Belfer Center Home > Topics > Environment and Climate Change > Natural resource management > The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk

EmailEmail   PrintPrint Bookmark and Share

 
<em>The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk</em>

The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk

Report, National Security Advisory Group

January 25, 2006

Authors: Dr. William J. Perry, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Samuel R. Berger, General Wesley K. Clark, Former Senior Advisor, 2001-2009, Preventive Defense Project, Tom Donilon, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John D. Podesta, Susan E. Rice, General (ret.) John M. Shalikashvili, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project, Amb. Wendy R. Sherman, Dr. Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall, Former Founding Senior Advisor, Preventive Defense Project, Dr. James B. Steinberg

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security

 

Authors: Carter, Ashton B., William J. Perry, Madeleine K. Albright, Graham T. Allison, Samuel R. Berger, Wesley K. Clark, Thomas E. Donilon, Michele A. Flournoy, John D. Podesta, Susan E. Rice, John M. Shalikashvili, Wendy R. Sherman, Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall and James B. Steinberg. 

Summary

In the current debate over Iraq, there is an elephant in the room that few are willing to acknowledge. While the U.S. military has performed superbly in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, our ground forces are under enormous strain. This strain, if not soon relieved, will have highly corrosive and potentially long-term effects on the force.

We believe that the Bush administration has broken faith with the American soldier and Marine:

  • by failing to plan adequately for post-conflict operations in Iraq;
  • by failing to send enough forces to accomplish that mission at an acceptable level of risk; and
  • by failing to adequately equip and protect the young Americans they sent into harm’s way.

These failures have created a real risk of "breaking the force" -- a force that is critical to protecting and advancing our national interests, now and in the future. The American military deserves better. The American people deserve better. This paper is intended to sound a warning – to raise awareness about the state of our ground forces today and the very real risk that poses to our future security. This paper also proposes an action plan for restoring the health and vitality of the U.S. military. The administration has under discussion some of what is recommended here, but the actions actually being taken fall far short of what is required.

The full text of this document is available in the pdf below:

 

For more information about this publication please contact the PDP Associate Director at 617-495-1412.

For Academic Citation:

Carter, Ashton, William Perry, Madeleine Albright, Graham Allison, Samuel Berger, Wesley Clark, Thomas Donilon, Michele Flournoy, John Podesta, Susan Rice, John Shalikashvili, Wendy Sherman, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and James Steinberg. The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk. Washington, D.C.: Report for National Security Advisory Group, 01 2006.

Document Length: 22 pp.

Bookmark and Share

Worst Weapons in Worst Hands: U.S. Inaction on the Nuclear Terror Threat Since 9/11, and a Path of Action
By Dr. William J. Perry, Ashton B. Carter, Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, Graham Allison, Samuel R. Berger, General Wesley K. Clark, Tom Donilon, John D. Podesta, Susan E. Rice, General (ret.) John M. Shalikashvili, Amb. Wendy R. Sherman, Dr. Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall and Dr. James B. Steinberg

An American Security Policy: Challenge, Opportunity, Commitment
By Ashton B. Carter, Dr. William J. Perry, Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, Samuel R. Berger, Louis Caldera, General Wesley K. Clark, General (ret.) John M. Shalikashvili, Dr. Elizabeth D. Sherwood-Randall, Alfonso E. Lenhardt and John D. Podesta

Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America
By Ashton B. Carter and Dr. William J. Perry

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

Ashton B. Carter

Dr. Ashton B. Carter is on leave 

  

Ashton Carter's bio >

Ashton Carter's publications >

Go to Preventive Defense Project >