Is America Prepared to Meet It’s Defense Needs

​​​​​Air Date: December 31, 2015

Host:  Jim Schneider

​Guest: Dakota Wood​

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​Dakota Wood is the Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs at the Heritage Foundation. He served for two decades in the U.S. Marine Corp., retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005.  He was a lead operational/logistics planner for the U.S. Central Command during the initial response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. 

His writings at the Heritage Foundation focus on programs, capabilities, operational concepts and strategies of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and the individual military services. The purpose is to determine whether they can protect and promote the critical national security interests of the United States. 

There are numerous threats to America and to our interests around the world.  In recent years, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and threatened NATO member nations.  China has been building islands in the South China Sea to host military bases, which will have the potential to threaten their neighbors.  North Korea has a tyrannical dictator, and new military hardware that threatens the destruction of South Korea, and even the United States.  Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, and is testing long range missiles, as Iran’s leaders continue to vow the destruction of Israel and the United States.  The Islamic state is destroying anything in its path.  Even in Latin America there are the criminal cartels that traffic in drugs and weapons.  In addition, now there is the apparent invasion of supposed Muslim refugees in Europe, with many also coming to the United States.

With all these threats and potential threats, the question is whether America’s military forces, including the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, can ensure the United States can protect and promote its critical national security interests–and if it is lacking, how much change is needed.  A critical area is the lack of adequate funding.  Wood also listed the primary military threats to America, and explained why North Korea is at the top of the list.

The 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength is now available.  It can be found at the Heritage Foundation website.

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