Since the Cold War, the Pentagon’s “two-war” metric served as the main force-planning construct: It sought to ensure US forces could simultaneously defeat two regional militaries, such as North Korea or Iraq. But as Rick Berger and Mackenzie Eaglen write in War on the Rocks, the latest National Defense Strategy advances a new force-planning construct: Rather than defeating and deterring Iran and North Korea, the new construct principally evaluates US forces by their ability to defeat and deter China and Russia.

But is this feasible given the Trump administration’s proposed defense budget? On this episode of Banter, Rick Berger rejoins the show to discuss. We also cover whether this shift in focus to great-power conflict is good policy, the strategic worth of our aircraft carriers, and much more.

Rick Berger is a research fellow at AEI, where he works on the defense budget, the National Defense Authorization Act, military appropriations and acquisition reform, as well as on other national security budget-related issues. Before, he was a professional staff member for the Majority Staff at the US Senate Budget Committee, where he worked on defense, foreign affairs, and veteran issues.

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