Finding a New Strategic Narrative

The Obama Administration’s defense strategic guidance issued in January “made a lot of sense as far as setting priorities,” but there needs to be a strategy now for meeting those priorities, said Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, on Tuesday. Congress today is far more divided than during the post Cold War period, and the nation faces deep economic challenges. As the United States winds down from combat in Afghanistan, the question will be put to US lawmakers to come up with a compelling “strategic narrative” as to why the country still has to spend upwards of $600 billion on defense a year, stated Krepinevich bluntly during his Dec. 18 talk in Arlington, Va., sponsored by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies. He said this is the rationale behind CSBA’s recent Strategy in Austerity report, which looks at the challenges, resources, and strategies used by powers in the past when confronted with circumstances similar to those faced by the United States today. (See also Krepinevich’s recent article in Foreign Affairs journal.)