The United States: Strategy developments; The armed services; Developments in army BCTs; Nuclear arms control: Obama proposes more cuts; Defence economics
Canada


Throughout 2013, US forces remained engaged globally; on long-established and newer deployments – both short- and long-term. Combat and other missions continued in Afghanistan. Army, navy, marine-corps and air-force units were also called upon to participate in small-scale – but often high-impact – missions related to counter-terrorism imperatives, such as those in Somalia and Libya. As the drawdown from Afghanistan continued, attention was shifting towards the implications of the debate around defence funding and the impact of sequestration: particularly what effect this would have on strategic planning, force structures and inventories, should it continue.

Throughout 2013, US forces remained engaged globally; on long-established and newer deployments – both short- and long-term. Combat and other missions continued in Afghanistan. Army, navy, marine-corps and air-force units were also called upon to participate in small-scale – but often high-impact – missions related to counter-terrorism imperatives, such as those in Somalia and Libya. As the drawdown from Afghanistan continued, attention was shifting towards the implications of the debate around defence funding and the impact of sequestration: particularly what effect this would have on strategic planning, force structures and inventories, should it continue.

Despite concern about defence-budget cuts, which did bite, the US remained the only state with global reach across the full spectrum of operations and military capabilities. Maintaining an edge, in terms of equipment, over emerging powers’ military capabilities was vital to keeping this position, as was the question of personnel. Over the past ten years, members of the US armed forces have learned new skills and adapted old ones; they are now in the process of refreshing older skills in manoeuvre warfare.

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