Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series on the impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. foreign policy. Part I examined the militarization of U.S. foreign policy following Sept. 11. Part II examines ways to reverse this trend.
After the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States should be contemplating a future of military restraint and foreign policy modesty. Moreover, with potentially painful cuts on the horizon for the Defense Department, the time has come for the armed forces to do less and for other agencies to pick up the slack. But that doesn't appear to be happening.
A document titled "Joint Operating Environment," (.pdf) written in 2010 for the military's since-disestablished Joint Forces Command, lays out a troubling prediction: "Over the next quarter-century, U.S. military forces will be continually engaged in some dynamic combination of combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction."