Archive for the ‘QDR’ Category

Defense News has obtained a summary of the “alternative Quadrennial Defense Review” which is set for release on 29 July.

The AQDR was led by former Clinton SecDef William Perry and by former Bush National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

What does the AQDR say?

That DoD can’t get where it needs to go through noble but yet unproven ideas such as acquisition reform and staying the 2010 QDR course.

What will get DoD where it needs to go?  Modernization, creating long-range capability, addressing anti-access strategies by potential adversaries, and by making quantitative improvements in the force structure.

If the AQDR is released as it’s being described, it will be a strong non-concur of the policies embedded in the 2010 QDR.  The AQDR effectively says ‘stop fighting the last war and get better prepared for the next one.’


This article originally appeared in Air University’s The Wright Stuff.

What’s In A Word (Count)?

If you haven’t looked at the February 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, aka the QDR, here is a link known to work.  Given some pretty well understood previous positions, the QDR contains few surprises, with the unexpected (to me, anyway) inclusion of a “priority objective” to “preserve and enhance the All-Volunteer Force.”  Were we considering something else?

While you may have heard context is everything, this is a largely context-free bit of microanalysis.  It was done by performing word searches on a fairly small, but relevant, catalog of defense terms.  Ironically, the word search process itself provides some QDR context with looks at a particular word, variation of the word, or idea.  The intent was to consider the QDR in a completely different way.  Sadly, the sort is arranged neither alphabetically nor numerically, but hopefully it will retain your interest.  Unless I fat fingered things in wrong, your results will not vary:

Word or phrase Count Word or phrase Count
Network/networks 59 Iraq 72
Unmanned 15 Iran 9
Extremism 9 Islam 0
Rebalancing/rebalance 19 Canada 3
Cost/costs 50 Mexico 2
IED/IEDs 12 Europe/European 15
Global 88 Asia/Asian 19
Missile defense/defenses 19 Africa/African 12
Climate change 19 North America 2
Nuclear 60 China/Chinese 8
Peacekeeping 9 NATO 12
Economy/economic 24 Latin America 0
Complex/complexity 44 EU 3
Missile/missiles 33 United Nations 5
Proliferation 29 Afghanistan 81
Global 88 South Korea 1
Deter/deterrent/deterrence 65 Russia/Russian 3
Prevent 42 Al Qaeda 22
Preempt 0 Pakistan 16
WMD 20 India 6
Joint 43 Israel 2
Technology 36 Allies 107
Space 40 South America 0
Cyberspace/cyber 77 Saudi Arabia 1
All-volunteer force 29 Non-state 20
Wounded warrior/warriors 16 North Korea 3
Ocean/sea/littoral 35 Terrorist/terrorists 31
Air 93 Stewardship/stewards 11
Challenge 80 Jihad/Jihadist 0
Counterinsurgency/COIN 32 Extremists 1
Oil 0 Partners 120

Finally, it would appear word searches for the Services’ largely aligns with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy: the Navy (41) leads the Army (35) and the Air Force (34).

Mark Stout is a researcher at Air University’s National Space Studies Center.  Mr. Stout sometimes posts at the blog Songs of Space and Nuclear War.

Mail-in the QDR?

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Funding, policy, QDR, Strategy

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a legislatively mandated review of DoD strategy and priorities. Some in Congress feel the QDR has been used to avoid DoD transparency and accountability and that an honest review of fundamental national security issues will not be addressed in the QDR, but rather, that the QDR will rather be used to rationalize budgetary and resource allocation decisions which have already been made.

The President’s lead for defense is Secretary Robert Gates and he has been quite clear where he thinks the DoD needs to go. So, is the QDR supposed to be a reflection of his vision, or is it supposed to be the independent thoughts of a group of disparate national-security thinkers?

As for me, I think it is the former and not the later. Secretary Gates has presented a consistent path to first win the war we’re in and to concurrently prepare for an uncertain future. The fact he was asked to stay on as SecDef almost certainly means he has the total confidence of the President and has been provided an exceedingly long-leash in taking action to shape both current and future activities as they affect the defense community.

For the Air Force, these judgments and decisions have included capping the F-22 program at 187 airframes, procuring more UAV capability, cancelling TSAT, and revitalizing the nuclear enterprise. There is little subtly here–it is all quite plain and clearly announced in speeches and writings.

When we were in the Cold War, we used Cold War strategy, policies, and resourcing decisions. We are now in an era of irregular warfare. While the consequences of war with a near-peer are potentially far more dangerous than IW, the likelihood of that occurrence is less and is a risk the Secretary has assumed. The DoD strategies and priorities he has established will in effect be the QDR and rule the day until other challenges take their places.

Is this QDR being mailed-in? Perhaps, but does it matter?