The rise of China, the economic and political reverberations of the COVID 19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine make clear that the national security demands of the 2020s and 2030s will differ considerably from those of the two decades prior. The U.S. military is at the center of conversations about how the United States will adapt to the emerging geopolitical environment, with much debate about what capabilities to prioritize and where to posture forces. Yet these discussions often overlook issues foundational to the military itself — those about the health and readiness of the people, processes, and relationships of which it is composed.
In her 2021 book, “The Inheritance,” former Brookings scholar and current Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Mara Karlin examines precisely these questions. The book offers a guide to thinking about the effects of nearly two decades of war on the Department of Defense — about how they have affected the readiness of the force, the culture of the Pentagon, the efficacy of its processes and systems, and civil-military relations.
On June 24, Brookings hosted an event to discuss these and other important issues addressed in “The Inheritance.” Vice President and Director of the Brookings Foreign Policy program Suzanne Maloney offered opening remarks, and Fellow Melanie Sisson moderated a conversation among experts Nora Bensahel, Eric Edelman, and Kori Schake.
Viewers submitted questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at #TheInheritance.
Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence - Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
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