WASHINGTON — Since the beginning of U.S. invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. has had the ability to project power in a relatively unchecked fashion. But some military analysts believe that’s changing now.
To prepare for future threats and war, the Pentagon needs to re-structure the nature of its alliances in Eastern Europe and East Asia, some national security experts say.
“If you look at for example, like the Iraq war – we could basically pull an aircraft carrier right up off the coast of Iraq and just pound Saddam,” said Paul Scharre, director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security. “And there really wasn’t anything he could do about it. Other countries took note of that, and they’ve been investing in capabilities to keep America at arm’s length.”
Scharre, who worked at the Department of Defense from 2008 to 2013 and was involved in the drafting of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, believes that by investing in what is referred to in military circles as “anti-access area denial capabilities,” countries like Russia and China have made it more difficult for the U.S. to project power abroad.
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