The Blog

The Obama Doctrine

How will we know it's for real?

11:00 PM, Dec 18, 2009 • By GARY SCHMITT and THOMAS DONNELLY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

There has been a growing gap between American strategic ends and military means ever since the post-Cold War "drawdown" of the 1990s. George W. Bush fought two wars but did little to fix the underlying gap; only with the Iraq surge did he belatedly acknowledge the need for larger forces. If President Obama sticks to current budget plans, this gap will widen dramatically. However, if the president is serious about the view he set forth in Oslo, then it needs to be backed by a change in the military's budget. Defense dollars will be the real test of whether there is an Obama doctrine that is more than just words.

Gary Schmitt is director of the program on advanced strategic studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Tom Donnelly is director of AEI's Center for Defense Studies.