Capstone Essay Contest
The U.S. military has served as the big stick in U.S. politics for the last 50 years. Since the end of World War II, it has had few rivals. The Cold War saw two superpowers with opposing ideologies, goals, and armed forces. But the fall of the Soviet Union has left the United States as the only real superpower in the world. Despite being smaller than it was during the Cold War, the U.S. military is unmatched in flexibility, readiness, capability, and deployability.
So what do we do with such an effective fighting force? The obvious answer is to maintain our military dominance to ensure our national defense and to back up our foreign policy. When the United States speaks, others will have to listen.
That is a traditional role with which most militaries are comfortable. But, the focus of the U.S. armed forces has fallen elsewhere in recent years. Missions like peacekeeping and humanitarian aid are cropping up with regularity, and the U.S. military has become engaged in a number of such seemingly unwarlike activities. Even the Department of Defense is reevaluating its game plan: