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Behind the scenes, the Army performs dozens of missions that affect daily life here in America, from disaster response to disease prevention and research on critical medical technologies. This is all in addition to globe-reaching duties of keeping the peace, and when that fails, winning the wars.
Without the Air Force and its GPS support, we’d still have to stop at the gas station for directions. Without the Air Force as the traffic cop of space, we’d be frantically trying to call our service provider as our dish or satellite TV stopped working—even though our cell phones would similarly be down.
Indeed, America’s airmen at home and abroad work hard each day to support our daily lives in ways we only notice typically after something stops working.
As the nuclear balance of power has grown increasingly complex in the years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the aperture with which US strategists must view the challenge of nuclear deterrence has widened. In the wake of the recent Iran deal, addressed elsewhere in this series, that aperture will likely widen further. With that challenge in mind, the next president must continue his or her predecessors’ success at avoiding the use of nuclear weapons; it may not be easy, but its importance can’t be overstated. Looking ahead, here are the 5 questions the next president will have to address.
The US armed forces stand at a critical crossroads. The military is busier than ever, and it must simultaneously meet expanded current needs while preparing for the future. The next president will make choices about the American military that will define American hard power for much of the 21st century.
To get the most out of the NSC system and its staff, the next president will have to appoint Cabinet officers he or she trusts, empower them to implement his or her agenda, and provide leadership inside the White House to ensure the best advice possible reaches the head of the table inside the Situation Room. […]