Rethinking Asymmetric Threats

  • September 01, 2003
  • Dr Stephen J Blank

For several years U.S. policymakers, officials, and writers on defense have employed the terms "asymmetric" or "asymmetry" to characterize everything from the nature of the threats we face to the nature of war and beyond. The author challenges the utility of using those terms to characterize the threats we face, one element of the broader debate over the nature of war, U.S. strategy, and the threats confronting us. As a work of critique, it aims to make an important contribution to the threat debate. A correct assessment of the nature of the threat environment is essential to any sound defense doctrine for the U.S. Army and the military as a whole. That correct assessment can only be reached through a process of critique and debate.