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The Heritage Foundation: Quadrennial Defense Review: Building Blocks for National Defense

Authors: Baker Spring, and Mackenzie Eaglen
February 9, 2009


Baker Spring and Mackenzie Eaglen lay out the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) strategy that will be released by the Department of Defense in one year.

Excerpt: Pursuant to law, the Department of Defense (DOD) will release its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) strategy in just over one year. Completing the QDR will require tremendous work, effort, coordination, and significant manpower. The QDR is designed to establish a 20-year defense program that is clear and consistent. The most important purpose of this strategy exercise is to permit fiscal, national security, and defense policies to drive defense budgets, instead of letting the budget calendar dictate defense policy.

Too often, the requirements of the budget calendar have marginalized the more deliberate policymaking process. As the incoming Obama Administration turns its attention to this essential task, it needs to ensure that the policy process is the driving force in defense planning. To achieve this, the Secretary of Defense will need to carefully manage the calendar and issue clear directives on how defense budgets will result from the relevant policymaking endeavors.

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