Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

Department of Defense: Quadrennial Defense Review Report

The Quadrennial Defense Review is mandated by Title 10, Section 118 of the US Code, which states that every four years, the Secretary of Defense, with input from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must conduct "a comprehensive examination ... of the national defense strategy, force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program and policies of the United States with a view toward determining and expressing the defense strategy of the United States and establishing a defense program for the next 20 years."

See more in Defense Strategy; Defense Budget; United States

Must Read

New York Times: Rethinking German Pacifism

Author: Jochen Bittner

"Germany is Europe's unrivaled superpower, its largest economy and its most powerful political force. And yet if its response to recent global crises, and the general attitude of its leaders and citizens, are any indication, there appears to be nothing that will get the German government to consider military intervention."

See more in Germany; Defense Strategy

Must Read

Cairo Review of Global Affairs: Freezing Aid without a Strategy

Author: Jonathan Guyer

"Beltway analysts draw the same conclusion: U.S. aid has not bought leverage over Egypt. Their argument is that cutting aid is futile and actually detracts from U.S. interests. It's quite a tautology. Since American assistance doesn't buy leverage, Washington should keep the aid flowing. If we agree that American assistance doesn't do much, then why continue it?"

See more in Egypt; Defense Strategy

Article

Walking Loudly and Carrying a Big Stick

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

A divergence of opinions between males and females is an "enduring characteristic of polls on the use of military force, regardless of the weapons system employed, military mission undertaken, whether the intervening force is unilateral or multilateral, and the strategic objective proposed," says Micah Zenko. Citing polls from the early 1990s to today, he investigates why this persistent difference in opinion exists and what it may mean for U.S. foreign policy.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy; Defense Technology; Drones

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The Rise of the Pasdaran: Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Authors: Frederic Wehrey, Jerrold D. Green, Brian Nichiporuk, Alireza Nader, Lydia Hansell, Rasool Nafisi, and S. R. Bohandy

Never solely a military organization in the traditional sense, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)—also known as the Pasdaran (Persian for "guards")—has seen a significant expansion and diversification of its domestic roles since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.

See more in Defense Strategy; Iran

Ask CFR Experts

Is it true that arming rebels has little or no record of success in modern history?

Asked by Stephen Winningham, from London

Actually, arming rebel groups has had a pretty good record of success. In fact, as I point out in my book, Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, there is no more consistent determinant of the success or failure of any insurgency than the degree to which it receives outside support.

Read full answer

See more in Wars and Warfare; Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

U.S. Coast Guard: Arctic Strategy

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp released this maritime governance document on May 21, 2013, which will "guide our efforts in the region over the next 10 years" based on "three key objectives: improving awareness, modernizing governance, and broadening partnerships."

See more in Arctic; Defense Strategy; Oceans