Since World War II, a key element of America's grand strategy has been its worldwide network of strategic allies and partners. The network has provided the United States an invaluable global presence, enhanced deterrence against adversaries, and, when called upon, provided men and materiel necessary to fight wars.
However, with the end of the Cold War, and the existential threat posed by the Soviet Union and its Iron Curtain allies, less and less attention has been paid to America's allies — especially their "hard power" capabilities. Ironically, this has occurred despite the fact that America and its allies have gone to war even more frequently since the demise of the Soviet Union. No less problematic is the fact that, as America cuts its own defense budget and reduces the size of its armed forces, the relative assistance potentially provided by allies and partners grows in importance.
To help address this declining focus, AEI's Marilyn Ware Center for Stretegic Studies has commissioned essays which examine the state of defense capabilities of key allies and security partners. The essays examine current and planned defense budgets, troop strengths, deployable capabilities, procurement programs, research and development efforts, doctrinal updates, and strategic guidance documents in an effort to provide an accurate, well-rounded account of allied hard power and, in turn, the ability — and, indirectly, the willingness — of those same state partners to use force independently or in concert with the US and other allies.
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