In simple terms, the collection of links below centered on the latest Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), come to the general conclusion that the Department of Defense (DoD) can no longer think, strategize, complete staff work, or acquire the right capabilities to do what DoD is supposed to do (which is also a topic lacking consensus).
SMALL WARS JOURNAL ROBERT HADDICK: Not trusting the Pentagon’s staff to prepare a Quadrennial Defense Review that would be useful, the Congress established an independent panel of “wise men” to critique the QDR after its release. Last Thursday, the QDR Independent Panel, led by William Perry and Stephen Hadley and supported by a praiseworthy list of commissioners and staff members, released its critique of the 2010 QDR. With the exception of one glaring clunker, the Independent Panel’s report is superb and is the strategic defense review the QDR should have been. Yet the very fact that the Independent Panel was needed (confirming Congress’s suspicions) shows that something is seriously wrong with the government’s ability to formulate and execute strategy. Read more from Haddick.
ORIGINAL QDR (February 2010)
Phi Beta Iota: Business profit center opportunities abound, the most notable being the provision of intelligence and shared computing and communications to multinational, multiagency, multifunctional forces that do not speak English. The following two short lists are pulled from the Executive Summary of the Independent Report, which is the best “old” thinking (do the wrong things righter) and while utterly brilliant as far as it goes, lacking in “new” thinking (create a prosperous world at peace). This report fails to point out the obvious, to wit, for one quarter of what we spend on war today ($1.3 trillion a year), we can eradicate all ten high level threats to humanity (the top three of which are not recognized by this report (poverty, infectious disease, and environmental degradation), in the process reinventing capitalism to go after the four trillion a year the five billion poor gross, which just happens to be four time what the one billion rich gross per year.
1. America has for most of the last century pursued four enduring security interests:
a. The defense of the American homeland
b. Assured access to the sea, air, space, and cyberspace
c. The preservation of a favorable balance of power across Eurasia that prevents authoritarian domination of that region
d. Providing for the global ―common good‖ through such actions as humanitarian aid, development assistance, and disaster relief.
2. Five key global trends face the nation as it seeks to sustain its role as the leader of an international system that protects the interests outlined above:
a. Radical Islamist extremism and the threat of terrorism
b. The rise of new global great powers in Asia
c. Continued struggle for power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East
d. An accelerating global competition for resources
e. Persistent problems from failed and failing states.