Book review of Healing the Wounded Giant: Maintaining Military Preeminence While Cutting the Defense Budget
Sequestration has spurred a number of reports and books such as this one by defense expert Michael O’Hanlon, who urges the United States to “avoid Afghanistan-like wars” and the force structures associated with large-scale, land-centric combat. Here, he focuses on ways to reduce the costs of defense in order to achieve established strategy rather than presenting any revolutionary changes to U.S. strategy itself. He presents the deficit as one of the greatest challenges to national security, arguing that there are ways to cut another $200 billion in the next decade beyond the Obama administration’s current baseline reduction of $350 billion. Readers grappling with the difficulty of sustaining a “preeminent” military with reduced funding will be rewarded with challenges to the status quo and insightful ideas as the United States moves beyond the previous decade’s military growth. Yet the planned military posture is dependent on estimates of the future security environment, which is where the book begins.
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