Authors: Ashton Carter
March 21, 2000
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
The American military is the envy of the world. Since the Cold War ended it has consistently demonstrated prowess and flexibility in operations as diverse as Desert Storm and the securing of Haiti. The American public apparently shares with foreign friends and foes this favorable view of the U.S. defense effort: they give their approval to the military almost alone among institutions of the federal government. This approbation for the Department of Defense, however deserved, is not a birthright or a fact of nature. It will need to be earned and earned again in the decades ahead. But the success against the relatively minor challenges of the post-Cold War era to date has engendered a dangerous complacency in American national security thinking. As a result the United States might fail to adapt in ways that will both reduce future security threats and ensure that today''s military excellence endures into the future. This testimony before the Subcommitte on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (United States Senate) describes the necessary innovations, developments, and adaptions needed ensure safety and peace at home and abroad.
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