Download Full Text (145 KB)


Jeffrey Record examines what he believes is a half-century-old and continuing recession of large-interstate warfare and, since the World War's demise, the unexpected and often violent disintegration of established states. He then addresses the Department of Defense's persistent planning focus on multiple conventional war scenarios, concluding that this focus on the familiar and comfortable is becoming increasingly irrelevant to a world of small wars and MOOTW. The author's critical analysis leads him to propose significant and controversial changes in planning standards, force structure, and defense spending. His thought-provoking analyses, conclusions, and recommendations should fuel further discussion of how America's military can best tackle the strategic uncertainties of the post-Cold War world.

Publication Date



Force planning; structure ; cold war; inter-state warfare; intra-state warfare; state disintegration; MOOTW; rogue states; Record

The Creeping Irrelevance of U.S. Force Planning