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What can U.S. military power do, realistically, to combat Daesh (ISIS) and other threats more effectively?The first reality check for a new president will be the Pentagon. The Middle East will remain a military muddle for the next president, as it has so often been for the last two. But in dealing with China and Russia, the next administration will have clearer choices about projecting military power. The next White House will also face less resistance on these fronts from military commanders, who are well-schooled in the Russian and Chinese threats and believe they have the military tools needed to confront them.The trickiest military questions for the next president will involve what strategist Michael Mazarr calls "gray-zone conflicts".Campaign rhetoric about more military spending and a tougher defense posture could deepen this problem – if it simply leads the next president to bolster existing forces.
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