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Quadrennial Defense Review

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Good post by Colin Clark at dodbuzz:

It sounds almost Chinese. The five threats. The five challenges. The six principles.

That was how Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, outlined the Pentagon’s approach to the Quadrennial Defense Review. But the key to this QDR: balance. Balancing “current operational needs with an increasingly uncertain future” and balance between the current and future budgets. Flournoy said Defense Secretary Robert Gates was sharply focused on balance, as he made clear in his April 6 budget speech. Among the key decisions in this QDR will be what kind of investments the country will make in the future. “Greater priority should be given to systems that respond to asymmetric challenges,” she said.

Among the key asymmetric threats Flournoy said the country must do more to counter are anti-satellite systems, anti-air systems, anti-ship systems, undersea war and cyber attacks. Of course, dealing with all this means “we are going to be pulled in different directions to deal with the threats of the future.”

The five threats: globalization, combined with increasing poverty and increasing inequality; global climate change and its effects on failing states; demographic changes and the ominous “youth bulges” in the Mideast and other regions where the average age is 20 or younger; increasing competition for oil, gas and water; and finally, the continued spread of destabilizing technologies.

The five challenges: new terror groups; failed and failing states; the spread of weapons of mass destruction; “fundamental shifts in the global balance of power” such as the rising power of China; managing the global commons and maintaining its accessibility.

The six strategic principles that Flournoy said will guide the QDR are: …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

29 April 2009 at 1:00 pm

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