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Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century

29.4.2008 - The Project for the New American Century, September 2000

All that has to be done (especially in terms of military) to eternalize the current U.S. worldwide hegemony – openly expressed by American strategists themselves. Truly instructive!


The Project for the New American Century was established in the spring of 1997. From its inception, the Project has been concerned with the decline in the strength of America’s defenses, and in the problems this would create for the exercise of American leadership around the globe (…)

The United States is the world’s only superpower, combining preeminent military power, global technological leadership, and the world’s largest economy. Moreover, America stands at the head of a system of alliances which includes the world’s other leading democratic powers. At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.

There are, however, potentially powerful states dissatisfied with the current situation and eager to change it, if they can, in directions that endanger the relatively peaceful, prosperous and free condition the world enjoys today. Up to now, they have been deterred from doing so by the capability and global presence of American military power. But, as that power declines, relatively and absolutely, the happy conditions that follow from it will be inevitably undermined.

Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future. But years of cuts in defense spending have eroded the American military’s combat readiness, and put in jeopardy the Pentagon’s plans for maintaining military superiority in the years ahead. (…)

With this in mind, we began a project in the spring of 1998 to examine the country’s defense plans and resource requirements. (…) In broad terms, we saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. (…)


This report proceeds from the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces. (…) Yet unless the United States maintains sufficient military strength, this opportunity will be lost. And in fact, over the past decade, the failure to establish a security strategy responsive to new realities and to provide adequate resources for the full range of missions needed to exercise U.S. global leadership has placed the American peace at growing risk. This report attempts to define those requirements. (…)

In particular, the United States must:

MAINTAIN NUCLEAR STRATEGIC SUPERIORITY, basing the U.S. nuclear deterrent upon a global, nuclear net assessment that weighs the full range of current and emerging threats, not merely the U.S.-Russia balance. (…)

REPOSITION U.S. FORCES to respond to 21st century strategic realities by shifting permanently-based forces to Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia, and by changing naval deployment patterns to reflect growing U.S. strategic concerns in East Asia.

DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.

CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,” and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control.

EXPLOIT THE “REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS to insure the long-term superiority of U.S. conventional forces.

INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.

Fulfilling these requirements is essential if America is to retain its militarily dominant status for the coming decades. Conversely, the failure to meet any of these needs must result in some form of strategic retreat. (…)

America’s strategic goal used to be containment of the Soviet Union; today the task is to preserve an international security environment conducive to American interests and ideals. The military’s job during the Cold War was to deter Soviet expansionism. Today its task is to secure and expand the “zones of democratic peace;” to deter the rise of a new great power competitor; defend key regions of Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; and to preserve American preeminence (page 2)

U.S. forces are poorly positioned to respond to today’s crises. In Europe, for example, the overwhelming majority of Army and Air Force units remain at their Cold War bases in Germany or England, while the security problems on the continent have moved to Southeast Europe. Temporary rotations of forces to the Balkans and elsewhere in Southeast Europe increase the overall burdens of these operations many times.

Likewise, the Clinton Administration has continued the fiction that the operations of American forces in the Persian Gulf are merely temporary duties. Nearly a decade after the Gulf War, U.S. air, ground and naval forces continue to protect enduring American interests in the region. In addition to rotational naval forces, the Army maintains what amounts to an armored brigade in Kuwait for nine months of every year; the Air Force has two composite air wings in constant “no-fly zone” operations over northern and southern Iraq. And despite increasing worries about the rise of China and instability in Southeast Asia, U.S. forces are found almost exclusively in Northeast Asian bases. (page 3-4)

(…) Potential rivals such as China are anxious to exploit these transformational technologies broadly, while adversaries like Iran, Iraq and North Korea are rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they seek to dominate. (page 4) (…)

In a larger sense, the new president will choose whether today’s “unipolar moment,” to use columnist Charles Krauthammer’s phrase for America’s current geopolitical preeminence, will be extended ... (page 4)

America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy producing region, and East Asia; (page 5)

HOMELAND DEFENSE. America must defend its homeland. During the Cold War, nuclear deterrence was the key element in homeland defense; it remains essential. But the new century has brought with it new challenges. While reconfiguring its nuclear force, the United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority. (page 6)

LARGE WARS. Second, the United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars and also to be able to respond to unanticipated contingencies in regions where it does not maintain forward-based forces. … (page 6)

Over the next several decades, the United States must field a global system of missile defenses, divine ways to control the new “international commons” of space and cyberspace, and build new kinds of conventional forces for different strategic challenges and a new technological environment. (page 7)

… maintaining or restoring a favorable order in vital regions in the world such as Europe, the Middle East and East Asia places a unique responsibility on U.S. armed forces. The Gulf War and indeed the subsequent lesser wars in the Balkans could hardly have been fought and won without the dominant role played by American military might. (page 8-9)

Although the basic concept for a system of global missile defenses capable of defending the United States and its allies against the threat of smaller and simpler ballistic missiles has been well understood since the late 1980s, a decade has been squandered in developing the requisite technologies. In fact, work on the key elements of such a system, especially those that would operate in space, has either been so slowed or halted completely, so that the process of deploying robust missile defenses remains a long-term project. (page 11)

As will be argued more fully below, effective ballistic missile defenses will be the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection of U.S. military forces abroad. Without it, weak states operating small arsenals of crude ballistic missiles, armed with basic nuclear warheads or other weapons of mass destruction, will be a in a strong position to deter the United States from using conventional force, no matter the technological or other advantages we may enjoy. Even if such enemies are merely able to threaten American allies rather than the United States homeland itself, America’s ability to project power will be deeply compromised. (page 12)

(…) American forces must remain deployed abroad, in large numbers. … (page 12-13)

The failure to build missile defenses will put America and her allies at grave risk and compromise the exercise of American power abroad. (page 13)

(…) The presence of American forces in critical regions around the world is the visible expression of the extent of America’s status as a superpower and as the guarantor of liberty, peace and stability. Our role in shaping the peacetime security environment is an essential one, not to be renounced without great cost: it will be difficult, if not impossible, to sustain the role of global guarantor without a substantial overseas presence. (…) Equally important, our worldwide web of alliances provides the most effective and efficient means for exercising American global leadership … (page 14)

Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, this (American) perimeter has expanded slowly but inexorably. In Europe, NATO has expanded, admitting three new members and acquiring a larger number of “adjunct” members through the Partnership for Peace program. Tens of thousands of U.S, NATO and allied troops are on patrol in the Balkans, and have fought a number of significant actions there; in effect, the region is on the road to becoming a NATO protectorate. In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semipermanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. (page 14)

Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. (page 14)

Across the globe, the trend is for a larger U.S. security perimeter, bringing with it new kinds of missions. (page 14)

Securing the American perimeter today – and tomorrow – will necessitate shifts in U.S. overseas operations. (page 15)

American armed forces stationed abroad and on rotational deployments around the world should be considered as the first line of American defenses (…) they are the cavalry on the new American frontier. (page 15)

Despite the shifting focus of conflict in Europe, a requirement to station U.S. forces in northern and central Europe remains. The region is stable, but a continued American presence helps to assure the major European powers, especially Germany, that the United States retains its longstanding security interest in the continent. This is especially important in light of the nascent European moves toward an independent defense “identity” and policy; it is important that NATO not be replaced by the European Union, leaving the United States without a voice in European security affairs. (page 16)

The current infrastructure in England and Germany should be retained. The NATO air base at Aviano, Italy, long the primary location for air operations over the Balkans, needs to be substantially improved. As with ground forces, serious consideration should be given to establishing a permanent and modern NATO and U.S. airfield in Hungary for support to central and southern Europe. In Turkey, Incirlik Air Base, home of Operation Northern Watch, also needs to be expanded, improved and perhaps supplemented with a new base in eastern Turkey. (page 16)

Although U.S. Navy and Marine forces generally operate on a regular cycle of deployments to European waters, they rely on a network of permanent bases in the region, especially in the Mediterranean. These should be retained, and consideration given to establishing a more robust presence in the Black Sea. As NATO expands and the pattern of U.S. military operations in Europe continues to shift to the south and east, U.S. naval presence in the Black Sea is sure to increase. (page 17)

After eight years of no-fly-zone operations, there is little reason to anticipate that the U.S. air presence in the region should diminish significantly as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. Although Saudi domestic sensibilities demand that the forces based in the Kingdom nominally remain rotational forces, it has become apparent that this is now a semi-permanent mission. From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region. (page 17)

The prospect is that East Asia will become an increasingly important region, marked by the rise of Chinese power, while U.S. forces may decline in number. (page 18)

They will still have a vital role to play in U.S. security strategy in the event of Korean unification and with the rise of Chinese military power. (…) It is premature to speculate on the precise size and composition of a postunification U.S. presence in Korea, but it is not too early to recognize that the presence of American forces in Korea serves a larger and longer-range strategic purpose. (…) In time, or with unification, the structure of these units will change and their manpower levels fluctuate, but U.S. presence in this corner of Asia should continue. (page 18)

A similar rationale argues in favor of retaining substantial forces in Japan. (…) (page 18)

Raising U.S. military strength in East Asia is the key to coping with the rise of China to great-power status. (page 18)

In sum, it is time to increase the presence of American forces in Southeast Asia. (…) (page 19)

As a supplement to forces stationed abroad under long-term basing arrangements, the United States should seek to establish a network of “deployment bases” or “forward operating bases” to increase the reach of current and future forces. Not only will such an approach improve the ability to project force to outlying regions, it will help circumvent the political, practical and financial constraints on expanding the network of American bases overseas. (page 19)

Costs for these improvements can be shared with the host nation (sic!) and be offset as part of U.S. foreign security assistance … Such installations should be a “force multiplier” in power projection operations, as well as help solidify political and security ties with host nations. (page 20)

A recent study done for the Air Force indicates that a worldwide network of forward operating bases – perhaps more sophisticated and suited for combat operations than the counterdrug locations planned by SOUTHCOM – might cost $5 billion to $10 billion through 2010. The study speculates that some of the cost might be paid for by host nations anxious to cement ties with the United States, or, in Europe, be considered as common NATO assets and charged to the NATO common fund. (page 20)

Elements of U.S. Army Europe should be redeployed to Southeast Europe, while a permanent unit should be based in the Persian Gulf region. (page 22)

While maintaining its combat role, the U.S. Army has acquired new missions in the past decade – most immediately, missions associated with completing the task of creating a Europe “whole and free” and defending American interests in the Persian Gulf and Middle East. (page 22, respectively 23)

The need to respond with decisive force in the event of a major theater war in Europe, the Persian Gulf or East Asia will remain the principal factor in determining Army force structure for U.S.-based units. (25)

With more forward-based units deployed along an expanded American security perimeter around the globe, these unforeseen crises should be less debilitating. (page 26)

American land power is the essential link in the chain that translates U.S. military supremacy into American geopolitical preeminence. (page 28)

Air Force: Toward a Global First-Strike Force

On short notice, Air Force aircraft can attack virtually any target on earth with great accuracy and virtual impunity. American air power has become a metaphor for as well as the literal manifestation of American military preeminence. (page 30)

(…) While this might increase the cost of these operations, it might also be an incentive to get the Saudis, Kuwaitis and other Gulf states to assume a greater share of the costs while preserving the lowest possible U.S. military profile. (page 34)

The Air Force presence in the Gulf region is a vital one for U.S. military strategy, and the United States should consider it a de facto permanent presence, even as it seeks ways to lessen Saudi, Kuwaiti and regional concerns about U.S.presence. (page 35)

The end of the Cold War leaves the U.S. Navy in a position of unchallenged supremacy on the high seas, a dominance surpassing that even of the British Navy in the 19th and early parts of the 20th century. With the remains of the Soviet fleet now largely rusting in port, the open oceans are America’s, and the lines of communication open from the coasts of the United States to Europe, the Persian Gulf and East Asia. (page 39)

As stressed several times above, the United States should seek to establish – or reestablish – a more robust naval presence in Southeast Asia, marked by a long-term, semi-permanent home port in the region, perhaps in the Philippines, Australia, or both. Over the next decade, this presence should become roughly equivalent to the naval forces stationed in Japan … (page 44)

Had the Chinese actually targeted missiles at Taiwan, it is doubtful that the Aegis air-defense systems aboard the cruisers and destroyers in the battle groups could have provided an effective defense. (page 45)


To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the Department of Defense must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs. Information technologies, in particular, are becoming more prevalent and significant components of modern military systems. These information technologies are having the same kind of transforming effects on military affairs as they are having in the larger world.

The effects of this military transformation will have profound implications for how wars are fought, what kinds of weapons will dominate the battlefield and, inevitably, which nations enjoy military preeminence. (page 50)

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor. Domestic politics and industrial policy will shape the pace and content of transformation as much as the requirements of current missions. A decision to suspend or terminate aircraft carrier production, as recommended by this report and as justified by the clear direction of military technology, will cause great upheaval. (page 51)

In general, to maintain American military preeminence that is consistent with the requirements of a strategy of American global leadership, tomorrow’s U.S. armed forces must meet three new missions:

Global missile defenses.
A network against limited strikes, capable of protecting the United States, its allies and forward-deployed forces, must be constructed. This must be a layered system of land, sea, air and spacebased components. (page 51)

Control of space and cyberspace.
Much as control of the high seas – and the protection of international commerce – defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new “international commons” be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the “infosphere” will find it difficult to exert global political leadership. (page 51)

Missile Defenses

(…) the value of the ballistic missile has been clear to America’s adversaries. When their missiles are tipped with warheads carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, even weak regional powers have a credible deterrent, regardless of the balance of conventional forces. That is why, according to the CIA, a number of regimes deeply hostile to America – North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria – “already have or are developing ballistic missiles” that could threaten U.S allies and forces abroad. (page 51-52)

To increase their effectiveness, ground-based interceptors like the Army’s Theater High-Altitude Area Defense System must be networked to space-based systems. (page 52)

Most damaging of all was the decision in 1993 to terminate the “Brilliant Pebbles” project. This legacy of the original Reaganera “Star Wars” effort had matured to the point where it was becoming feasible to develop a space-based interceptor capable of destroying ballistic missiles in the early or middle portion of their flight – far preferable than attempting to hit individual warheads surrounded by clusters of decoys on their final course toward their targets. But since a space-based system would violate the ABM Treaty, the administration killed the “Brilliant Pebbles” program, choosing instead to proceed with a ground-based interceptor and radar system – one that will be costly without being especially effective. (page 52)

While there is an argument to be made for “terminal” ground-based interceptors as an element in a larger architecture of missile defenses, it deserves the lowest rather than the first priority. The first element in any missile defense network should be a galaxy of surveillance satellites with sensors capable of acquiring enemy ballistic missiles immediately upon launch. Once a missile is tracked and targeted, this information needs to be instantly disseminated through a world-wide command-and-control system, including direct links to interceptors.

To address the special problems of theaterrange ballistic missiles, theater-level defenses should be layered as well. In addition to space-based systems, these theater systems should include both land and sea-based interceptors, to allow for deployment to trouble spots to reinforce theater systems already in place or to cover gaps where no defenses exist. In addition, they should be “two-tiered,” providing close-in “point defense” of valuable targets and forces as well as upper-level, “theaterwide” coverage. (page 52-53)

To maximize their effectiveness, these theater-level interceptors should receive continuous targeting information directly from a global constellation of satellites carrying infrared sensors capable of detecting ballistic missile launches as they happen. The low-earth-orbit tier of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS Low), now under development by the Air Force, will provide continuous observations of ballistic missiles in the boost, midcourse and reentry phases of attack. Current missile tracking radars can see objects only above the horizon and must be placed in friendly territory; consequently, they are most effective only in the later phases of a ballistic missile’s flight.

SBIRS Low, however, can see a hostile missile earlier in its trajectory, increasing times for interception and multiplying the effectiveness of theater-range interceptors by cueing their radars with targeting data. It will also provide precise launch-point information, allowing theater forces a better chance to destroy hostile launchers before more missiles can be fired. There is also a SBIRS High project, but both SBIRS programs have suffered budget cuts that are to delay their deployments by two years. (page 53-54)

But to be most effective, this array global reconnaissance and targeting satellites should be linked to a global network of space-based interceptors (or space-based lasers). In fact, it is misleading to think of such a system as a “national” missile defense system, for it would be a vital element in theater defenses, protecting U.S. allies or expeditionary forces abroad from longer-range theater weapons. This is why the Bush Administration’s missile defense architecture, which is almost identical to the network described above, was called Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS).

By contrast, the Clinton Administration’s plan to develop limited national missile defenses based upon Minuteman III missiles fitted with a so called “exoatmospheric kill vehicle” is the most technologically challenging, most expensive, and least effective form of long range ballistic missile defense. (page 54)

In the post-Cold War era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence and it is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities. Projecting conventional military forces or simply asserting political influence abroad, particularly in times of crisis, will be far more complex and constrained when the American homeland or the territory of our allies is subject to attack by otherwise weak rogue regimes capable of cobbling together a miniscule ballistic missile force. Building an effective, robust, layered, global system of missile defenses is a prerequisite for maintaining American preeminence. (page 54)

Space and Cyberspace

No system of missile defenses can be fully effective without placing sensors and weapons in space
. Although this would appear to be creating a potential new theater of warfare, in fact space has been militarized for the better part of four decades. Weather, communications, navigation and reconnaissance satellites are increasingly essential elements in American military power. Indeed, U.S. armed forces are uniquely dependent upon space. As the 1996 Joint Strategy Review, a precursor to the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review, concluded, “Space is already inextricably linked to military operations on land, on the sea, and in the air.” The report of the National Defense Panel agreed: “Unrestricted use of space has become a major strategic interest of the United States.” (page 54)

Given the advantages U.S. armed forces enjoy as a result of this unrestricted use of space, it is shortsighted to expect potential adversaries to refrain from attempting to offset to disable or offset U.S. space capabilities. And with the proliferation of space know-how and related technology around the world, our adversaries will inevitably seek to enjoy many of the same space advantages in the future. Moreover, “space commerce” is a growing part of the global economy. (page 54)

In short, the unequivocal supremacy in space enjoyed by the United States today will be increasingly at risk. As Colin Gray and John Sheldon have written, “Space control is not an avoidable issue. It is not an optional extra.” For U.S. armed forces to continue to assert military preeminence, control of space – defined by Space Command as “the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space” – must be an essential element of our military strategy. If America cannot maintain that control, its ability to conduct global military operations will be severely complicated, far more costly, and potentially fatally compromised. (page 55)

To ensure America's control of space in the near term, the minimum requirements are to develop a robust capability to transport systems to space, carry on operations once there, and service and recover space systems as needed. (…) But, over the longer term, maintaining control of space will inevitably require the application of force both in space and from space, including but not limited to antimissile defenses and defensive systems capable of protecting U.S. and allied satellites; (page 56)

In sum, the ability to preserve American military preeminence in the future will rest in increasing measure on the ability to operate in space militarily; both the requirements for effective global missile defenses and projecting global conventional military power demand it. (page 56)

Cyberpace, or ‘Net-War’

If outer space represents an emerging medium of warfare, then “cyberspace,” and in particular the Internet hold similar promise and threat. And as with space, access to and use of cyberspace and the Internet are emerging elements in global commerce, politics and power. Any nation wishing to assert itself globally must take account of this other new “global commons.” (page 57)

The Internet is also playing an increasingly important role in warfare and human political conflict. From the early use of the Internet by Zapatista insurgents in Mexico to the war in Kosovo, communication by computer has added a new dimension to warfare. Moreover, the use of the Internet to spread computer viruses reveals how easy it can be to disrupt the normal functioning of commercial and even military computer networks. Any nation which cannot assure the free and secure access of its citizens to these systems will sacrifice an element of its sovereignty and its power. (page 57)

Although many concepts of “cyber-war” have elements of science fiction about them, and the role of the Defense Department in establishing “control,” or even what “security” on the Internet means, requires a consideration of a host of legal, moral and political issues, there nonetheless will remain an imperative to be able to deny America and its allies' enemies the ability to disrupt or paralyze either the military's or the commercial sector's computer networks. Conversely, an offensive capability could offer America's military and political leaders an invaluable tool in disabling an adversary in a decisive manner. (page 57)

Space itself will become a theater of war, as nations gain access to space capabilities and come to rely on them; further, the distinction between military and commercial space systems – combatants and noncombatants – will become blurred. Information systems will become an important focus of attack, particularly for U.S. enemies seeking to short-circuit sophisticated American forces. And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool (sic!). (page 60)

American military preeminence will continue to rest in significant part on the ability to maintain sufficient land forces to achieve political goals such as removing a dangerous and hostile regime when necessary. (page 61)

While the exact scope and nature of such change is a matter for experimentation, Army studies already suggest that it will be dramatic. Consider just the potential changes that might effect the infantryman. Future soldiers may operate in encapsulated, climate-controlled, powered fighting suits, laced with sensors, and boasting chameleonlike “active” camouflage. “Skin-patch” pharmaceuticals help regulate fears, focus concentration and enhance endurance and strength. (page 62)

Global Strikes from Air and Space

In particular, the Air Force’s emphasis on traditional, tactical air operations is handicapping the nation’s ability to maintain and extend its dominance in space. Over the past decade, the Air Force has intermittently styled itself as a “space and air force,” and has prepared a number of useful long-range studies that underscore the centrality of space control in future military operations. (page 63)

Such a transformation would in fact better realize the Air Force’s stated goal of becoming a service with true global reach and global strike capabilities. (page 64)

The Price of American Preeminence

(…) We believe it is necessary to increase slightly the personnel strength of U.S. forces – many of the missions associated with patrolling the expanding American security perimeter are manpower-intensive, and planning for major theater wars must include the ability for politically decisive campaigns including extended post-combat stability operations. Also, this expanding perimeter argues strongly for new overseas bases and forward operating locations to facilitate American political and military operations around the world. (page 74)

(…) units operating abroad are an indication of American geopolitical interests and leadership, provide significant military power to shape events and, in wartime, create the conditions for victory when reinforced. Conversely, maintaining the ability to deliver an unquestioned “knockout punch” through the rapid introduction of stateside units will increase the shaping power of forces operating overseas and the vitality of our alliances. In sum, we see an enduring need for large-scale American forces. (page 74)

We cannot allow North Korea, Iran, Iraq or similar states to undermine American leadership, intimidate American allies or threaten the American homeland itself. The blessings of the American peace, purchased at fearful cost and a century of effort, should not be so trivially squandered. (page 75)

Source (American): Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century. The Project for the New American Century, September 2000 

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is an influential Washington-based neoconservative think-tank, whose ranks included future exponents and appointees of the Bush administration (Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, "Dick" Cheney, John Bolton, Lewis Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad etc.). PNAC was established in 1997 with an aim of promoting “American global leadership”.
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