It’s been reported that the Pentagon has formed a team to figure out how the United States can return to a “two-war” posture, a move that Heritage has been advocating since the introduction of its Index of U.S. Military Strength in 2015.
The two war posture is a military force sizing rational that requires an ability to handle two major wars simultaneously or in closely overlapping timeframes.
“This provides America the ability to engage in a major fight with the confidence that we have the wherewithal to deter and fight an opportunistic enemy who might take advantage of our commitment elsewhere,” says Tom Spoehr, director of Heritage's Center for National Defense.
James Carafano, vice president for Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson fellow says that since start of his campaign President Trump has used Heritage’s Index as a benchmark for what is needed.
Speaking to a crowd at the Union League of Philadelphia in 2016, Trump called for a substantially larger force across the board. He called for Army troops totaling 540,000, 36 battalions for the Marine Corps, nearly 350 Navy ships and at least 1,200 fighter jets for the Air Force. He also pledged to pursue a “state of the art” missile defense system.
These numbers align quite closely with the recommendations in Heritage’s 2016 Index of Military Strength.
“It is not that Heritage was in involved with the campaign but the campaign drew on our authoritative information. Heritage analysts played a significant role in the presidential transition team on defense matters,” says Carafano.
Earlier this year, Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote that, “The objective is to build a larger, more capable, and more lethal joint force, driven by a new National Defense Strategy.” Defense publications have reported that the new strategy will be delivered to Congress early next year.
“Heritage research has said what America needs now is a peace through strength posture, the president’s policies and the emerging defense strategy reflect exactly that commitment,” says Carafano.