Defense in Depth is a new blog about the art, politics, and business of American military power. I will track the big issues facing policymakers as they grapple with downshifting in Afghanistan, rebalancing to Asia, and maintaining a ready and capable force structure amidst sustained fiscal pressures.
America’s defense department is at a crossroads. After over a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and no apparent end in sight in the fight against al-Qaeda, America’s armed forces are battle hardened, but tired, and their equipment is worn and in need of upgrades. “What’s next” for America’s military is hotly debated. But to understand these debates, we must delve into the art of military strategy and the changing nature of war, as well as the day to day business involved in projecting military power across the globe.
As a former Air Force cargo pilot who most recently helped craft strategy and policy in the Pentagon, I am keenly aware of the need for informed civil-military debate when deciding when and how to go to war. With an emphasis on how the military actually operates, I will focus on the facts, theories, and politics underlying the use of military force. I hope to inform the debate regarding how to structure and pay for America’s armed forces, how to project military power strategically, effectively, and efficiently, and how to use lethal force wisely while keeping the promise to those who serve.