Rolls-Royce North America Military Strategy Forum
July 17, 2009
In April 2009, with the generous support of Rolls Royce North America, the Center for Strategic and International Studies launched the Military Strategy Forum (MSF) summer series on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The congressionally mandated QDR is intended to be the Department of Defense’s “comprehensive examination” of strategy and priorities. This year’s effort is seen as a particularly important tool for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as he seeks further adjustments in the department’s long-term course; its outcomes will likely serve as a historical marker against which his tenure is judged. Although the review is still ongoing, many expect one of the QDR’s most significant contributions to be a new force planning construct that will guide decisions on military force structure; it may also build on recent changes in acquisition and other key business processes. Overall, the dominant theme that emerged from the series was a desire for the QDR to produce a strategically coherent set of meaningful trade-offs, a significant feat given increasing fiscal constraints.