Friday, February 22, 2008

Health And Future Of The US Military (CNAS And FP)

The Center For New American Security and Foreign Policy Magazine have put together an article and an index on the state of the US military. You can see the article here and download the questions and answers here. The article and index are based on the answers 3400 active and retired officers gave to a series of questions about the health and readiness of the US military.

Some highlights include (Boldface and comments are mine):

Would you say that the U.S. military today is stronger, weaker, or about the same as it was five years ago?
25% Stronger
60% Weaker
15% About the same

“The demands of the war in Iraq have broken the U.S. military."
8% Strongly Agree
33% Somewhat Agree
23% Somewhat Disagree
33% Strongly Disagree
2% Don’t know

“The demands of the war in Iraq have stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin."
52% Strongly Agree
36% Somewhat Agree
7% Somewhat Disagree
3% Strongly Disagree
0.4% Don’t know

Which country do you feel has gained the greatest strategic advantage from the war in Iraq?
19% United States
37% Iran
3% Iraq
22% China
13% Russia
4% Other, please specify

How well informed do you believe the United States’ elected leaders are about the U.S. military today?
5% Very informed
27% Somewhat informed
33% Somewhat uninformed
33% Very uninformed
1% Don’t know

Below is a list of things that could potentially assist the U.S. military in winning the Global War on Terror. Please choose the TWO most important things you believe the United States government must do to win the war on terror.
31% More robust diplomatic tools
73% Improve intelligence (Comment: Interesting that this is the single highest rated item by quite a large margin)
21% Increase the size of U.S. ground forces
19% Increase the number of troops with foreign language skills
38% Further increase the size of Special Operations Forces
13% Develop a cadre of operational, deployable civilian experts
14% Increase spending on economic development assistance programs

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