Meeting America's Security Challenges Beyond Iraq: A Conference Report

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Rand Corporation, 2008 - Political Science - 27 pages
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On December 4, 2007, the RAND Corporation and the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) cohosted a conference entitled, "Meeting America's Security Challenges Beyond Iraq." The conference included approximately 70 senior analysts from selected think tanks and academic institutions, high-ranking officers from the military services, selected government officials, and several journalists. The purpose of this conference was to provide leading analysts and practitioners of U.S. security policy and strategy with an opportunity to assess key challenges in the emerging security environment and to consider implications for strategy, force posture, and investment priorities. There was widespread agreement that the set of the challenges the United States faces, coupled with the varied demands on the military forces, will require significant changes in how the Department of Defense trains, equips, and postures its forces and, more broadly, how the U.S. Government is organized for the advancement of U.S. interests abroad. Prominent examples of such changes include the following: U.S. forces will need to be able to conduct, on a sustained basis, a large number of "train-equip-advise-assist" missions in countries striving to counter Islamist-based terrorist and insurgent movements; nonmilitary agencies, including the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Justice, and the Intelligence Community, must play more visible and, ultimately, predominant roles in efforts to counter terrorist and insurgent groups abroad; U.S. and allied forces will need to prepare for the possibility that regional adversaries, such as North Korea and Iran, may soon field nuclear weapons; and as China continues to modernize its conventional forces, U.S. planners will be compelled to rethink key aspects of the U.S. approach to power projection, as the U.S. posture in the Western Pacific is becoming increasingly vulnerable to Chinese anti-access weapons.

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