The Cold War Era Essay

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Since World War II ended, the United States has been involved in several other conflicts, all of which were much further from total war than was the Second World War. Many of these were “small wars.” During the Cold War, the military’s goal was preparedness to fight two simultaneous major contingency operations. Once the Soviet Union disintegrated, and the United States emerged as the lone superpower, there appeared to be a period of peace on the horizon. The peace dividend never fully materialized, due to the rise of new powers, influence of non-state actors, spread of weapons of mass destruction and other challenges to international order. The United States today is leaving Afghanistan, but faces concerns in several areas of the…show more content…
The Defense Strategic Guidance states that in this current fiscal environment the armed forces will no longer be sized to conduct prolonged stability operations. While this document says that the forces will be sized based on the requirements of missions listed therein, which includes countering terrorism and irregular warfare at the top of the list, it further states that versatility across the range of missions will be maintained. In order to keep enough capability and capacity for high intensity regular warfare as well as money to pay for training for this type of warfare, irregular warfare programs and training will necessarily be less funded. The National Security Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review of 2010 set the National Military Objectives as countering violent extremism, deterring and defeating aggression, strengthening international and regional security, and shaping the future force. Just a few years later, after legislators caused massive cuts to defense budgets due to sequestration and as the nation began to draw down its commitment in Afghanistan, the Quadrennial Defense Review of 2014 outlined the Department of Defense’s strategy as emphasizing three pillars. The first, protecting the homeland, includes deterring and defeating attacks on the nation and supporting civil authorities. The second, building security globally, focuses on

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