The Summer issue of Parameters opens with an essay by Sir Lawrence Freedman entitled “Beyond Surprise Attack.” Surprise, argues Freedman, can come in any number of forms, and sometimes those that come in the middle or end of a campaign prove the most decisive. Our first forum, Reevaluating Diplomatic & Military Power, offers two articles. The first, “What Are America’s Alliances Good For?” by Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, contends the costs and risks associated with America’s military alliances are frequently overstated, while at the same time the benefits are downplayed. Brands and Feaver, thus, provide a more accurate net assessment of America’s alliances in hopes of better informing current policy debates. In the second article, “Employing Military Force in the 21st Century,” Michael Matheny petitions US policymakers look to past uses of force for ways of employing force while managing the global and national violence threshold.