ANALYTICS

24.06.2020 | Ending America’s Grand Strategic Failures
by Anthony H. Cordesman - CSIS

It is all too tempting for Americans to focus on the Coronavirus crisis, the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. economy, and the existing levels of racism revealed by the killing of George Floyd. The fact remains, however, that the U.S. is still facing equally serious challenges in national security. The U.S. may be spending more on defense, but it lacks a meaningful and well-focused approach to strategy, force planning, and dealing with its strategic partners in virtually every area of national security. The most recent case example is the cut of some 9,500 U.S. troops in Germany – more than 25% of the total U.S. troops stationed in Germany. These U.S. troops perform critical roles in shaping NATO’s deterrent and defense capabilities and also in supporting U.S. global power projection. The motive for these cuts may be the fact that Germany has not spent 2% of its GDP on defense, but it may also be a retaliation against Chancellor Angela Merkel for not attending a G-7 conference held in the United States that seems to have been designed largely for political visibility rather than actual diplomatic importance. This is scarcely the only time the U.S. has faced major national security challenges or needed to make major changes in its strategy. Since 1945, various Presidents and Congresses have faced crises like the beginning of the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, Vietnam, the decision to invade Iraq, and the state and conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. All were challenges the U.S. met slowly and with mixed results. However, these past decisions were reactions – successful or failed – to events that were driven from outside the U.S. and ones that involved major new areas of uncertainty. Today’s failures do involve meeting some new challenges, but many involve the decline of America’s global position through a focus on the wrong priorities and neglect of the right ones. Read Online: https://www.csis.org/analysis/ending-americas-grand-strategic-failures


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