Force Size and Strategy

Thomas Donnelly
Content Type
Policy Brief
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
One of the emerging ironies of the presidential campaign is that both parties seem to want to regard the events of the past three years—the post-September 11 era—as an anomaly. The Democratic convention was an exercise in nostalgia for the good old days of the 1990s. Even the Bush campaign has lately succumbed to a kind of Iraq fatigue, seeking in particular to divert attention from the president's rhetoric of a year ago calling for the democratization and liberalization of the Middle East. Alas, the United States cannot simply resign as the “sole superpower” and guarantor of the current global order. No matter the outcome of the election, the United States still will face two inescapable strategic tasks: changing the Middle East and containing the rise of China. At the same time, the new president must rebuild and restructure the U.S. armed forces to respond to the needs of these very different theaters.
International Relations, Government
Political Geography
United States, Iraq, Middle East