The Index is an annual assessment of the state of America’s “hard power,” the geographic and functional environments relevant to the United States’ vital national interests, and threats that rise to a level that put those interests at risk.
The Index is meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive, meaning we assess the current condition of our subjects within the assessed year. In future editions we will describe how their condition has changed from the previous year, informed by the baseline condition.
In short, we will attempt to answer the question, “Have conditions improved or worsened during the assessed year?”
Report finds that shrinking armed forces are less able to respond to global threats
By Daniel Wiser (Feb 24, 2015)
The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.
The Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength” concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.
That strategy enables the U.S. military to defeat one adversary in a conflict while preventing another aggressor—seeking to take advantage of the United States’ preoccupation with the first conflict—from defeating it in a separate theater.