U.S. officials and national security experts chronically exaggerate foreign threats, suggesting that the world is scarier and more dangerous than ever. But that is just not true. From the U.S. perspective, at least, the world today is remarkably secure, and Washington needs a foreign policy that reflects that reality.
The Cold War induced caution in nations that feared uncontrollable escalation. Now that confrontations are less likely to careen out of control, a new season of bellicosity is here. The U.S. military, trapped in a Cold War mindset, has failed to realize this. It is spending far too much on casualty-prone units in all the services, in an age when political opposition to casualties effectively makes these units unavailable for combat. The military should recalibrate its priorities and shift funds to weapons such as high-tech lasers, stealth aircraft, and cruise missiles that can make warfare less lethal for Americans.
Right now, more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are trying to hack into the digital networks that undergird U.S. military operations. The Pentagon recognizes the catastrophic threat posed by cyberwarfare, and is partnering with allied governments and private companies to prepare itself.