Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense

This defense strategy document, "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense", was released on January 5, 2012. The introduction states, "This strategic guidance document describes the projected security environment and the key military missions for which the Department of Defense (DoD) will prepare. It is intended as a blueprint for the Joint Force in 2020, providing a set of precepts that will help guide decisions regarding the size and shape of the force over subsequent program and budget cycles, and highlighting some of the strategic risks that may be associated with the proposed strategy."

See more in Defense Strategy; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Time to Attack Iran

Author: Matthew Kroenig

Opponents of military action against Iran assume a U.S. military strike would be far more dangerous than simply letting Tehran build a bomb. Not so, argues this former Pentagon defense planner. With a carefully designed strike, Washington could mitigate the costs—or at least bring them down to a bearable level—and spare the region and the world from an unacceptable threat.

See more in Iran; Defense Strategy

Expert Brief

How Afghanization Can Work

Author: Linda Robinson

What is the best way to stabilize Afghanistan at a time when international forces are scaling down commitments? Putting Afghan troops in the lead of their own counterinsurgency efforts, writes CFR's Linda Robinson.

See more in Afghanistan; Defense Strategy


We Need Liberals Now!

Author: Leslie H. Gelb
The Daily Beast

Leslie H. Gelb argues that liberals and moderates are asking the right questions about where the United States should go on national security policy, and the foreign policy establishment needs to listen to them.

See more in Defense Strategy; United States


HBO History Makers Series with Stanley A. McChrystal

Speaker: Stanley McChrystal
Presider: Tom Brokaw

Stanley A. McChrystal, former commander of the United States and International Security Assistance Forces Afghanistan and Joint Special Operations Command's premier military counterterrorism force, discusses his experiences in Afghanistan.

This meeting is part of the HBO History Makers series.

See more in Afghanistan; Defense Strategy