While no publication of this type is possible without the contributions of a great many people, there are usually a few special contributors whose talents, work ethic, and willingness to go the extra mile make it something quite special.

Policy Analyst for Defense and Security Studies Brian Slattery took on the additional responsibilities of project management, working with the team of authors, editors, and graphics and production professionals that made this Index a reality, both in print and on the Web.

Charles “Cully” Stimson, Senior Legal Fellow and Manager of the National Security Law Program in our Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, merits special recognition for his skillful shepherding of portions of this Index. His efforts made this edition and the work of those who contributed to it substantially better as a result.

The editorial experience of Director of Research Editing Richard Odermatt, Deputy Director of Research Editing Therese Pennefather, and especially Senior Copy Editor William T. Poole, who handled all of the detailed editing for this edition, along with the creative talents of Senior Data Graphics Editor John Fleming, Publication Designer Jay Simon, the online web design and development team led by Web Project Manager Roger Spurzem, UX Developer/Designer Joshua Barlow, Director of Digital Strategy Ory Rinat, and Creative Director Melissa Bluey, were instrumental in ensuring the accuracy, clarity, and superb presentation of this material both in print and online.

As envisioned by Dr. James Jay Carafano, we believe this Index helps to provide a better informed understanding and wider appreciation of America’s ability to “provide for the common defence” that undergirds The Heritage Foundation’s vision of “an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.” The Heritage Foundation seeks a better life for Americans, which requires a stronger economy, a stronger society, and a stronger defense. To help measure the state of the economy, our Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity publishes annually the Index of Economic Freedom. To help measure the state of society, our Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity publishes annually the Index of Culture and Opportunity. Now, to help measure the state of our defenses, our Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy publishes this second edition of the annual Index of U.S. Military Strength.

Finally, in addition to acknowledging all of those who helped to prepare the Index of U.S. Military Strength, The Heritage Foundation expresses its profound appreciation to the members of the U.S. armed forces who continue to protect the liberty of the American people in a dangerous world.