Issue Briefs

The U.S. Military Is Suffering A Crisis Of Strategy, Not Just One Of Readiness

The U.S. Military Is Suffering A Crisis Of Strategy, Not Just One Of Readiness

Dan Goure

June 19, 2017

Everyone agrees that the U.S. military has a readiness crisis. Yet more consequential for the future of the U.S. military than its current readiness crisis is the crisis of strategy. The U.S. military has been at war with Islamic terrorism for more than 16 years. The U.S. must confront the reality that it is involved in a conflict which can neither be avoided nor can be won; it is a problem to be managed.  The search for victory in the current fight requires an enormous expenditure of resources and lives, adding to the wear and tear on platforms and personnel while, in a budget-constrained environment, draining the military of resources desperately needed to modernize its aging force structure for the fights to come. I have written on the need for a new strategy for The National Interest here.


GoureDan Goure is a Vice President with the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit public-policy research organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. He is involved in a wide range of issues as part of the institute’s national security program.

Dr. Goure has held senior positions in both the private sector and the U.S. Government. Most recently, he was a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team. Dr. Goure spent two years in the U.S. Government as the director of the Office of Strategic Competitiveness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also served as a senior analyst on national security and defense issues with the Center for Naval Analyses, Science Applications International Corporation, SRS Technologies, R&D Associates and System Planning Corporation.


The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy of GPI.