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A farseeing and controversial analysis of the military America needs and the military we can afford from the director of research at Brookings. As total federal debt trends toward percent of the GDP, and America wavers on the edge of another recession, Congress has responded with a plan for deficit reduction—more than two trillion dollars over A farseeing and controversial analysis of the military America needs and the military we can afford The U.

How it spends its money, chooses tactics, and allocates its resources have enormous implications for national defense and the economy.

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The Science of War is the only comprehensive textbook on how to analyze and understand these and other essential problems in How it spends President Barack Obama survived a tenuous economy and a toxic political environment to win re-election in , but the bitter partisan divide in Washington survived as well. So did the country's huge fiscal deficit. President Barack Obama survived a tenuous economy and a toxic political environment to win What happens if we bet too heavily on unmanned systems, cyber warfare, and special operations in our defense?

In today's U. Drones, cyber weapons, special forces, and space weapons are in. Accordingly, Pentagon budget cuts have honed in on the army and ground forces: this, after the long wars in What happens if we bet too heavily on unmanned systems, cyber warfare, and special operations in our But Brookings national security scholar Michael O'Hanlon argues that is roughly the right amount given the In two former U. Almost two years later, the Global Zero movement was born with its chief aim to rid the world of such weapons once and for all by But is These are extraordinary times in U.

America remains engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan while facing a global economic downturn. Homeland security concerns still abound in the wake of the September 11 attacks.


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But is it realistic or even wise to envision a world without nuclear weapons? More and more people seem to think so. Barack Obama has declared "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Michael O'Hanlon places his own indelible stamp on this critical issue, putting forth a "friendly skeptic's case for nuclear disarmament. Calls to "ban the bomb" are as old as the bomb itself, but the pace and organization of nonproliferation campaigns have picked up greatly recently.

The growing Global Zero movement, for example, wants treaty negotiations to begin in Would this be prudent or even feasible in a world that remains dangerous, divided, and unpredictable? After all, America's nuclear arsenal has been its military trump card for much of the period since World War II. Pursuing a nuclear weapons ban prematurely or carelessly could alarm allies, leading them to consider building their own weapons—the opposite of the intended effect. O'Hanlon clearly presents the dangers of nuclear weapons and the advantages of disarmament as a goal. But even once an accord is in place, he notes, temporary suspension of restrictions may be necessary in response to urgent threats such as nuclear "cheating" or discovery of an advanced biological weapons program.

To take all nuclear options off the table forever strengthens the hand of those that either do not make that pledge or do not honor it. For the near term, traditional approaches to arms control, including dismantling existing bomb inventories, can pave the way to make a true nonproliferation regime possible in the decades ahead. As total federal debt trends toward percent of the GDP, and America wavers on the edge of another recession, Congress has responded with a plan for deficit reduction—more than two trillion dollars over ten years.

But its plan emphasizes some parts of the federal budget over others. Entitlements are likely to be spared, and tax reform deferred. Defense spending, however, could be cut by as much as one trillion dollars over a decade, above and beyond savings from ending current wars. Such a prospect demands that we have a serious conversation about our national security priorities in an age of austerity. Deep cuts to the U. What would happen if North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb?

If the Pakistani government fell? If China turned militant?

His conclusions are challenging and impossible to dismiss easily. In today's U. Drones, cyber weapons, special forces, and space weapons are in. Accordingly, Pentagon budget cuts have honed in on the army and ground forces: this, after the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seems like an appealing idea.

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No one really wants American boots on the ground in bloody conflicts abroad. But it is not so easy to simply declare an end to messy land wars. A survey of the world's trouble spots suggests that land warfare has more of a future than many now seem to believe. In The Future of Land Warfare, Michael O'Hanlon offers an analysis of the future of the world's ground forces: Where are large-scale conflicts or other catastrophes most plausible? Which of these could be important enough to require the option of a U.

And which of these could in turn demand significant numbers of American ground forces in their resolution? O'Hanlon is not predicting or advocating big American roles in such operations—only cautioning against overconfidence that we can and will avoid them. O'Hanlon considers a number of illustrative scenarios in which large conventional forces may be necessary: discouraging Russia from even contemplating attacks against the Baltic states; discouraging China from considering an unfriendly future role on the Korean peninsula; handling an asymmetric threat in the South China Sea with the construction and protection of a number of bases in the Philippines and elsewhere; managing the aftermath of a major and complex humanitarian disaster superimposed on a security crisis—perhaps in South Asia; coping with a severe Ebola outbreak not in the small states of West Africa but in Nigeria, at the same time that country falls further into violence; addressing a further meltdown in security conditions in Central America.

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Top charts. New arrivals. O'Hanlon April 23, Space has been militarized for over four decades. Should it now be weaponized? This incisive and insightful book argues that it should not. Since the cold war, space has come to harbor many tools of the tactical warfighter. Satellites have long been used to provide strategic communication, early warning of missile launch, and arms control verification. The U. To date, though, no country deploys destructive weapons in space, for use against space or Earth targets, and no country possesses ground-based weapons designed explicitly to damage objects in space.

The line between nonweaponization and weaponization is blurry, to be sure—but it has not yet been crossed. O'Hanlon makes a forceful case for keeping it this way. Pursuing a policy of space weaponization solely in order to maximize its own military capabilities would needlessly jeopardize this situation by likely hastening development of space weapons in numerous countries. It would also reaffirm the prevalent international image of the United States as a global cowboy of sorts, too quick to reach for the gun.

O'Hanlon therefore asserts that U. Extreme positions that would either hasten to weaponize space or permanently rule this out are not consistent with technological realities and U. Reviews Review Policy. Published on. Flowing text, Original pages. Best For. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader.

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