What's on the horizon for warfare in 2012? FP asked some of the world's top experts to fill in the blanks.
- By Alessandra N. RamAlessandra N. Ram is a researcher at Foreign Policy.
THE MOST OVERLOOKED NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT TO THE U.S. IS …
U.S. economic decline. —Thomas Bowditch, Paul Kapur, Edward Luttwak * The global proliferation of cheap surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missles. —Spencer Ackerman * A weak China. —Kristen Lord * Gun swarms. —John Arquilla * Christian extremism. —George Perkovich * Saudi Arabia’s fragility. —Peter W. Singer * Cyberattacks. —Robert D. Kaplan * The spread of precision-guided weaponry and supporting capabilities. —Thomas Mahken * Overreactions to security threats. —Benjamin H. Friedman * Pandemics. —David Barno * WMDs. —Frank Carlucci * Global warming. —John Nagl * The deficit. —Ian Livingston * Our inability to learn from our past mistakes. —Christopher Preble
AL QAEDA IS …
Weakened but still lethal. —Robert D. Kaplan * Sliding toward strategic defeat. —Graham Allison * Dangerous, vulnerable, but still persistent. —Thomas Bowditch * Yesterday’s terrorist problem. —Erik Dahl * Nearly defunct. —David Barno * Through as an organization, but still alive as an organizational concept for other groups. —Thomas Keaney * Dead. —Edward Luttwak * Like Godfather’s Pizza: It was never that successful, but we are likely to hear from nutjobs who were part of it for years to come. —Peter W. Singer * Toast. —Donald M. Snow * Losing the war of ideas among Muslims. —Kori Schake
THE EXAMPLE OF PENTAGON BLOAT THAT MAKES ME ANGRIEST IS …
The F-35. —John Arquilla (“A trillion dollars for a new fighter, when we’ve had only one fighter shot down by an enemy fighter in 40 years, is a sheer waste.”), Thomas H. Johnson, Paul Kapur, Barry Posen, Peter W. Singer * The preposterous number of U.S. aircraft carriers. —William Rosenau * Billions of dollars in the last 10 years on canceled weaponry. —David Barno * The Pentagon is no more bloated than any federal agency. —Jamie M. Fly * The number of people and size of headquarters. —Robert Cassidy * The large bases in Afghanistan. —Carter Malkasian * U.S. Special Operations Command. —Edward Luttwak * Its inability to complete an audit. —Christopher Preble
BARACK OBAMA’S BIGGEST MISTAKE AS A WARTIME PRESIDENT HAS BEEN …
Tripling down in Afghanistan. —Graham Allison * The premature withdrawal of the surge forces from Afghanistan. —Peter Mansoor * Not getting out of Afghanistan faster. —Donald M. Snow * Letting his reelection campaign affect his decision-making. —Robert D. Kaplan * His overly rapid drawdown from Iraq. —Kenneth M. Pollack * His slow response to the Arab Spring. —Kristin Lord * His failure to stand up to the military and act as his own chief strategist. —John Arquilla * Thinking of himself as a peacetime president. —Danielle Pletka
THE BEST NATIONAL SECURITY IDEA OF THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN IS …
Mitt Romney’s plan to increase naval shipbuilding from nine new major warships per year to 15. —Robert Haddick * Ron Paul’s proposition that the U.S. is not the solution to every international problem. —Graham Allison * Jon Huntsman’s call for a quicker-than-planned withdrawal from Afghanistan. —John Deni * A strong and well-trained U.S. military is the world’s best guarantee of peace. —Peter Mansoor * The willingness to review Pentagon spending. —Richard Kohn * Still waiting to hear one. —Linda Robinson
The opinions here are those of the respondents alone.
Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer is assistant managing editor for online at Foreign Policy. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Forbes, among other places. She holds a bachelor's degree from U.C. Berkeley, and master's degrees from Peking University and the London School of Economics. The P.Q. stands for Ping-Quon.| Feature |
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| In Box |