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Defending America in the Twenty-first Century

Courtesy Reuters

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Last year, the U.S. military looked something like this: it had 1,380,000 troops, a budget of some $279 billion, and featured 10 active Army and three active Marine Corps divisions, about 20 active and reserve air wings, and 11 active aircraft carriers. Its forces drove m-1 tanks, flew F-15 and F-16 fighters and F-117 bombers, and sailed Nimitz-class carriers. They were organized into unified and specified commands, governed primarily by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986.

Ten years earlier -- with the Soviet Union still standing and the Gulf War soon to begin -- the picture was strangely similar. The U.S. military had slightly over two million troops. With a budget of $382.5 billion (in today's dollars), it had 18 active Army and 3 active Marine Corps divisions, 36 active and reserve air wings, and 14 carriers. Its troops drove m-1 tanks, flew F-15 and F-16 fighters and F-117 bombers, and

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