The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century: Three Inherent Challenges

Modern War Institute – The reality of American military power has long been that the United States must project its forces into the enemy’s territory. This brings with it a host of challenges, some inflicted by the adversary and others that are self-inflicted (such as lack of strategic lift or production capacity). In any future war, the US military will likely play an “away game,” and an adversary will probably not allow the United States to leisurely amass personnel and equipment on its borders, but will actively try to prevent it. As a result, the US military will suffer from an inherent asymmetry and have immense costs imposed on it, at least in the initial phases of the war. This challenge lies at the heart of what is colloquially called the “anti-access/area denial” family of military concepts.