rather than Europe; and strengthening technological and scientific assets to ensure that the United States maintains its technological edge against all other nations.
The above is based on information from www.Stimson.org.