World View: The 1994 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

Author: Dr Steven Metz, Dr Earl H Tilford Jr

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Every year the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute prepare current strategic assessments for their particular areas of interest. These assessments are the bedrock of the annual SSI Study Program. This year’s assessments seem especially crucial as the strategic situation throughout the world is far more complex and fraught with danger than many may realize. The dramatically altered world of the post-cold war period is not the peaceful and tranquil scene many had longed for and thought had, indeed, arrived. From the Danube eastward along the southern boundaries of what used to be the Soviet Union, ethnic conflict is rampant. Russia remains very much an enigma wrapped in a riddle, but, as always, Russian national interests are paramount in Kremlin thinking. While there are those in the Middle East who earnestly seek peace, there are others who are determined to support old hatreds and the policies that issued from them. In the Far East, North Korea has resisted U.N. demands to inspect its nuclear production facilities, China is modernizing its military forces, and Japan continues to seek new markets. In this dynamic international setting, a technological revolution is propelling many nations, the United States being foremost among them, from the industrial age into the information age. The implications for military force structures and strategies are as enormous as they are uncertain.