By Dan Dupont / November 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

In CNBC's lead-in to a segment on growing tensions between the United States and China, the network's Power Lunch program today featured at some length an Inside the Army story published on earlier this month. From that piece:

Army officials met outside Washington last week for a thought experiment about the implications of a large-scale economic breakdown that would force the Army to absorb significant funding cuts and prepare the service for an increased role in keeping domestic order amid civil unrest.

The three-day session was part of the Army's Unified Quest 2011 wargame, an annual series of seminars aimed at putting service assumptions to the test and trying to gauge how the Army must change to remain relevant in future conflicts.

Officials picked the scenario of a worldwide economic collapse because it was deemed a plausible course of events given the current global security environment. In such a future, the United States would be broke, causing a domino effect that would push economies across the globe into chaos.

The Army would have to significantly alter its investment portfolio, focusing on light and inexpensive forces, according to Lt. Col. Mark Elfendahl, who led a group of experts examining the economic-collapse scenario. An increased focus on domestic activities might be a way of justifying whatever Army force structure the country can still afford, he said in a Nov. 4 briefing about his group's conclusions at Booze Allen Hamilton's conference facility in McLean, VA.

Watch: the segment here.