Chapter 1—
Assessing New Missions

Sam J. Tangredi

The tragedies of September 11, 2001, were transformational events for the American people. Gone is the comfort of post-Cold War common wisdom—the latent belief that globalization had set the stage for a new world order in which economic markets, not force and violence, ruled. Once again, national security issues dominate the American political agenda. As President George W. Bush stated on September 15, “We’re at war. There has been an act of war declared upon America by terrorists and we will respond accordingly.” This response has included both traditional overseas combat operations—focused initially on the Taliban in Afghanistan—and an emphasis on homeland security at a level not seen since the civil defense effort of the 1950s.

To military planners and defense analysts, the support of the American public for both an immediate military response and sustained preparations to prevent or defeat future threats has been gratifying, even though it came at such a tragic cost. While no one predicted the use of hijacked domestic airliners in kamikaze attacks on civilian targets, warning of the potential for terrorist-style asymmetric attacks on the American homeland has been a prominent theme in defense literature for
several years. The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century—better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission—bluntly forecast in its initial 1999 report: “America will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile attack on our homeland, and our military superiority will not entirely protect us . . .Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.”1

Until the recent tragedies, such analysis was largely relegated to the background of an unconvincing defense debate dominated by pressing domestic concerns. But with the addition of detection of letter-borne anthrax to the terrorist attacks, the American public became convinced of the need for a comprehensive and effective military program that includes some element of transformation in capabilities to meet emerging threats.

Yet public support for the military response to terrorist threats—and the transformations that may be necessary—can only be sustained through a clear public understanding of the capabilities and the limitations of American military power. The Bush administration has attempted to set out such an explanation with the release of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) Report on September 30, 2001. While the erratic development of the 2001 review resulted in a report with limited detail concerning force structure and programmatic decisions, it does lay out a series of defense priorities—described as a paradigm shift—with “defense of the U.S. homeland” as “the highest priority for the U.S. military.”2 Other priorities described as elements of a “new force sizing construct” include the capacity to:

  • deter aggression and coercion forward in critical regions
  • swiftly defeat aggression in overlapping major conflicts while preserving for the President the option to call for a decisive victory in one of those conflicts—including the possibility of regime change or occupation
  • conduct a limited number of smaller-scale contingency operations.3

This force sizing construct is designed to optimize the military to achieve “four defense policy goals,” described in the QDR Report as assuring allies and friends, dissuading future military competition, deterring threats and coercion against U.S. interests, and decisively defeating any adversary if deterrence fails.4 These defense policy goals are, in turn, identified as supporting a series of enduring “U.S. national interests and objectives” (discussed below).

While the QDR Report addresses priorities, goals, and national interests, it does not lay out a specific listing of anticipated military missions. Yet without identification of expected missions for which to prepare, defense planning cannot sensibly proceed.

Identifying Future Military Missions

What are the missions that the U.S. military will be called upon to carry out in the 21st century? The answer to this question is the prime determinant of decisions concerning the size, characteristics, and force structure of the U.S. Armed Forces. The events of September 11 have thrust the United States into a protracted conflict against terrorism, but counterterrorism, aerial strike, and special operations are only a small slice of the primary missions for which U.S. forces must be prepared.

Defining missions is one of three initial steps in creating a rational and effective defense policy. First, national security objectives must be identified; second, the security environment in which those objectives will be pursued must be evaluated;5 and third, the missions must be identified that military forces will be expected to accomplish to achieve these objectives within the context of the current and future security environment.

None of these steps are easy; all require thoughtful, coordinated analysis. Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military philosopher who continues to influence modern strategy, wrote that “everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is very difficult.”6 This difficulty, exacerbated by the friction of democratic politics, also applies to defense planning; the initial steps are often entangled by leaps of faith.

Such entanglements are apparent in public reactions to the emerging defense policies of the administration of President Bush, as well as throughout the overall debate on the need for military transformation. Indeed, the results of the recent Quadrennial Defense Review—whose process itself took several controversial turns—revealed friction among participants in the defense decisionmaking process as to how to determine the appropriate missions for which U.S. military forces should be shaped.

To some extent, these differences are the natural result of the current administration’s attempt to change policies that had been established over the previous 8 years. But they also reflect the fact that although different military missions have been emphasized since the end of the Cold War, there has been little agreement on how to conceptualize the relationship between these emerging missions and the tasks for which the U.S. military has traditionally been prepared. There has been no generally accepted replacement for the spectrum-of-conflict model that characterized the relationship between military missions during the Cold War, despite the fact that significant elements of this model are no longer considered primary or even likely national security threats.

The spectrum-of-conflict model carries with it an implicit prioritization of military missions that arguably no longer applies in the post-Cold War world. It is this implicit prioritization that makes argument over models and taxonomies of military missions more than merely academic. The three initial steps in defense planning described above imply a natural linkage between priority objectives, greatest potential threats, and the prioritization of assigned military missions. Logically, the prioritization of missions should determine the shape and size of military force structure, which, in turn, would drive explicit choices in the expenditure of resources. The friction of politics aside, it would make little sense to expend the majority of resources on the lowest priority mission or to hedge against the least of all potential threats. Instead, it makes greater sense to focus the most resources on primary objectives, high-priority missions, and the most likely or most deadly of anticipated threats. Decisions to transform the military to a new set of capabilities or force structure should be the consequences of reprioritization of objectives, reassessment of anticipated threats, or emergence of differing sets of missions. Making these choices in an organized fashion requires some sort of model or prioritized listing.

The purpose of this chapter is to outline such a model of identification of military missions, linking them to national objectives and anticipated threats.7 This effort is meant to be illustrative rather than prescriptive. In examining the differences between the traditional spectrum-of-conflict model—and its implicit assumptions and prioritization—and a new model that can be termed a hierarchy of missions, the chapter also illustrates part of the analytical rationale for military transformation.

Ultimately, any decision for transformation will, implicitly or explicitly, reflect a new prioritization of missions. The hierarchy-of-missions model attempts to capture this emerging reprioritization, based on defense policy statements, reports concerning the Quadrennial Defense Review, and deductive reasoning.

Contradictions and Transformation in Context

There are apparent contradictions in what the American people will expect of their military in the 21st century. The end of the Cold War has ushered in a popular perception that a major military conflict requiring the global commitment of vast, powerful forces is highly unlikely. Yet there is also the expectation of an increasing number of smaller but perhaps more direct threats to America’s security. This perception received a dramatic and painful public airing through the events of September 11 and subsequent incidents of anthrax contamination.

At the same time, the military success in Operation Desert Storm, and in Kosovo as well, has raised expectations of what America’s high-technology Armed Forces can achieve with relatively little in the way of casualties or civilian collateral damage. As of mid-October 2001, operations in Afghanistan appear to have reinforced these expectations.

The result of the intersection of these three impressions is that the public (or at least those members of the public who express their concern on defense and security matters) has a mixed view of the type of military in which it wants to invest. They appear to want to maintain an overwhelming military advantage over all possible opponents but not to spend at the levels of the Cold War or even of the Desert Storm era. They seem to want their government to do something about the tragedies of the modern world that are broadcast to them on CNN, but they do not want military involvement in quagmires such as Vietnam or Somalia. Political rhetoric and media commentary may have convinced them that they cannot have both an increasingly high-tech warfighting force directed against threats to the homeland and forces sufficiently large as to intervene simultaneously in the multitude of lower intensity peacekeeping operations of concern to the international community.8

The increasing integration of economies and societies commonly characterized as globalization would seem to foretell a future in which Great Power war becomes obsolete but intervention in smaller-scale contingencies is inevitable. “We are envisioning . . .an era marked by both an increasing integration of societies and a need for greater commitments of military forces. That might seem an inherent contradiction, but it is possible nevertheless.”9

Globalization also suggests that threats once considered of low military significance, such as nonstate terrorism, international crime, or ecological degradation, will become important factors in national security planning. Indeed, the response to terrorism has already become the primary focus of American security efforts. Creeping proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and longer-range strike systems also may increase the potential for direct threats to the U.S. homeland. Yet until September 11, many defense experts, including many current military leaders, argued that such engagement and interventions (and by implication, extensive homeland defenses) take away from what should be the true focus of the U.S. military: supporting the Nation’s most vital interests by being ready to fight and win America’s wars. This position—most widely held in the U.S. Army, less so in the U.S. Air Force, and infrequently expressed in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps—holds that intervention in operations other than war results in a de facto reduction in readiness for actual high-intensity combat. This view may seem to be dormant during the current focus on steps to increase homeland security, but it is reflected in the emphasis on the procurement of new, high-technology power-projection systems reflected in such pre-September 11 planning documents as Joint Vision (JV) 2020. As JV 2020 argues, “If our Armed Forces are to be faster, more lethal, and more precise in 2020 than they are today, we must continue to invest in and develop new military capabilities.”10

Overlaid on the readiness-versus-engagement debate is the growing call for military transformation in the wake of new emerging threats and continuing technical innovations, particularly in information systems technologies. Proposals for transformation run from vague exhortations for change to advocacy of specific military systems and doctrine.

Some view transformation as a change toward more rapid, lighter, and more lethal forces that effectively and definitively refocuses the U.S. military on new forms of the “high-end” warfighting of major theater war. Such new forms might include information warfare against civilian infrastructure or war between space systems. Part of this warfighting capability would include defenses against direct threats to the homeland, such as a national missile defense. This view implies that ground troops in operations other than war—such as peacekeeping—obtain only marginal benefits from such improved technologies as precision strike systems (and that such operations other than war are of limited utility in forwarding U.S. security interests). High-technology transformation is, therefore, all about maintaining U.S. military superiority over all potential opponents for years to come. As evidenced by the QDR process and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s public statements, this approach largely corresponds to the Bush administration view of transformation.

Others view transformation as an enabler that will convert a ponderous, heavy, and largely single-mission warfighting force structure into a more nimble contingency force that would be more effective in smaller- scale contingencies. Technological innovations, such as advances in precision strike, nonlethal weapons, and more rapid means of troop deployment, are touted as giving new capabilities for successful interventions at relatively low cost. An implication of this view is that since high-end warfighting is decreasingly likely, the U.S. military needs to be reoriented toward missions of greater frequency, and technological transformation can be the means to do so. Although the Clinton administration did not emphasize a policy of military transformation, the “new capabilities for successful intervention” approach reflects the general inclination of officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the tenures of William Perry and William Cohen.

The assumptions common to both of these positions are that military transformation is carried out for a purpose and that it is not merely a reaction propelled by technological changes completely beyond anyone’s control. An alternative argument could be that what is being called transformation is merely an enlightened approach toward evolutionary changes in technology that are driven by other factors than the purposes for which armed forces might be used. This alternative argument is somewhat inaccurately captured in the shorthand that “technology drives strategy,” one side of a debate that was quite popular in the 1970s but that somewhat exhausted itself in more recent decades.11 However, even that argument would not necessarily eliminate the need for choices in determining which technologies should be adopted by military forces; even so, some sort of mission prioritization is necessary.

Spectrum-of-Conflict Model

The spectrum-of-conflict model was used in a number of DOD publications and briefings during the Cold War, particularly during the 1980s.12 Figure 1-1 is a representative version of the spectrum-of-conflict model.

The spectrum is represented by a notional curve created by points on two axes: level of violence (x) and probability of occurrence (y). Activities at lower levels of violence have a much higher probability of occurrence than activities at the higher end. The conflict activities along the curve are broken into three general subgroupings in order of decreasing probability: peacetime presence, crisis response, and global conventional war.

The activities viewed as traditional military functions are clustered at the higher end of the level of violence (x) axis. The higher end also represents responses to occurrences that would pose higher levels of more direct threats to the lives and well-being of individual Americans and to the survival of the Nation. At the far right end is strategic nuclear war, which represents the most extreme direct threat to the U.S. homeland. Further down the level of violence, but higher in probability of occurrence, are theater nuclear war and global conventional war (shown both as a subgrouping and as a single point on the curve). Although theater nuclear war is meant to describe conflicts involving nuclear strikes on targets outside the U.S. homeland, the potential for such a nuclearized conflict to escalate into a strategic exchange is presumed to be high, making it the second highest threat. Using the same logic, the curve moves down the level of violence and up the probability of occurrence with limited war, use of force, show of force, surveillance, and peacetime presence.

On the surface, the spectrum-of-conflict model is an understandable, idealized representation of the frequency that military force might be used in differing but related activities. Out of context, it could be swiftly dismissed as merely academic, a clever illustration. But, in reality, its use to describe U.S. military activities illustrates specific assumptions about how military power should be used, as well as specific sets of priorities for the missions that the military is designed to carry out.

The U.S. military services used the model throughout the Cold War to explain why their activities and force structure differed, though each was logical. The Department of the Navy used the model to illustrate the importance of peacetime forward naval presence, an activity to which naval resources were devoted on a routine, rotational basis. The Navy accepted the logic that most assets should be used for the most common activities, at least while they are not needed for actual combat. But it also argued that each naval unit should be capable, to some degree, of carrying out missions all along the spectrum. This view leads to a specific set of priorities in both operations and design, toward a forward-deployed Navy of high endurance, multimission units.13 These priorities are also consistent with historical justifications for maintaining a powerful oceangoing Navy.

The Department of the Army interpreted the spectrum somewhat differently. It viewed the level of violence as the dominant axis. Although such missions as peacetime presence, surveillance, and shows of force were necessary, the focus of Army combat units would be on the missions at the higher levels of violence. As a practical matter, the mission of strategic nuclear war had been assigned to the other services; thus, the Army focus remained on theater nuclear war and global conventional war.14 From this point of view, everything to the left side of the curve was a lesser included case of the missions on the curve itself. This de facto prioritization naturally emphasizes the development of heavy combat units optimized for high-intensity conflict against a similarly endowed foe—a logical emphasis, since the expected opponent was the Soviet Army. From this perspective, it would be illogical to train or optimize front-line units for missions such as limited war or peacetime presence. The abilities to carry out such missions were assumed to be byproducts of preparing for global conventional war.

Under this logic, the Army would theoretically conduct limited wars—such as Vietnam—with less capable units than those positioned against possible Soviet invasion in the Fulda Gap and elsewhere. Although this theory was difficult to implement in practice, officer rotation and assignment policies of the Vietnam era seemed to signal a desire to preserve Army strength for what was perceived as “the real fight.” This theory also corresponded with the desire of political leaders to keep the Vietnam intervention a limited war. But even when the Army rebuilt itself after Vietnam, the dominant focus toward preparing for major war was reflected in the perception that involvement in lower intensity conflicts, peacekeeping, or operations other than war detracted from readiness for the primary military mission of global or major regional war. The Clinton administration emphasis on using military forces in operations other than war and in nontraditional roles revealed tensions with the existing focus on the high end of the conflict spectrum.

For much of the Cold War, the Department of the Air Force designed its force structure almost exclusively for missions at the very highest level of violence. Deterring strategic nuclear war was the ultimate mission, represented by the organizational dominance of the Strategic Air Command. Theater nuclear war was seen as a secondary aspect of this mission, with shorter-range attack aircraft and fighter-bombers focused on this task. Preparations for a global conventional war also mandated developing dual-use systems and maintaining considerable strength in tactical air forces and transport squadrons. All missions that fell lower in the violence axis were to be executed by high-intensity systems diverted from what was seen as their primary purpose. (This is the origin of recent debates on the employment of high demand/low density assets, such as airborne warning and control system [AWACS] aircraft.) The concept of the independent use of air power to conduct strategic attacks and interdiction fortified the belief that lower intensity conflict was just more of the same activity to be conducted on a lower priority basis. One example was the use of B-52 bombers, trained for individual penetration of Soviet airspace but used for massed, high-altitude bombing missions in Southeast Asia.15

Shifting Down the Spectrum

The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union (1989-1991) seemingly reduced the threat of strategic and theater nuclear war, as well as of global conventional war, almost to the point of nonexistence. But no obvious replacement emerged for the spectrum-of-conflict model to illustrate the missions for which the military would be trained and prepared. Operation Desert Storm, which could be described as a major theater war or major regional conflict that involved significant portions of U.S. and allied military strength, seemed to represent merely a shift down the spectrum of conflict to a level somewhat lower than global conventional war.

The reconstitution strategy of President George Bush (which was delayed by Desert Storm) sought reduction of the U.S. military by almost one-third. However, it was intended as a balanced reduction that would keep a “portfolio of capabilities” that could allow for future shifts of emphasis up or down the conflict spectrum, depending on current or emerging threats. Forces in the strategic triad could be reduced or taken off alert, but the deterrence of strategic nuclear war was still considered an important high-end task. Capabilities required to move conventional forces swiftly to conduct global war were downsized but retained in structure to facilitate responses to lower levels of conflict that might occur anywhere on the globe.16 In the early Clinton administration, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin adopted an evolutionary “two major regional contingency (MRC)” approach to force sizing, since the possibility of a global war against a single opponent seemed remote. However, the two-MRC strategy and its successor, the two major theater war (MTW) strategy, required similar if smaller forces than the single global conventional war.

The Clinton administration initiated a variety of “lower level of violence” military actions, including punitive strikes, shows of force, other smaller-scale contingencies, and a series of operations other than war. The pace and resource requirements for such activities appeared to critics to threaten the level of readiness actually required to prepare for two overlapping regional wars, thereby calling into question the assumption that those activities were truly lesser included cases. After conducting air operations over Serbia in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention in Kosovo, the Air Force declared itself “operationally broke,” having consumed resources at a level previously thought necessary for an MTW. During the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and 1997 QDR, the Navy convinced the Secretary of Defense that its peacetime presence mission required a greater naval force structure than that actually necessary to conduct two major theater wars. An obvious disconnect was developing between the size of forces necessary to conduct such “lower intensity of violence” missions and the implications of the spectrum-of-conflict model. Simply viewing the military as shifting its focus down the spectrum of conflict did not provide a coherent guide to deciding force structure issues, as it had done during the Cold War.

In terms of the post-Cold War missions the Nation’s leaders are assigning to U.S. military forces, the prioritization inherent in the spectrum-of-conflict model no longer made sense. For some, the question became: Was the model no longer valid, or were the missions being assigned to military forces somehow not “appropriate”?

Are Emerging New Missions a Reality?

Those viewing the prioritization in the spectrum-of-conflict model and arguing that lesser-level-of-violence missions are a detriment to military readiness for major conflict often imply that these military missions of the 21st century are new. A common perception is that an ever-increasing number of missions have been added to the responsibilities of the post-Cold War U.S. military. This viewpoint is reinforced by the use of a host of new terms and descriptions about what we expect our Armed Forces to do. Peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance, stability operations, military operations other than war, peace operations, and engagement are a few of the terms used with increasing frequency. The involvement of U.S. forces in such missions around the globe has become a significant political issue, with many seeing such involvement as a severe detriment to overall military readiness. As a Presidential candidate and as President early in his term, George W. Bush postulated that U.S. forces have been overextended through their use in such missions and suggested a policy of cutting back on such involvement.

In fact, many such missions—though perhaps not the modern terms that describe them—have been routine peacetime responsibilities of American military forces throughout history; examples abound. Technology aside, intervention in Haiti in 1994 was conceptually similar in form if not in intent to that in 1915. The 1923 Report to Congress of Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby reveals that naval forces were then involved in patrolling the Yangtse River to “suppress banditry and piracy”; providing disaster relief to Yokohama, Tokyo, and Nagasaki in the wake of a major earthquake and tsunami; conducting a noncombatant evacuation of over 260,000 Greeks and Armenians following the capture of Smyrna by Turkish troops; and fulfilling their role as the primary participant of the International Ice Patrol in the North Atlantic shipping lanes.17 Naval officers served as governors of Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The United States had just made a historic (if not lasting) effort in multilateral arms control, crisis stability, and engagement with the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty. All of these are activities that would make the most modern multilateral interventionist proud.

Such overseas activities may have been primarily a Navy and Marine Corps responsibility, but it should also be recalled that the Army spent a good portion of its history pacifying Native American tribes, conducting “nation building” in the former Confederate States during Reconstruction, training engineers to build railroads, pursuing Mexican revolutionists following raids in the southwest United States, and dispersing potentially unruly groups such as the Bonus Marchers. Such missions are not entirely new.

What is new, however, is the widespread and intense public awareness of these missions and the sense of importance attached to them by policymakers. When viewed only through the prism of the Cold War, these missions represent radical shifts in the purpose and employment of military forces. But the inherent prioritization of the spectrum-of-conflict model would treat these “new” missions simply as lesser included elements of global conventional war. Here is where contradictory expectations, calls for transformation, and biases of the model collide. If the potential for global conventional conflict is very low, interpreting lower-intensity-of-violence missions as lesser included cases makes no sense. Worse, force structure decisions that could optimize the military to deal with the expected lower-intensity-of-violence missions might be deflected by the perceived need to retain or improve readiness for global conventional war.

In fact, the collision (some critics called it an impending “train wreck”18) that bedeviled Clinton administration defense policy was between the apparent desires of the policymakers to optimize military force structure for smaller-scale contingencies and operations other than war and the professional military leadership desire to maintain a high level of readiness for the two-MTW construct that replaced global conventional war as the high-intensity mission. This was not insubordination on the part of the professional military leadership; the civilian policymakers also insisted on retaining the two-MTW construct as the primary force-sizing tool. Their insistence resulted in a series of embarrassing Congressional hearings in 1998-1999 in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff first argued that force readiness was acceptable and then reversed themselves and said it was significantly degraded. The reversal was less the result of subterfuge than of confused policy; the two-MTW strategy may have been the force-sizing yardstick, but it was not given full resources and did not reflect administration expectations as to what constituted the real military missions. In the background lay the inherent prioritization of the spectrum-of-conflict model, making the administration’s real highest priority missions subordinate to higher intensity missions, which were not expected to take place.

Bush Administration Priorities

President George W. Bush’s campaign statements indicated a strong commitment to the improvement of military readiness and support for significant military transformation.19 Following his election, some initially interpreted his statements to mean that a significant increase to the defense budget would finance all potential costs for increased readiness, current force structure programs, and robust transformation. Not only was this view unwarranted, but it missed a significant point about the emphasis on transformation, a point made evident by the incoming administration’s focus on tax cuts rather than substantial across-the-board increases in defense. Arguably, transformations are not needed when evolutionary improvements are affordable. The need for transformation is most evident when existing plans are no longer considered affordable and are no longer appropriate to changing priorities. The change in priorities itself may well be a result of the recognition of how unaffordable the current defense program had become.

These changed priorities are identified in the QDR 2001 Report and had been previously reflected in the public statements of the President, Secretary of Defense, and Deputy Secretary of Defense, along with the initial QDR Terms of Reference setting out the parameters of the review. First, the administration clearly intends to revoke the previous two-MTW construct as a force sizing tool and replace it with a requirement for outcomes of one “big win” and one “restore order” in the case of two overlapping MTWs. Second, funding for homeland defense will be substantially increased, and a national missile defense (NMD) will be developed and deployed. Prior to September 11, NMD appeared the likely dominant defense priority throughout the administration, but it has been supplanted by the war on terrorism.

Third, the skepticism expressed by defense officials concerning the efficacy of lower intensity military intervention and humanitarian actions, particularly when allied or coalition military forces might be readily available, would have suggested a reduction in American involvement in these activities. However, actions necessitated by the war on terrorism may instead require the Bush administration to become involved in even more smaller-scale contingencies than during President Clinton’s tenure, starting with de facto U.S. intervention in the Afghan civil war.

Fourth, current readiness and future transformation of the force will be emphasized. Transformation goals center on homeland defense, precision strike, rapid mobility, and a lighter land force. Finally, any future defense budget increase—in light of homeland security priorities—will be directed to homeland defense, NMD, readiness, and gradual transformation and may not be sufficient to cover the cost of maintaining the current force size. As the QDR Report concedes, however, these objectives were largely developed before September 11 and may be modified based on the outcome of current counterterrorism efforts.20

Extrapolating from these observations, a hierarchy of national security interests that appear to guide Bush administration defense planning can be developed. This hierarchy of missions would be an effective replacement of the spectrum-of-conflict model for illustrating the priority of missions for which future military forces would be designed.

Toward a Hierarchy of Missions

The first step in developing an illustrative hierarchy of missions is to categorize national security interests as survival interests, vital interests (which could also be considered world order interests), and value interests. These terms would replace the “vital, important, and humanitarian and other interests” used in the 2000 (and earlier) Clinton administration National Security Strategy.21 Such a categorization is consistent with the spirit of previous attempts to organize national interests. Table 1-1 illustrates the categories of interests and the politico-military objectives related to each, which can be identified based on analysis of public statements.



Survival Interests

Survival interests include three related but functionally different objectives: survival of the Nation, territorial integrity (homeland security), and economic security.

The functional differences become clearer when the military missions associated with each politico-military objective are identified (table 1-2). For example, the objective of survival of the Nation would depend upon military missions such as nuclear deterrence, national missile defense, and strategic reconnaissance and warning.



Another survival interest is the objective of territorial integrity, dealing with threats that target the American population but not on a scale comparable to nuclear war. Associated military missions would include critical infrastructure protection, counterproliferation, and counterterrorism, often described as homeland security. This term is frequently defined to also include NMD and military assistance to civil authorities during natural disasters such as forest fires. However, NMD falls more logically into the category of survival of the Nation. Active-duty military assistance to civil authority in nondefense-related matters is generally conducted on an ad hoc basis or by the National Guard; since such assistance is focused on the well-being of Americans, it is included in the category of economic security.

Associated with the survival-interest objective of economic security would be the military missions of ensuring freedom of the seas and space, access to raw materials and protection of sea lines of communication (SLOC), integrity of financial operations (such as computer network defense [CND] against foreign opponents), and military participation in counterdrug and counter-international crime operations. These missions span the intensity spectrum but can be associated with a particular type of interest; they would not necessarily have been considered high-priority missions under the old spectrum-of-conflict model. Table 1-2 lists the military missions of the survival interests category. The difference in prioritization between the hierarchy-of-missions model and the spectrum-of-conflict model can be seen using, as an example, the mission type integrity of financial operations (against foreign threat). In the information age, integrity of financial operations would primarily involve CND operations. This mission’s apparent level of violence (or lack of it) would give it a very low priority under the spectrum-of-conflict model; integrity of financial operations would be considered by most to be a nontraditional military mission. However, this view is only accurate based on the Cold War experience; in previous eras, it would have been considered quite traditional. Absent an overwhelming threat to the survival of the Nation or territorial integrity, as was posed by the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, integrity of financial operations is an important national security mission.22 Its level of violence does not determine its priority.

Vital Interests

Many military missions that would likely be considered traditional in terms of the Cold War experience would fall into the interest category of vital or world order interests. Table 1-3 provides an illustrative listing of vital interests—ones critical to the long-term vitality of American democracy but that do not necessarily pose an immediate threat to the lives and domestic property of Americans. Military missions associated with vital interests range along the full spectrum of conflict, but many tend to be associated with a high intensity of conflict. The distinction between vital and survival interests is more than just the location of potential operations. It is also one of immediacy: while the threats to these vital interests are very real, they are not always felt immediately by Americans. The assumptions of mutual deterrence and homeland sanctuary that existed in the latter period of the Cold War no longer seem valid. This raises the question of whether overseas military operations can be successfully conducted against a determined opponent if U.S. survival interests can easily be threatened. Threats in the survival category create a de facto prioritization that relegates vital or world order interests to second place—a close second, but second nevertheless.



Placing national security interests such as the defense of treaty allies in the vital instead of the survival category immediately raises the question of whether such a separation represents an isolationist defense policy. But this criticism betrays a lack of recognition of how profoundly different today’s security environment is from that of the Cold War period. Through its ideological hatred toward democracy, the Soviet Union remained an overriding threat to collective Western security. Such a threat does not exist today and is unlikely to reappear in the next 25 years.23

Although the possible emergence of a military peer competitor is a top future security concern to the Bush administration, other NATO governments seem less concerned at this prospect. With the wane of hostile ideologies, this threat appears more directed toward the United States in its current position in the international system than toward NATO. Such a view colors both the European reluctance to endorse U.S. adoptions of national missile defense (and renegotiation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) and the administration’s decision to shift its defense focus to Asia. It also points to the reality that there is a de facto separation between threats to the U.S. homeland and threats to other NATO members.

French President Charles de Gaulle’s rhetorical Cold War question was about whether the U.S. Government would ever seriously “trade Washington for Paris.” It is now a fair question to ask whether—in the absence of a collective threat on the scale of the Soviet Union—anyone would consider trading Paris for Washington. Whatever the answer, the renewed urgency of the objective of homeland security indicates at least a partial answer to the question of whether the United States could successfully conduct combat operations overseas against an enemy that could threaten the American homeland. It may be more difficult today than it was during the Cold War, primarily due to uncertainty concerning the efficacy of nuclear or conventional deterrence. Heightening týis uncertainty is the fact that military assets that would be needed to support such homeland security functions as domestic consequence management are currently earmarked for overseas deployment in the event of a major theater war. In the absence of aÂformal prioritization of missions, an ad hoc choice may have to be made between overseas power projection and homeland security in the event of a threat to retaliate against American territory.24 The result is an emerging de facto prioritization in military missions, placing conventional regional war in the category of vital rather than survival interests.

Within the overall category of vital interests, the objectives can be separated into three categories: defense of treaty allies, defense of democratic and pivot states, and deter or win regional conflict.

Although defense of treaty allies is an objective that has existed at least since the establishment of NATO in 1948, in recent years it has not been seen as an objective separate from the generic requirement of providing a two-MTW capability. Two factors influenced this amalgamation: the assumption that NATO and bilateral U.S. allies Australia and Japan no longer faced plausible direct threats to their security (although South Korea, another bilateral ally, did face such a threat), and the assumption that major theater war would more likely occur in the developing world (again, with South Korea as the exception). The canonical two-MRC/MTW cases—war with Iraq and North Korea—reflect these assumptions. But the reality is that treaty allies are the only states to which the United States is obliged to commit its forces to defend. This makes defense of these states a separate and higher priority mission, de facto as well as de jure, than other vital interests.

Because all of the U.S. treaty allies are economically developed states with considerable supporting infrastructure, and most have considerable regional military strength of their own, the objective of defense of treaty allies paradoxically requires relatively few unique military missions. Capabilities for three major military missions are required: overseas/forward presence; power projection and conventional rapid response; and providing advanced C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability) for major conventional war.

Overseas or forward presence acts as a reassurance to the allies, a potential deterrent to aggressors, and a means of making combat forces immediately available in case of attack on an ally. With its treaty allies, U.S. forces can generally rely on a developed base structure, facilitating the maintenance of ground forces. The presence of U.S. forces reinforces existing national capability and thus is not the sole means available to thwart aggression. Presence reinforces the viability of the treaty alliance; its political effect may actually be greater than the combat effect of the forces themselves.

Power projection of rapid-response forces is an obvious necessity for allied defense. Again, however, the existence of extensive airports, seaports, and infrastructure for debarkation and military support allows for faster, more efficient force projection than in austere theaters. Forces can be tailored, but more importantly, their timing of phased movement in the theater can be mutually agreed upon and prepared in advance.

The provision of advanced C4ISR capabilities to treaty allies reflects the dominance of U.S. capabilities in this sector. An example is AWACS aircraft; some are under direct NATO control, but most are under U.S. national control. The extensive U.S. investment in space systems has cyeated another area in which the United States can provide direct support to allies. Treaty allies do not lack national C4ISR capabilities; however, U.S. capabilities are global, generally more technologically advanced, and of considerably greater extent. Whereas U.S. combat forces may only be a greater version of existing allied combat capability, U.S. C4ISR capabilities often reflect a qualitative, not just quantitative, addition.

The term pivot state describes regional powers that make considerable contributions toward maintaining regional peace and thereby support U.S. national interests in free markets, U.S. access to resources, and enlargement of democratic governance.25 Defense of democratic and pivot states is not merely a lesser priority version of defense of treaty allies; it reflects a need for different types of forces, planning, and power projection. An example of a pivot state is Egypt, a populous nation whose relations with Israel are key to ensuring peace in the Middle East. Egypt receives considerable U.S. financial and military support for its efforts; a significant threat to Egyptian security would also be a threat to U.S. policies in the region.

Not all pivot states are Western-style democracies, but most generally could be considered at least emerging democracies. Defense of other democratic states can also be considered a vital interest of the United States, since democracies tend to support regional peace and world order and to hold interests similar to those of America. In light of terrorist assaults on democratic institutions, an attack on an individual democratic state implies an attack against global democratic institutions.

The objective of defense of democratic and pivot states requires a more extensive combination of the types of military missions that are often associated with preparations for major theater war. As with treaty allies, forward presence provides reassurance of U.S. commitment and initial crisis response. However, the lack of a formal alliance often means that only limited infrastructure exists or is available for forward presence forces. The resulting forward presence with limited infrastructure support is of a less permanent nature than that in allied territory and is, of necessity, primarily naval in nature.

Long- and intermediate-range strike, particularly with precision weapons, is also a critical mission in conducting operations in defense of democratic and pivot states. These capabilities also would be among the military force requirements in defense of treaty allies, but here the probable lack or destruction of supporting air bases is likely to require direct attacks by long-range forces, perhaps even those based in the continental United States (CONUS). Precision strike is aimed at blunting an initial enemy attack and interdicting follow-on enemy forces as well as bringing combat operations to the territory of the aggressor in an effort to destroy “centers of gravity.”26 Precision strike may also allow for “effects-based operations” designed to directly influence the aggressor’s decisionmaking process.27

Special operations are critical to the success of any military campaign, but even more so in the defense of states with limited infrastructure or in campaigns in which U.S. forces do not have other means of gathering information. Such operations are likely to be conducted within the aggressor state with the purpose of creating direct effects, such as destruction of decisionmaking nodes and war-supporting infrastructure, as well as gathering information. Special operations are a component of the overall power projection of expeditionary and rapid response forces, but they particularly come to the fore in cases where direct power projection of forces from CONUS is difficult or unwarranted.

Power projection of U.S. expeditionary and rapid response capability remains the primary mission of the Armed Forces in all overseas conflicts. Expeditionary forces are those designed to mount attacks within the theater as part of routine deployment and forward presence and that are capable of sustaining themselves for initial operations with only limited assistance from the host nation’s infrastructure. Such forces include amphibious Marine expeditionary units, naval forces, expeditionary air forces, and airborne forces. Comparable to expeditionary forces, rapid reaction forces are heavier (although not necessarily as heavy as in the past) and more powerful forces that depend more on local infrastructure such as ports of debarkation but can be transported from CONUS into the theater fast enough to blunt an aggressor’s continued forward movement and commence the reversal of the enemy’s gains. Advocates of transformation envision most of America’s future active-duty forces possessing an increased capacity for rapid reaction.

As in defense of treaty allies, C4ISR capability is crucial for effective battle management. In the case of non-treaty allies, such C4ISR capability is necessarily expeditionary in nature.

As an objective, deterring and winning regional conflicts require the same or similar missions as the defense of allies and of democracies or pivot states. An additional requirement, however, is the capacity to conduct them in an antiaccess environment in which U.S. forces have no toehold or logistics support in the region. This might occur because potential supporters in the region are reluctant to allow U.S. forces to use their territory, lest their own infrastructure or forces become targets of the aggressor, or it may be the result of the aggressor’s success in swiftly defeating regional opponents and ejecting U.S. forces from the region.

Access operations against antiaccess efforts require the capability to fight through layered regional defenses. This might include counter-mine warfare, suppression of enemy air defenses and suppression of enemy coastal defenses, and amphibious and airborne operations. Although all these capabilities may be required under the conditions of less demanding scenarios, the antiaccess or area denial environment would be extremely taxing on the forces assigned to conduct these sub-missions and require specialized and advanced capabilities that are likely to require considerable resource investment to develop.

Value Interests

Categorizing military missions in terms of value interests implies more than simply assigning a priority. Critics could argue that the very use of the term value places such interests in the nonvital category and reduces the likelihood that the U.S. Government will take action in their regard. Where vital interests are said to be drivers of realpolitik, value interests might be thought to reflect a lesser or occasional commitment.

But the reality is that throughout much of America’s history, its overseas activities have been in support of values such as the enlargement of democratic governance and the suppression of particularly brutal regimes or activities.28 The United States—motivated by the universality of its democratic principles—routinely chooses to take actions that cannot be strictly defined under realpolitik as purely national interests. Table 1-4 provides an illustrative list of such internationalist value interests. Historically, these are not necessarily treated as less vital interests.These value interests focus on the reduction of overt violence and maintenance of peace in areas of the world prone to conflict. This emphasis is something more than simply the defense of democratic regimes, allies, or pivot states. Illustrative are the U.S. efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo to stem conflicts in which there were few if any supporters of Western-style multiethnic democracy and no apparent natural resources or issues of direct security to the United States. Efforts to stop genocide or ethnic cleansing clearly represent values.



U.S. military forces have routinely been used to support such value interests long before recent emphasis on humanitarian actions. They acted as the primary humanitarian assistance agency of the United States throughout much of its history, prior to the creation of such specialized entities as the Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps.

Although the use of military force to support value interests hardly constitutes an emerging mission, the forms of such missions have changed with the complexity of modern culture and the impact of globalization. Value interests can be divided into two objectives: preventing internal conflict/peacemaking, and performing more generalized peace operations.

Preventing internal conflict or peacemaking implies the use of armed force to “make” peace, which may sometimes include conducting limited military operations against a warring faction. Peacemaking, a concept greater than simply peace enforcement, does not assume the existence of a peace agreement. Rather, it implies action to curb lawlessness and violence in order to create conditions in which a peace agreement can be reached. The unsuccessful 1991 attempt to quell clan warfare in Somalia can be considered an example. Peacemaking operations require forces capable of conducting such military missions as noncombatant evacuation, low-intensity conflict, special operations, peace enforcement, psychological operations, civil-military affairs, foreign military training, and C4ISR support to foreign military forces. All of these missions are also elements of other objectives, such as deterring or winning regional conflicts. However, they are primary or dominant missions of the peacemaking objective and may require specially trained forces to conduct them successfully in a lower intensity environment.

The term peace operations is meant to encompass the day-to-day engagement activities of forward-deployed U.S. forces. Unlike peacemaking, peace operations are not expected to involve the use of force against an enemy. Military missions in this category include multinational peacekeeping under existing peace agreements; peacetime military engagement with foreign military forces; humanitarian assistance under permissive (relatively nonviolent) conditions; and other interagency assistance that does not involve conflict with an arm“d enemy. Peace operations are assumed to be the primary mission of U.S. Armed Forces when they not engaged in conflict or in peacetime training.

Comparison to QDR 2001

The Bush administration Quadrennial Defense Review Report identifies a series of “enduring national interests” that the “development of defense posture should take into account.”29 The interests identified include:

  • ensuring U.S. security and freedom of actions, including U.S. sovereignty, territorial integrity, and freedom; guarding the safety of U.S. citizens at home and abroad; and protecting critical U.S. infrastructure
  • honoring international commitments about the security and well-being of allies and friends; precluding hostile domination of critical areas, particularly Europe, Northeast Asia, the East Asian littoral, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia; and maintaining peace and stability in the Western hemisphere
  • contributing to economic well-being, including the vitality and productivity of the global economy; the security of international sea, air and space, and information lines of communication; and access to key markets and strategic resources.

The similarities between these listed interests and the interests, objectives, and missions of the hierarchy-of-missions model described in this chapter are obvious, but there are also differences. The hierarchy model was developed to tie missions directly to interests and therefore draws more detailed distinctions between categories. Although the interests listed in the QDR provide general guidance for defense policy goals, the report does not attempt to translate them into military missions. Its focus is on the “paradigm shift” in force-sizing criteria, away from the two-MTW construct to a capabilities-based approach that supports national interests. No priorities for the various U.S. interests are stated explicitly; however, the body of the report makes it clear that the first priority is U.S. sovereignty and territorial integrity, and with it, protection of citizens and critical infrastructure. This interest category is referred to as “ensuring U.S. security and freedom of action”; this is implicitly consistent with the thesis of this chapter that assuring U.S. homeland security is a prerequisite for effective overseas operations.

Implications of the Hierarchy-of-Missions Model for Military Transformation

The purpose of this volume is to provide a context for the discussion of technology and military transformation. As a first step toward identifying the need for transformation, this chapter has examined the missions that can be expected to be assigned to the U.S. military in the 21st century in terms of a conceptual model that reprioritizes such missions along lines mirroring Bush administration priorities. This reprioritization reflects the passing of the immediate threats of the Cold War era, whose mission priorities were reflected in the spectrum-of-conflict model.

When such missions are viewed in terms of the resource constraints placed on the defense budget, cynics could charge that the hierarchy of survival, vital, and value missions merely confines the value missions to the “underfunded” category. But a quick look at U.S. foreign policy indicates that this outcome is not inevitable, nor even necessarily likely. Different Presidential administrations have made different choices as to funding priorities among the three categories. Arguably, much of U.S. foreign policy is directed toward the defense of such values as democratic governance and human rights. Globalized media play a considerable role in amplifying public concern for the promotion of these values. A Presidential administration could choose to allocate resources among the three categories based on the degree of risk it is willing to accept in any one mission area.30 Survival interests are likely to be funded more fully than, but not to the exclusion of, value-interest mission areas. A strong virtue of the hierarchy-of-interests model is that it forces explicit decisions on funding priorities, rather than assuming that missions in the vital or value categories are merely lesser included cases of the survival category missions with lesser included funding profiles.

The hierarchy of missions captures the new priorities based on the emerging contours of the future security environment and the apparent expectations of American policymakers. But it does not correspond with the implications of the current visions of the Joint Staff and services as reflected in the existing National Military Strategy or in Joint Vision 2010 and Joint Vision 2020.31 All three documents discuss a range of military missions necessary for American security, but the strategic and operational concepts they endorse are based on the spectrum-of-conflict approach to analyzing the relative importance of individual missions. Thus, the potential exists for a lack of consistency between the new missions and how the U.S. military presently expects to prepare itself. This raises questions about the purpose, timing, and extent of military transformation.

It also clouds our understanding of the effects on these new missions of recent and expected advancements in military technology. To reach a better understanding, several questions can be raised:

  • Do the emerging missions drive the development of these new technologies, or do the new technologies merely enable a more effective response to traditional missions?
  • Does the U.S. military need to transform itself radically to carry out these emerging missions effectively?
  • Does significant transformation need to be carried out for the U.S. military to capitalize on the new technologies?

Obviously, none of these questions can be answered in terms of the hierarchy-of-missions model alone. Rather, discussion of such questions in the context of the new model is intended as a gateway to the other chapters of this book



 1. The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, New World Coming (Washington, DC: September 15, 1999), 141.[BACK]

 2. Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2001), 18 (hereafter QDR 2001 Report).[BACK]

 3. Ibid., 17.[BACK]

 4. Ibid., 11.[BACK]

 5. For a “consensus view” of the future security environment based on a survey of official and unofficial studies since 1996, see Sam J. Tangredi, All Possible Wars? Toward a Consensus View of the Future Security Environment, 2001-2025, McNair Paper 63 (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2001).[BACK]

 6. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. Peter Paret and Michael Howard (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976), 119.[BACK]

 7. The logic of the approach is based on the integrated path method used in Miche`le A. Flournoy, ed., QDR 2001: Strategy-Driven Choices for America’s Security (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2001), 352-372. [BACK]

 8. For the purposes of this chapter, the term warfighting refers exclusively to military capabilities designed for countering the armed forces of a future military peer competitor or an aggressive regional power. It is meant to distinguish between the capabilities, organizational structures, and doctrine needed to defeat relatively modern and well-organized enemy forces involved in cross-border aggression from those optimized for smaller-scale conflicts. Although many of these capabilities are the same, doctrine regarding their use may vary. [BACK]

 9. Thomas Keaney, “Globalization, National Security and the Role of the Military,” SAISphere, Winter 2000, accessed at <>. [BACK]

10. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Vision 2020 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, June 2000), 2. [BACK]

11. For the purposes of the analysis presented in this chapter, the assumption of transformation as purposeful change is adopted, and the simple “reaction to technology” thesis is, at least temporarily, rejected. [BACK]

12. It has been used as a planning tool and in war college courses up to the present. See, for example, Mahan Scholars, Navy 2020: A Strategy of Constriction, MS 99-02 (Newport, RI: Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College, August 2000), 29, 50. The spectrum-of-conflict model is not just an American construct; it has been used by other militaries. See Carol McCann and Ross Pigeau, The Human in Command: Exploring the Modern Military Experience (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000), 2. [BACK]

13. There has recently been an internal Navy debate about whether the fleet should be described as “forces for presence, shaped for combat” or “forces for combat, shaping through presence.” See explanation of this debate in Sam J. Tangredi, “The Fall and Rise of Naval Forward Presence,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 126, no. 5 (May 2000), 28-32. [BACK]

14. Theater nuclear war was an emphasis in the “Pentomic” Army of the 1950s and early 1960s but was gradually deemphasized as the Cold War went on, since no one could determine how to fight it without triggering a strategic nuclear exchange. The mission of strategic nuclear war fell primarily to the Air Force and the Navy. [BACK]

15. John J. Zentner, The Art of Wing Leadership and Aircrew Morale in Combat, Cadre Paper No. 11 (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, June 2001), 82-85. [BACK]

16. For a detailed discussion of President Bush’s reconstitution strategy, see James J. Tritten and Paul N. Stockton, eds., Reconstituting America’s Defense: The New U.S. National Security Strategy (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1992). [BACK]

17. Although Secretary Denby’s report implies that the U.S. Navy alone evacuated this large number of civilians from Smyrna, the Navy most likely participated in a coalition effort to transport the refugees. Other evidence indicates that the U.S. Navy accounted for the transport of only about 11,000 of the overall number of refugees. See Dimitra M. Giannuli, “American Philanthropy in the Near East: Relief to the Ottoman Greek Refugees, 1922-1923,” Ph.D. dissertation, Kent State University, 1992, 131. See other examples in Bernard D. Cole, “The Interwar Forward Intervention Force: The Asiatic Fleet, the Banana Fleet, and the European Squadrons,” paper prepared for the U.S. Navy Forward Presence Bicentennial Symposium, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, VA, June 21, 2001. [BACK]

18. See, for example, Daniel Gouré and Jeffrey M. Ranney, Averting the Defense Train Wreck in the New Millennium (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1999). [BACK]

19. George W. Bush’s most notable campaign statement on readiness was made in the “A Period of Consequences” speech delivered at The Citadel, Charleston, SC, September 23, 1999. [BACK]

20.  QDR 2001 Report, iii-v. [BACK]

21. The hierarchy of missions model was developed independently of and prior to the publication of the QDR 2001 Report. For Clinton administration national interest categories, see The White House, A National Security Strategy for a Global Age, December 2000, 4. [BACK]

22. Involvement of military forces in computer network defense does raise legitimate concerns about potential violations of the prohibitions of posse comitatus against the use of U.S. military forces against domestic crime. Such concerns would need to be discussed and resolved. For that reason, and because of the difficulty involved in distinguishing foreign from domestic attacks, agencies other than the Department of Defense might be better for the mission of protecting the integrity of financial operations. [BACK]

23. See discussion in Tangredi, All Possible Wars?, 42-50. [BACK]

24. Flournoy, QDR 2001, 229-230. [BACK]

25. Robert Chase, Emily Hill, and Paul Kennedy, eds., The Pivotal States: A New Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999). [BACK]

26. Von Clausewitz defined center of gravity as “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.” Currently, it is used to describe the theoretical target of strategic air power. For discussion on Clausewitz’s view, see Ronald P. Richardson, “When Two Centers of Gravity Don’t Collide: The Divergence of Clausewitz’s Theory and Air Power’s Reality in the Strategic Bombing Campaign of World War II,” course paper, National Defense University, 1995, accessed at <>. For a discussions of the modern usage, see Mark Anthony, et al., Developing a Campaign Plan to Target Centers of Gravity Within Economic Systems (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, May 1995); and Mark Cancian, “Centers of Gravity Are a Myth,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, September 1998, 30-34. [BACK]

27. Effects-based operations are defined by Air Force strategists as “military actions and operations designed to produce distinctive and desired effects through the application of appropriate movement, supply, attack, defense, and maneuvers.” One of the most recent discussions of the concept (from which the definition was taken) is Edward Mann, Gary Endersby, and Tom Searle, “Dominant Effects: Effects-Based Joint Operations,” Aerospace Power Journal (Fall 2001), 92-100. [BACK]

28. See argument in Walter A. MacDougall, Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter With the World Since 1776 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997).[BACK]

29. QDR 2001 Report, 2. [BACK]

30. For an outstanding analysis of military risk, see Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., “Assessing Risk: Enabling Sound Defense Decisions,” in Flournoy, QDR 2001, 193-216. [BACK]

31. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Vision 2010 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1996). United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Military Strategy of the United States—Shape, Respond, Prepare Now: A Military Strategy for a New Century (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 1997). [BACK]

Table of Contents  |  Chapter Two