The metaphor of the majestic and doomed liner RMS Titanic comes to mind when thinking about the future size, shape, and health of the U.S. military. Many dangerous icebergs, the political kind, sit astride the route ahead, hidden by an ocean of uncertainty. Collision is not inevitable, but the peril is very real.
Consider three of these potential icebergs. One is the strategic, operational, and even theological division over preparing, training, and equipping our forces for the future. Will thinking be dominated by preparing for "big" conventional wars or for conflicts such as in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the struggle against terrorism that are consuming the U.S. military?
Second is money. Given the defense spending needed to sustain these forces, will future Congresses and administrations fund at those levels?
Third, to what degree do civilian control and the role of professional military advice need to be re-evaluated after the misadventure in Iraq?