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Thread: Challenges for the QDR

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default Challenges for the QDR

    I doubt anyone will concur with all the author's recommendations, but in my opinion this is the type of thinking needed to drive fundamental change and finally break from our Cold War legacy military and its outdated processes.


    Fresh Thinking Needed in Quadrennial Defense Review
    By Nathaniel H. Sledge Jr.

    In order to produce a credible QDR, defense planners must do several things.

    Second, the QDR team should push back on the National Security Strategy and the 2012 Defense Strategy Guidance. Both documents are larded with Cold War thinking, overly martial national security perspectives and imperial aspirations. Saluting and moving out is a core military principle, but so is garbage-in garbage-out.
    Fourth, planners must recognize that politics is the main impediment to effective and efficient national security strategy. To get around this obstacle, QDR planners must conduct at least a two-phase process, in which the first phase involves objective analysis and strategy development, devoid of concerns about constituencies, budgets and domestic politics. In the second phase, planners can superimpose prioritized competencies, capabilities and strategic risks over the program objective memorandum, budget ceilings and the political art of the possible.
    The QDR team should ask whether the F-35 is warranted. Hint: It is unlikely that the F-35 will ever be employed to protect the continental United States. In the court of public opinion, is each Joint Strike Fighter worth annual health care for 21,000 citizens?
    Finally, defense planners must address the third rail of defense spending — pay and benefits. Military pay has skyrocketed since the turn of the century, and civilian pay has outpaced the private sector for decades

    There was once a time for dreadnoughts, massed artillery, airborne and amphibious assaults, carrier strike groups, carpet bombing, massive nuclear arsenals, submarines and Army-Corps-Division battle front planning. Only the dreadnoughts have disappeared completely, and it took a long time to retire them. The U.S. government is slowly chipping away at the nuclear arsenal, but still too many weapons remain. The ever-versatile submarines are still needed. Other capabilities are expensive and less relevant in the current security environment. With terrorism and cyberwarfare as the most likely threats, the nation should invest more in unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare, cybersecurity, intelligence and precision strike weapons.

  2. #2
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Another good catch

    Interesting article.
    “I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

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