Fiscal Futures, U.S. Forces, and Strategic Choices
Defense strategy is ultimately about choices. While strategy should, in principle, drive budget decisions, strategy must also align with the resources available, or it will not be executable in practice. The U.S. military is currently experiencing a high degree of fiscal and strategic uncertainty as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and subsequent political stalemate. These budget constraints were set without regard to defense strategy or the threats facing the United States and its allies. At lower budget levels the United States must make increasingly difficult choices. As an abstract proposition, choice sounds fine. As concrete policy, choices are hard. Choosing means saying that the United States will not counter certain threats as aggressively or defend certain allies as effectively.