The State of Defense 2021
By Kevin Baron, Tara Copp, Elizabeth Howe, Patrick Tucker, Bradley Peniston, and Ben Watson
April 29, 2021
Introduction by Kevin Baron
President Joe Biden won office on a promise to return America to its standing as respected global leader through stronger alliances and less bullying, and through reduced military interventions and greater cooperation. Now comes the hard part: the details.
The White House has ballyhooed Biden’s order to withdraw the relatively small remaining force of 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, while also promising that the United States would still fight the exact same counterterrorism missions there from nearby, as needed. And they will be needed, by most predictions. Exactly where and how those forces will be positioned is likely to remain undecided for a few weeks as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin awaits recommendations from U.S. Central Command. But when Biden gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28, it was clear that Democrats in the House chamber loudly cheered his invocation of ending forever wars. Republicans, not as much.
“We will maintain an over-the-horizon capacity to suppress future threats to the homeland,” Biden said, reassuring skeptical lawmakers. “And make no mistake: In 20 years, terrorism has metastasized. The threat has evolved way beyond Afghanistan. And those of you in the intelligence committees, the foreign relations committee, the defense committees, you know well: We have to remain vigilant against the threats to the United States wherever they come from. Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, other places in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.”https://www.defenseone.com/feature/state-of-defense-2021/?hi