VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel writes for Politico on whether the US military is large enough to carry out President Obama’s counterterrorism efforts:
When the Defense Department released the results of its strategic review and accompanying budget proposal in March of this year, it already felt outdated. The Quadrennial Defense Review report, published just as the Ukraine crisis was heating up, did not treat Europe as a theater of new insecurity, nor did it account for the meteoric rise of the Islamic State as a new terrorist adversary of the United States and its allies and partners.
The intensification of the Ukraine crisis earlier this year suddenly raised the real possibility of interstate conflict in three different regions (Asia, the Middle East, and Europe), while the Pentagon’s strategy and force posture really accounted for possible conflicts in only two regions. This is not to suggest that the Pentagon budget be increased to handle three simultaneous major conflicts, but that a different approach and greater global military capacity is now needed to account for this new possibility.