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Transforming Defense
National Security in the 21st Century
Report of the National Defense Panel - December 1997

CONCLUSION

In the increasingly complex and dynamic world that we foresee, the Department of Defense and its armed services alone cannot preserve U. S. interests. Defense is but one element of a broader national security structure. If we are to be successful in meeting the challenges of the future, the entire U. S. national security apparatus must adapt to become more integrated, coherent, and proactive.

Although aggressively transforming our military may present some risk, the Panel believes that risk is both acceptable and manageable. At any point during this transformation process, we should be able to handle any and all major combat operations— and make it apparent to a potential adversary that we can, and will.

Implementing a transformation such as described in this Report promises to be complicated and will require a delicate balance. We must be careful not to dismantle elements of the current structure that are still applicable to near-term challenges. The Panel believes that if we refuse to change in a timely manner, however, we risk being fundamentally unprepared for the future, thereby putting in question the security of future generations of Americans. We have the time and the opportunity to adjust. But we cannot equivocate. We must begin now.



[Back]

[Contents]

[Next]
Transforming Defense
National Security in the 21st Century
Report of the National Defense Panel - December 1997