US Military Still Budgets for Wars Like It's 1993

Next strategic review offers a chance for the Pentagon to better prepare for Hezbollah, Iran and China.

US Army soldiers behind a designated mine-detecting device operator in an area notorious for IED caused injuries and deaths. (Tony Karumba/AFP/GettyImages)

The military must move beyond preparing its entire force to address one or two particular kinds of threats as it did in 1993.

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"Rather than asking all services to prepare for the exact same thing, that could drive a lot of redundancy into the force, why not better focus them?" Gunzinger says. "You always have to consider the budget, but ... we really need to ensure that we're making the right investments to develop the future force that's better capable of handling the kinds of threats we've discussed."

And simply building a force that can meet reduced budgets will leave the U.S. vulnerable in the future.

"If that's what the QDR is all about, just another drill to balance the books, what we may end up with is a smaller version of today's force that's best prepared for fading threats," he says. "And that would be a lost opportunity."

CSBA has a full copy of Gunzinger's report.

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