March 10, 2011 — The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs has published "The State of the U.S. Military," a collection of presentations made during a year-long forum series.
"The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have unleashed unprecedented challenges for the U.S. military," said Cristina Lopez-Gottardi, assistant chair of the Miller Center Forum program and the book's co-editor. "'The State of the U.S. Military' offers a unique assessment of these challenges and the massive shift made by the American military from Cold War doctrine, strategy, culture and weaponry to post-9/11 security threats."
The presentations were delivered by top military leaders and journalists who cover military affairs, and policy analysts, including:
• Gen. John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, who presented a strategic overview of U.S. interests and prospects in the Middle East.
• Raffi Khatchadourian, New Yorker staff writer and author of "The Kill Company," joined by one of his sources, Capt. Peter Hegseth, who served in Iraq. Khatchadourian and Hegseth discussed the very complex rules of engagement that highlight both the unprecedented demands placed on military officers and the intensity of these current conflicts.
• Greg Jaffe, Washington Post Pentagon correspondent and author of "The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army," who analyzed the evolution of the U.S. military through the lives of four influential American generals.
• Brig. Gen. Herbert McMaster, appointed by Gen. David Petraeus to head a joint anticorruption task force at the International Security Assistance Forces, who explained the evolution of the war in Iraq and highlighted the military's overreliance on technology, lessons learned, prospects for the future of the U.S. military and possible outcomes in Iraq.
• Mark Mazzetti, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times national security correspondent, who explored the treacherous political and military landscape posed by Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• Peter Baker, New York Times White House correspondent and former Washington Post reporter, who analyzed the legacy of the George W. Bush administration and the struggles that President Obama faces as he balances national security and the protection of civil liberties.
• Peter W. Singer, director of the Brookings Institution's 21st Century Initiative, who concluded the series with a fascinating view of changes in warfare and an analysis of the Army's reliance on robotics and other new technologies.
The Miller Center's Forum Program each year presents more than 50 public officials, scholars and journalists.
Archived webcasts of forums included in "The State of the U.S. Military" are available online.