This is the final CSIS Brief in a series called Getting to Less. The series explores different philosophies and motivations that could lead to a decreased emphasis on U.S. defense ends, ways, or means. In this brief, the authors discuss a strategy that they have labeled the Minimal Exposure Strategy. The strategy’s core premise is that the United States is largely secure from military threats due to continental U.S. geography and the deterrent quality of its nuclear and other strategic capabilities. Moreover, the strategy holds that U.S. military adventurism abroad creates significant costs and risks. Accordingly, the Minimal Exposure Strategy attempts to scale down the size and operational scope of the U.S. military. The CSIS authors explore likely changes that such a strategy might entail. The brief concludes by exploring the risks and opportunities associated with the Minimal Exposure Strategy.
(Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong)