This analysis describes the key trends in the downsizing of American forces and defence expenditures since the end of the Cold War, and the evolution of the Bush and Clinton strategies.
It focuses on the broad political consensus that has developed regarding many aspects of the way in which the US should react to the end of the Cold War. At the same time, it traces the ways in which efforts to cut US defence spending have helped create a ‘planning-reality gap’ between US strategic objectives and force plans, and the resources available to meet these objectives and implement these plans.
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