“The American Military: War and Peace, Spending and Politics” was the topic of last month’s E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.
Guests included Boston University professor and Vietnam War veteran Andrew Bacevich, and Derek Chollet, a Lincoln native and principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense on international security strategy and policy issues related to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Chollet said the US is coming out of the longest period of war in American history.
He said our defense needs to be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced, all within the limits of reasonable cost.
"The United States needs to ensure that all instruments of our power, diplomatic, economic, development, our values and defense work together to serve our interests and help solve problems. This is what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, my first boss in the administration, called using ‘smart power.' And this is something my current boss, Secretary of Defense Hagel, believes in deeply.”
Chollet and Bacevich also discussed their views on the size and role of the US military and how a draft might influence America’s willingness to intervene globally.