The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 – never signed and never ratified – is important primarily for the money it will provide to the Islamic Republic. Iran is likely to continue down the path it has chosen, seeking hegemony in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, and beyond, whether nuclear or not. The question for the United States – Congress and the Executive Branch – is what steps are needed to defend ourselves, our interests, and our allies from nuclear or non-nuclear threats? Iran is only one. After years of withdrawal from the Middle East, increasingly acrimonious relations with Russia and China, and budget cuts plus reductions in force levels at home, the U.S. has to re-engage in defense planning. And, perhaps more important, to re-engage in strategic thinking about American political and military goals abroad.
American leadership and the rebuilding of our forces are the subjects of the Winter 2016 issue of inFOCUS.
Dan Goure writes on American leadership, and Ilan Berman on the nature of our adversaries. Michaela Dodge and Adam Lowther remind us that our strategic forces are older than many of our readers. David Adesnik and Mackenzie Eaglen chart the effects of sequestration on the force, and Dakota Wood determines how much money it would take to begin to right the ship. An extraordinary panel of retired Flag and General Officers assert the priorities of the various services. Fred Fleitz takes on intelligence gathering and assessment. The delicate issue of the legal basis for targeted assassination is the purview of Nicholas Rostow, and Paul Joyal makes cyber security a top priority.
Also, don’t miss Shoshana Bryen’s review of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.
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