State of Defense 2019: Special Report

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Krieter looks from a UH-1Y Venom helicopter during an Integrated Training Exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Nov. 9, 2018.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jailine Martinez

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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Krieter looks from a UH-1Y Venom helicopter during an Integrated Training Exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Nov. 9, 2018.

Our annual service-by-service look at the U.S. military finds the shift to great-power competition dogged by some old problems and some very new ones.

If we had written this State of Defense report two months ago, it would have been almost entirely different. For better or worse, President Trump brings the nation into 2019 with a new attitude and new attention to the U.S. military’s ground wars. 

By presidential order, this will be the year the U.S. ground war in Syria ends. Trump also reportedly wants a drawdown in Afghanistan, but hasn’t started planning for one, and was looking into restricting U.S. special operations forces fighting across Africa, though U.S. combat in Somalia appears to be escalating. In fact, in 2019, the sprawling footprint of the U.S. military from southwest Asia to north Africa may not change much at all.

So in the upcoming budget hearings, expect service leaders to argue that too much is being asked of too-few troops with too-few resources. That means some hard choices and some exciting ones. Read on, in Defense One’s 2019 State of Defense:

Want State of Defense 2019 as a PDF ebook? Get that here.

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