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The 2020 Index of U.S. Military Strength has both good and bad news for America’s national defense. This year saw the first ‘very strong’ score awarded to the Army for its readiness levels, with 78% of its brigades assessed as ready. The Navy has made some improvements in readiness as well, but its current fleet of 290 ships is well below the recommended 400. Similarly, the Air Force’s readiness has improved, but a lack of pilots and flying time has hindered its ability to project the kind of air power necessary for great power competition. And lastly, the Marine Corps has risen from ‘weak’ to ‘marginal’ in this year’s edition.
This unique report assesses the strength of each of the U.S. military services, the status of the threats we face, and the favorability of the environment in which the U.S. and its allies must be prepared to operate. Since the initial publication of the Index, the military has struggled in building its size and capability for operations—brought about by harmful budget caps, underinvestment in research and development, and decades of sustained engagement in the Middle East.
Join us for the debut of the 2020 Index of U.S. Military Strength. Senator Joni Ernst, a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will provide keynote remarks. Dakota Wood, Senior Fellow for defense programs will provide a special presentation on the important findings of this edition of the Index, along with a panel discussion from noted national security experts who will discuss where we stand, and what we need to protect our national interests in a world where U.S. military superiority is not assured.
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