The Potomac Foundation and the Center for Defense Journalism at Boston University jointly conceived the project that resulted in this book. This undertaking was born out of the need to design a new military strategy for the emerging post-Cold War era. The emergence of new configurations of power in the world is characterized by uncertainty and instability. No one knows where these realignments of national interests will lead. Therefore, it is imperative that the strategy, posture, and force structure of the military force adapt to the demands and challenges of this new, and probably no less dangerous, era. This can only be accomplished by making sure that the war-fighting and deterrence capabilities of the U.S. armed forces remain tailored to the threats and opportunities of the radically altered international environment and by maintaining these high standards of modernization and readiness.
There is a danger that the United States might embark on a politically and financially driven course that would result in dismantling military assets that have been of the utmost importance in recent successful military campaigns. These assets will unquestionably be needed in the future, perhaps even more than they have been needed so far. Therefore, based on the changing geopolitical landscape and the necessity of maintaining military strength in this "new" world, what is needed can be best described as an insurance policy intended to cope with the unforeseen, as contrasted with the foreseen. To formulate this mechanism we sought the views of senior military leaders who have experienced first hand the waxing and waning of support for adequate forces. Events that have taken place since the beginning of this project have proven this approach to be a sound one.