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The U.S. Military Index: What The Military Needs

What does the military need to win the war on terror? According to the index’s officers, America’s Special Operations forces will be critical to the fight. Almost 40 percent of the officers say the size of America’s Special Operations forces must be expanded to help ensure victory in the battle against terrorism. Above all, though, ...

What does the military need to win the war on terror? According to the index’s officers, America’s Special Operations forces will be critical to the fight. Almost 40 percent of the officers say the size of America’s Special Operations forces must be expanded to help ensure victory in the battle against terrorism.

Above all, though, the officers are clear that the chances for victory do not rest on the shoulders of the military alone. Nearly three quarters of the officers say the United States must improve its intelligence capabilities — the highest percentage of any of the choices offered. Active-duty officers and those who have retired within the past year give a much higher priority to nonmilitary tools, including more robust diplomacy, developing a force of deployable civilian experts, and increasing foreign-aid programs.

Looking beyond the immediate fight, the officers say that no step is more important for preparing the United States for the broader threats and challenges of the 21st century than increasing the size of America’s ground forces. That recommendation was followed closely by another call to expand the size of Special Operations forces. A sizable percentage of officers, more than 1 in 5, want to see improved space and cyberwarfare capabilities, and a similar proportion say the United States must deepen its capacity in specialty areas, such as psychological operations and engineers, that have been in high demand in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only around 2 percent say the United States needs a new generation of nuclear weapons. Clearly, the U.S. military is looking for its tools to evolve as threats change.

Download the complete U.S. Military Index data:

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