2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, released Monday. How will history remember this version? What will be the memorable take-away, the driving vision laid out for the military, for Americans and for the world?
I have read it multiple times, and I still don’t know. The closest to a summary I can come to is this: We plan to do what we do now, but we’ll try to do it a little bit better. That’s probably not what was intended.
the 2010 review offers more a series of agenda items than a comprehensive vision. Even more, most of these items are belated ones that should have been worked out since the 2006 version. There is no thread that links it all together, no broader framework that lays out the journey we are on, the challenges we face and, most important, what we must do to end up at our target destination.
The report identifies numerous key priorities for action, including long-range strike aircraft, personnel policy changes, cyber-warfare and the defense industrial base, but on far too many of them, it steps back from identifying how, when and where we are going to act on them.
Without an overall vision, and without hard targets to drive change internally, I fear that many critical issues laid out in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review will remain in need of action when we revisit them four years from now.