Defense Secretary Gates’ Counterpoise Strategy: Stressing Irregular Warfare

When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled his first (and presumably last) National Defense Strategy (NDS) on July 31, he argued that the best single word to describe it would be “balance.” Although the document is comprehensive and eclectic in its listing of possible security threats to the United States, its real function is to counterbalance what the secretary sees as the U.S. Defense Department’s natural tendency to focus excessively on winning conventional conflicts rather than “irregular wars” such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The NDS also aims to promote a more balanced U.S. national security policy by bolstering […]

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