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CSF 2012 | Panel Discussion: A Moment of Transition

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Published on Jun 15, 2012

Current Strategy Forum | Panel Discussion: A Moment of Transition: From Today's Wars to Preparing for Future Challenges | June 12, 2012

In January 2012, President Obama introduced new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense, calling for the military to shift away from a large land presence in the Middle East to "focus on a broader range of challenges and opportunities" while sustaining security and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region.
This panel delved more deeply into the ramifications of such a shift and addressed such issues as what course of action seems most appropriate for our nation currently, what we can learn from historical case studies regarding how to withdraw from wars, and how our friends and others in the international community view anticipated challenges and opportunities in the near to mid-term.
- Dr. Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University
- Dr. Barry R. Posen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Dr. Hugh White, Australian National University

Moderator: Dr. John H. Maurer, U.S. Naval War College

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The 63rd annual Current Strategy Forum (CSF) hosted by the Secretary of the Navy explored the theme "Global Trends: Implications for National Policy and the Maritime Forces."

Our nation's strategic challenges continue to evolve in number and complexity. Extraordinary fiscal deficits at home, economic crises in Europe, the rising economies of developing nations, unrest in the Middle East, shifting trade routes, and climate change are just a few of the developments shaping the future geostrategic landscape. Additionally, the speed with which the geopolitical environment is changing creates uncertainty regarding strategy and makes difficult the allocation of resources. As our military forces continue to deal with the war in Afghanistan and its aftermath, they must also focus on emerging threats. America's sights are shifting away from two land wars, to the problem of ensuring security in a fiscally constrained environment. This year's forum will seek to refresh our 'mental maps' regarding the global system and help bring clarity to the rapidly changing geostrategic environment by presenting the perspective of leading experts on: (1) how history may help inform us about our future; (2) the nature and challenges of today's global system; (3) the potential paths that lie ahead for the nation's future; and, (4) the implications of these developments for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

The 63rd Current Strategy Forum explored the following issues:
- Impact on U.S. security and the international strategic environment of the drawdown from extended wars
- Impact on U.S. grand strategy of continued slow economic growth and continued turmoil in the international economy
- Problems and prospects in implementing the strategic review "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense"
- Strategic implications of high-tech weaponry in contested commons
- Implications for the roles and missions of U.S. naval forces

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The views expressed are the speakers' own and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or any other branch or agency of the U.S. Government.

(Video edited by Dan Marciniak, USNWC Public Affairs)

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