The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a congressmandated assessment of US military strategy and posture. Originally conceived as an attempt to fill the strategic vacuum left by the end of the Cold War, subsequent Pentagon leaders came to see it as a channel through which to convey new operational concepts and doctrine.
The end result was a growing gap between the purported transformation of the American forces and real world imperatives. Not surprisingly, therefore, the QDR 2010 released earlier this February was surrounded by high expectations and some scepticism.
The aim of this paper is to provide a first-blush assessment of QDR 2010. In particular, attention has been focused on the elements of change from previous QDRs. Although doubts remain concerning the budget and other concepts, QDR 2010 merits careful consideration for its attempt to pour a measure of realism on its approach to defence and security.