The years ahead represent a critical juncture for the Department of Defense (DoD). As it continues to draw down from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it must not only implement the deep budgetary cuts imposed by sequestration (approximately $500 billion over 10 years) but also develop long-term plans for safeguarding the nation and ensuring that U.S. military forces remain second to none. Today, the United States faces no near-term peer competitor. But the security environment—and further, the conduct of warfare—is rapidly evolving. If the U.S. military is to protect its position of unchallenged superiority over the long term, it must rebalance its forces and adjust its investments to prepare for an uncertain future, even if this means assuming limited risk in the present.
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