This handbook by 14 well-known experts provides an overall analysis of U.S. military strengths and weaknesses in the 1990s and needs at the turn of the century in a period of transition when especially critical problems confront the nation. The introduction offers a broad overview of the strategic landscape, the American political scene, and the concept of national security, setting the international and domestic context for the study of the U.S. military today. The first part of the book covers the U.S. armed forces under the Department of Defense and the military chain of command. The second half of the book deals with the American way of war, conventional conflicts from the Gulf War to operations other than war, including unconventional conflicts, peacetime engagements, drug wars and revolutionary groups, and noncombat contingencies. The conclusion evaluates the military challenges confronting the United States in the 21st century and sums up America's defense capabilities for the 1990s and the future. Each chapter offers short lists of readings. A glossary and comprehensive index make this an easy-to-use reference for students, teachers, professionals, and general readers concerned with America's defense needs.