APL Colloquium

October 26, 2018

Colloquium Topic: U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World– Rethinking the U.S. Approach to Force Planning

The United States faces major defense force planning challenges in a very dynamic and dangerous world. While fighting a global long war with Salafist jihadism, the United States must build and sustain a defense and deterrence capacity to deal with two revisionist great powers armed with nuclear weapons, China and Russia and two regional revisionist powers, Iran and North Korea – the latter armed with a growing nuclear arsenal. Due to the global diffusion of advanced military technology and systems, the United States will have to sustain a robust investment military R&D and next generation capabilities to create a meaningful measure of military technological over match. Although there will be a significant but likely short-term surge in defense spending during the Trump Administration, U.S. defense planners will face powerful downward fiscal pressure during the early and mid-2020s from a wide array of claimants for federal resources. The RAND Corporation released a major study in December 2017 that explores a new approach to planning against these diverse near and medium-term defense challenges within constrained defense budgets. Peter A. Wilson, a major contributor to this study, will give a presentation on this report with particular focus on the new capabilities aka "The Third Offset" that may emerge after the current Future Years Defense Planning cycle.

Colloquium Speaker: Peter A. Wilson

Peter A. Wilson is an adjunct senior defense researcher at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor at the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University. His course at Georgetown University is titled "Rifled Muskets to Killer Robots", a two-hundred year history of military technological innovation.  Further, he has lectured and run strategic planning exercises at the Eisenhower School for the Long-Term Strategic Planning course for nearly a decade.  Mr. Wilson received a BA in political science at Princeton University and MA at the University of Chicago. Mr. Wilson has authored and co-authored many articles on national defense planning for a variety of professional publications such as Armed Forces Journal and Parameters. He is a member of the Cosmos Club.