QDR 2001: Strategy-Driven Choices for America's Security

QDR 2001: Strategy-Driven Choices for America's Security


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Every new Presidential administration seeks to implement its policy objectives rapidly, but in the vast organization of the U.S. Government, such changes take time. The Quadrennial defense Review (QDR) of 2001 offers the new Bush administration an important opportunity, as well as a great responsibility, to reexamine America's defense priorities in a comprehensive, top-to-bottom, strategy-to-program approach and provide early guidance for change. This is a gargantuan task. Current legislation requires the final report of QDR 2001 to be provided to Congress in September 2001. Even with early Senate confirmation of top defense officials, completing such a thorough review in just eight months is a daunting charge. One of the lessons learned during QDR 1997 was the advance efforts to identify key issues for the review process can be critical to success. Fortunately for the incoming administration, an independent effort to develop intellectual capital for QDR 2001 was started in the autumn of 1999. This effort consisted of a small working group which was chartered by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and established in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. Leading the group was Michele A. Flournoy, a veteran of the QDR 1997 effort and the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction. This volume is a product of the group's work as well as contributions from outside experts associated with the project. A major conference on the project was held at NDU in November 2000, at which a final report was issued. This book provides the intellectual underpinnings of that report. To some extent this book is very much like the results of screening at an archeological dig. The issues in the book are not new; they are already part of the defense policy debate of our great democracy. But the authors carefully unearthed insights and options in a systematic manner, placing the issues in context. No defense issue lives in isolation; all are part of the process of priority-setting that is required to craft a successful strategy in the context of a finite budget. To help the new administration set its priorities, the working group and outside contributors have outlined a series of integrated paths that lead from strategy alternatives to force-sizing criteria to force structure and other programmatic issues, and they identify the forks in each path and the signposts along the way. This valuable book provides a unique service to the Department of Defense and the Nation, whether the new administration uses the QDR or some other review process as its primary vehicle for setting defense priorities. It represents an effort to transcend both the tyranny of the urgent and the bureaucratic rivalries that tend to dominate the analyses conducted within the Pentagon. It does so in a practical, logical, and supportive manner. It does not provide solutions but instead offers options form which the Bush administration can craft a new defense policy. In a sense this book represents a consummate menu of choices: an outside view that only knowledgeable insiders can provide. There are options identified in this book that some might support enthusiastically, and others might oppose. But no one can fail to be impressed by the fairness of this effort and the professional skill with which it was completed. This book represents a service to the Department of Defense and the new administration with few parallels. It provides an excellent starting point for a review of defense strategy, policies and programs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479330164
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/16/2012
Pages: 434
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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