Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Shaping the 21st Century Military
Shaping the 21st Century Military

Shaping the 21st Century Military


To guide the development of the armed forces’ future, the incoming president will want to offer guidance to the Pentagon on grand strategy and the supporting principles and planning framework to size and shape the joint warfighting force. This strategic direction will be a critical aspect of the initial national security planning effort and will provide guidance as to the number of kinds of wars that the Pentagon must be prepared to deter or win should deterrence fail. This article offers options and guidance for two major components of U.S. defense policy. These are Design Principles and alternative Force Design Constructs. These force constructs are not the strategy itself, but they are the requisite building blocks and guidance which defense policymakers use to shape the desired force and explain that force in its requests for the funding required from the American people.

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