CRS Issue Statement on Military Strategies and Force Structure

. CRS Issue Statement on Military Strategies and Force Structure Stephen Daggett, Coordinator Specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets January 13, 2010 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 IS40350 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress . CRS Issue Statement on Military Strategies and Force Structure he 111th Congress will be presented with a wide range of national security issues as the U.S. government undertakes both the intellectual and practical task of updating and revising its military strategy and force planning to meet the demands of a rapidly changing international security environment. Much of the discussion will be shaped by the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), on which the Defense Department is required to issue a report no later than February 2010, when the President’s budget is due to Congress. The QDR normally follows a statement of National Security Strategy by the White House. The strategy report is required to define U.S. global interests and objectives and to describe the foreign policy as well as military capabilities needed to implement U.S. national security strategy. The new Administration has not completed a report, however, leaving many aspects of national security strategy yet to be fully defined. T In recent years, it has very widely been agreed that the global security environment necessitates an “all of government” approach to national security that combines “soft power” skills, most often applied by civilian agencies, with the military’s traditional “hard power.” A great deal of interest has been expressed in reexamining how well the U.S. government is organized to apply all instruments of national power to achieve its national security objectives, how to balance major roles and responsibilities among key agencies, and how to integrate agency efforts. The shift of economic strength from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the rise of China as a major global power, may become a matter of increasing congressional attention in shaping global economic policy, foreign policy, and defense strategy. Meanwhile, managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq and assessing the effectiveness of the Administration’s expanded, though not open-ended, commitment in Afghanistan will remain a major focus of congressional oversight and debate. Military force structure issues include what types of ground forces and special operations units are required for current and future operations, a matter that has been a particular focus of debate in the Army. The size of the Army and Marine Corps has increased recently, as a means of meeting the demands of current conflicts. Defense strategy reflects the premise that future conflicts are likely to be similar to those facing U.S. military forces today, requiring a continued focus on irregular warfare capabilities. But a very broad range of new challenges are also being discussed, including challenges that may be posed to the U.S. ability to project power in regions far around the globe and threats to exploit U.S. vulnerabilities both overseas and in the homeland. The balance between ground forces, maritime capabilities, and air and space forces may be a matter of as far-reaching and open-ended a debate as at any time since the 1950s. Nuclear nonproliferation policy may be a particular focus of attention, with debates intensifying over matters as varied as global economic sanctions and possible military strikes against Iran, ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty, negotiations with North Korea, arms reduction agreements with Russia, and the role of nuclear weapons in reassuring allies and deterring non-nuclear threats. Defense of the homeland, through military and other means, has been a matter of increasing congressional concern, with renewed attention on the integration of intelligence garnered from disparate sources and by different agencies. Congressional Research Service 1 . CRS Issue Statement on Military Strategies and Force Structure Issue Team Members Stephen Daggett, Coordinator Specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets, 7-7642 John Rollins Specialist in Terrorism and National Security, 7-5529 Nina M. Serafino Specialist in International Security Affairs, 7-7667 Tiaji Salaam-Blyther Specialist in Global Health, 7-7677 Pat Towell Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget, 7-2122 Curt Tarnoff Specialist in Foreign Affairs, 7-7656 Ronald O'Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs, 7-7610 Liana Sun Wyler Analyst in International Crime and Narcotics, 7-6177 Jeremiah Gertler Specialist in Military Aviation, 7-5107 Jennifer K. Elsea Legislative Attorney, 7-5466 Amy F. Woolf Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy, 7-2379 R. Chuck Mason Legislative Attorney, 7-9294 Amy Belasco Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget, 7-7627 Lisa Mages Information Research Specialist, 7-7452 Richard F. Grimmett Specialist in International Security, 7-7675 Mari-Jana "M-J" Oboroceanu Information Research Specialist, 7-6329 Rhoda Margesson Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy, 7-0425 Congressional Research Service 2