The U.S. government has been refining strategy to guide its national security policy in the post Cold War period. The Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) hopes that Strategic Assessment 1995 will contribute to this effort by offering a thorough analysis of the evolving global security environment and its implications for U.S. policy and strategy.
The Strategic Assessment is aimed at policy makers, analysts, or informed members of the public who want a serious summary statement of the challenges facing the U.S. and the environment in which policy is being made. It does not provide novel interpretations or detailed specialized research. Specialists in one topic or region are unlikely to find much new material on that subject here, although we hope they will find a useful, succinct statement of the trends, U.S. interests, and key issues for U.S. policy in that area. For coherence, each chapter is divided into three subsections dealing with these trends, interests, and issues. Our focus is on the next few years, not the next few months or the next few decades.
Three factors distinguish this product from some other reviews of the world security environment. The first is its strong focus on U.S. interests. Rather than offering a neutral analysis of global trends, we have attempted to identify and analyze those trends that are of most concern to the United States, and to discuss the specific policy questions and debates that will face the U.S. government.
The second is its depth. Some other global overviews offer useful examinations of U.S. interests, but without the level of detail provided by our disaggregated analyses of trends and issues facing U.S. policy makers.
Third, although Strategic Assessment 1995 strives to assess various options on key national security issues, its primary intent is not to advocate particular policies or approaches to policy. It is neither a statement nor a critique of U.S. government policy. Rather, it is the product of a group of scholars, most of whom work for a university funded by the U.S. government. We research questions of concern to the U.S. government, but we do not tailor our conclusions to fit any preconceptions about U.S. interests or government policy.
The responsibility for any errors in this document rests wholly with me as Editor-in-Chief and Patrick Clawson as Editor, who worked under the guidance of Stuart Johnson, the INSS Director of Research. The credit for any insights belongs to the able team at INSS that wrote the contributing papers. The authors of each chapter were:
Asia Pacific Ronald Montaperto; Europe James Morrison, Jeffrey Simon, Charles Barry; Russia and Neighbors James Brusstar; Greater Middle East Jed Snyder, Phebe Marr, Patrick Clawson; Western Hemisphere Jay Cope; Sub-Saharan Africa James Woods1; Oceans and the Law Ann Hollick; Weapons of Mass Destruction Douglas Mang; U.S. Force Structure Stuart Johnson; Arms Transfers and Export Controls John Eisenhour; Information Technologies Martin Libicki; Peace Operations William Lewis; Transnational Threats Patrick Clawson; Trends in the Sovereign State Brian Sullivan; Economics Theodore Moran.[footnote 1]
We would also like to express our thanks to the many military officers, civilian government officials, and outside analysts who gave us thoughtful comments on papers prepared as contributions to this report. Thanks also to James Smith, who edited the writing and managed the graphics, and the team at the Government Printing Office without whom this document could not have been produced so quickly.