By 2011 the United States will have established the strategy, force structure, and programs it needs to conduct extended counterinsurgency campaigns. Arguably, that is where the military needed to be in 2003 when the Iraq conflict began. Unfortunately, the military "rebalancing" has occurred just as public support for those kinds of campaigns has collapsed. Neither success in Iraq nor the initially strong justification for intervention in Afghanistan has affected the continuing decline in public support for those conflicts. Concurrently, such support for any sort of future intervention has eroded.
A Rebalanced Force
The shift in strategy has been long in coming and is well known. The Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDRs) of 2001 and 2006 shifted focus—from two major regional conflicts against the conventional nation-state forces to "building a portfolio of capabilities that is robust across the spectrum of possible force requirements."