Each service stands to win—or lose—depending on what national security visions the new administration embraces. System visions favor air forces (an Air Force F-16 lines up to refuel for a mission over Kosovo); nation-state visions favor ground forces (an Army engineer builds a school in Haiti); subnational visions favor naval forces (a Navy destroyer shadows a tanker in the Gulf).
In January 1993, we wrote an article in Proceedings about the election-year debate on foreign policy and its implications for U.S. Navy force structure planning. 1 The piece later was cited as one of the journal's best during its 125th anniversary celebration. Emboldened by such recognition, we decided to update our analysis to see what the Clinton years have accomplished in shaping the major arguments about what sort of crises and enemies we should focus on—and plan U.S. force structure around.