American Defense Policy has been a mainstay for instructors of courses in political science, international relations, military affairs, and American national security for over 25 years. The updated and thoroughly revised eighth edition considers questions of continuity and change in America's defense policy in the face of a global climate beset by geopolitical tensions, rapid technological change, and terrorist violence. On September 11, 2001, the seemingly impervious United States was handed a very sharp reality check. In this new atmosphere of fear and vulnerability, policy makers were forced to make national security their highest priority, implementing laws and military spending initiatives to combat the threat of international terrorism. In this volume, experts examine the many factors that shape today's security landscape - America's values, the preparation of future defense leaders, the efforts to apply what we have learned from Afghanistan and Iraq to the transformation of America's military, reflection on America's nuclear weapons programs and missile defense, the threat of terrorism, and the challenges of homeland security - which are applied to widely varied approaches to national defense strategy.