Handbook is largely self-explanatory but the following extract from the introduction at page vi sets the stage:
From day one, the Obama Administration has neglected the imperative to modernize the country’s defense forces, underplayed the amount of forces needed for the national defense, and failed to implement any serious reform agenda. Rather than deliver on its promise to provide more bang for the buck, the White House has done little more than call cuts “efficiencies.” Indeed, how the White House has failed to utilize resources efficiently is more damaging than the spending reductions themselves. Exacerbating this downward spiral, the President has emboldened enemies, strained relations, and undercut the confidence of traditional allies—leaving the nation less safe than when he took office. The President’s re-election squandered the opportunity to reverse a dangerous trend. As a result, by the end of his presidency, America’s military will be “hollow.” The armed forces are already inadequate to protect all the nation’s vital national interests because of shortfalls in training and maintenance. By the endof his second term, the shortfalls in readiness will be compounded by reductions in military capabilities. It is not an overstatement to conclude that the capabilities- requirements mismatch will rival the hollow forces of the 1970s under President Jimmy Carter.
Phi Beta Iota: These people are 20 years out of date and oblivious to the serious thinking provided by others, for example, the US Army’s Strategic Studies Institute, which dismissed the two-front war planning paradigm in the mid-1990’s. America the Beautiful needs a strong defense, but a strong defense cannot be achieved on the basis of platitudes divorced from reality. We need a 450 ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air mobile Army. The Marine Corps needs to be put back in its old box as naval infantry with integrated naval gun fire and amphibious aviation close air support. We also need a national strategy that includes a commitment to stabilizing and nurturing the south and the north.
2013 Robert Steele Reflections on NATO 4.0 — Key Challenges AND Solutions [written for NATO ACT Innovation Hub]