left facing this tale of the tape great reach but poor endurance in the latter

Left facing this tale of the tape great reach but

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left facing this tale of the tape: “great reach, but poor endurance in the latter rounds.” Part of the problem is simply not having enough physical capacity to meet global requirements, but this problem is not easy to address. If ours is a “not enough boots on the ground” problem, then one simple answer might be to limit the ground on which we send our available boots. We might at the very least resolve not to occupy more ground, as then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put it when he said that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 14 Isaiah Wilson III, “Dueling Regimes: The Means-Ends Dilemma of Multilateral Intervention Policy,” World Affairs , January 2001. operating environment expands beyond traditional physical and material-based concepts of security, i.e., beyond those forms of security typically achievable and sustainable by military power alone. Today’s wider concept of “security” and the threats to it include, but are not limited to, issues of human security (and the provision of basic essential needs), cultural security, economic secu- rity, and environmental security. For a full description, see “Promoting Sustainable Security,” NDC Occasional Paper No. 12, NATO Defense College, Research Branch, Rome, February 2006, and also the research by the Fund for Peace. The Quest for Viable Peace: International Intervention and Strategies (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2005), 16 Outcomes in Counterinsurgency Wars,” International Organization 63 (Winter 2009): 67-106.
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A MERICAN P OWER IN T RANSITION Wilson 23 ‘have his head examined.’” 17 We might also get rid of ground currently occupied. Neither option, however, is feasible in today’s environment. The ground and the threats on it, after all, “get a vote,” and they sometimes demand an American presence even when Americans would prefer to be elsewhere. While we might wish to withdraw from some of the nearly 130 countries where we perform a variety of intervention tasks ranging from traditional combat to peace operations, to do so would likely desta- bilize the world even more than our occasional missteps do. 18 Alternatively, the United States might acquire more boots. We have long known the number of troops necessary for waging and winning unconventional interventions. To defeat the violence of an insurgency, a precondition for stabilization and reconstruction operations, we know every one person in the population. These forces would be a multicom- position force bringing a wide variety of skills and knowledge to this side of the counterinsurgency campaign, ranging from skills in major combat operations to city and regional planning expertise. Finally, we should not discount perhaps the most important lesson of all regarding nation is embarking upon (the supreme Clausewitzian warning), some- times particular kinds of wars may embark themselves on a nation-state, or community of nation-states. Put more simply, sometimes war is less
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