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Projecting US military power

The Foreign Policy Research Institute has posted "The military lessons of operation 'Iraqi Freedom' by Michael P. Noonan, from which we quote this: "Many lessons learned may be drawn from this first phase. In fact, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has appointed Admiral Edward Giambastiani and his staff at the Joint Forces Command to compile the official lessons learned for the Department of Defense. Far from being a mundane academic exercise, these compiled lessons will most certainly drive change and reinforce the need for transformation across the services. In the zero-sum game of the defense budgetary process, however, this will create winners and losers. More important, these lessons will determine the types and numbers of forces that the nation maintains to provide for the common defense. Therefore, it is essential to study the macro-level lessons of Operation Iraqi Freedom rather than the lessons that support specific weapons platforms or that deal with the combat experienced in that specific environment. In short, what are the lessons for how the United States projects its military in a complex world?"

RH: How the US projects its military power? There is ambiguity in the response from the Pentagon. On the one hand we are assured that no further invasions are contemplated. On the other, we are implicitly told that there will be. My guess is that the first statement is meant to reassure Americans and others that peace now reigns. However, it seems reasonable to think that in due course another situation will arise which requires the US to project its military power. We shall see.

Ronald Hilton - 5/4/03