Quadrennial Defense Review Report

Policy Briefs

Published By

Department of Defense

Feb. 1, 2010


The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a legislatively-mandated review of Department of Defense (DoD) strategy and priorities. The QDR will set a long-term course for DoD as it assesses the threats and challenges that the nation faces and re-balances its strategies, capabilities and forces to address today's conflicts and tomorrow's threats.

Executive summary (excerpt):

The mission of the Department of Defense is to protect the American people and advance our nation’s interests.

In executing these responsibilities, we must recognize that first and foremost, the United States is a nation at war. In Afghanistan, our forces fight alongside allies and partners in renewed efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In Iraq, U.S. military personnel advise, train, and support Iraqi forces as part of a responsible transition and drawdown. Above all, the United States and its allies and partners remain engaged in a broader war—a multifaceted political, military and moral struggle—against Al Qaeda and its allies around the world.

Furthermore, as a global power, the strength and influence of the United States are deeply intertwined with the fate of the broader international system—a system of alliances, partnerships, and multinational institutions that our country has helped build and sustain for more than sixty years. The U.S. military must therefore be prepared to support broad national goals of promoting stability in key regions, providing assistance to nations in need, and promoting the common good.

With these realities in mind, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review advances two clear objectives. First, to further rebalance the capabilities of America’s Armed Forces to prevail in today’s wars, while building the capabilities needed to deal with future threats. Second, to further reform the Department’s institutions and processes to better support the urgent needs of the warfighter; buy weapons that are usable, affordable, and truly needed; and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

The strategy and initiatives described in the QDR will continue to evolve in response to the security environment. Using the QDR as its foundation, the Department will continually examine its approach—from objectives to capabilities and activities to resources—to ensure its best alignment for the nation, its allies and partners, and our men and women in uniform.

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