American Grand Strategy and the Future of U.S. Landpower   [open pdf - 6MB]

From the Introduction, "The decade following September 11, 2001, witnessed a strategic anomaly: an island nation playing the part of a Landpower. For U.S. leaders worried about terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and the frightful prospect of their convergence, the oceans on the nation's flanks, and the friendly neighbors along its borders seemed suddenly immaterial. As the United States sought to reconstruct the region that had sent suicide bombers to its shores, the American military instrument tilted toward the large land forces deployed into Afghanistan and Iraq. But now these wars have waned. Strategies for countering terrorism have evolved from nation-building to targeted strikes. An era of austerity has emerged. In grand strategic debates, the United States has again drifted 'offshore.' As a result, the U.S. military faces a dramatic rebalancing among its services. The absence of an existential threat leaves the U.S. land services--the Army, Marines, and Special Operations--facing an existential question. For a born-again island, just what is Landpower for? One can attempt an answer in one of two ways. First, one can start from the tool--Landpower--and consider the range of missions it might be used for. But this assumes that we know the tool we have at hand, which is by no means evident. Landpower is divided internally into a tangle of branches--infantry, armor, and so on--each of which claims to be the trunk, while externally it is separated from not only sea and air power, but from diplomacy, economics, and other instruments of national power."

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