The QDR: Improve the Process to Improve the Product


From Parameters, Spring 2000, pp. 57-68.

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"To speak or not to speak, to do or leave undone . . . the indispensable virtues--prudence and firmness--one for choosing a course, the other for pursuing it." -- Gorgias, Greek rhetorician

The quotation above, taken from Secretary of Defense William Cohen's cover letter accompanying the May 1997 Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review, might leave one with the impression that those responsible for that undertaking were driven by purely noble motives. Rather than accepting such a lofty notion at face value, we must probe more deeply to reveal the process at work during the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This is especially appropriate since more than two years have passed since the completion of the QDR and we can now view the results with some perspective. In addition, lessons learned from the 1997 QDR and from the accompanying defense review by the National Defense Panel (NDP) can help guide the next review cycle, scheduled for 2001.

While many in Congress may have held out high hopes that the QDR and NDP would produce meaningful recommendations for change to meet the nation's future security requirements, the outcome was disappointing. This article will demonstrate that the results of the QDR and NDP were, perhaps predictably, largely a product of the bureaucratic structure of the processes used to conduct these two much-publicized defense reviews. Furthermore, this article will offer recommendations for an alternative structure for the next QDR to increase the freedom and independence of its operations. Such will improve the chances that the next review will take a truly "fresh look" at defense and yield a more relevant report.


While there are many pressing needs that compete for the nation's limited resources, defense is ultimately the most important issue our political leaders must wrestle with. Adequate national security is fundamental to our long-term prosperity and indeed to our survival. While recognizing this point, Congress and the American people rightly demand that the defense establishment spend each defense dollar prudently. The unsatisfied demands from pressing domestic problems, such as growing expenditures for health care and Social Security, place a special burden on decisionmakers within the Department of Defense to be wise stewards of the taxpayers' money. At the same time, it is important to note that defense spending, when expressed as a percentage of Gross National Product (GNP), is lower now that at any time since the Great Depression. Since 1985, when the nation spent seven percent of its GNP (and 28 percent of the federal budget) on defense, annual expenditures for defense have declined from $400 billion (in constant 1997 dollars) to $250 billion.[1] Moreover, projections for defense spending are essentially flat through FY 2003, with the DOD absorbing slightly less than three percent of our Gross Domestic Product in FY 1999.[2] Nevertheless, defense will continue to consume roughly 15 percent of the federal budget,[3] and even this reduced level of spending remains a frequent target of defense critics.

The end of the Cold War and absence of a clear and present danger--in the form of a peer competitor--have focused renewed debate over how much America should spend on defense. To help guide decisionmakers in their deliberations, Republican Senator Dan Coats of Indiana and Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman of New Jersey set the wheels in motion in late 1996 for a major defense review.

On 23 September 1996, the Congress passed the Armed Forces Force Structure Review Act of 1996.[4] This legislation established a requirement for the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to complete a comprehensive Quadrennial Defense Review by 15 May 1997. In addition, the legislation provided for an independent National Defense Panel, which was to provide an interim report to Congress by 14 March 1997, an assessment of the Secretary of Defense's QDR report by 15 May, and a final NDP report to the Secretary of Defense by 1 December 1997. The Secretary would then have two weeks to formally review the NDP report before forwarding it, along with his comments, to Congress. Although this rapid turnaround time may seem too short, one must understand that throughout the QDR and NDP processes there was active communication between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the NDP. Thus, neither the findings in the Secretary's QDR report in May nor the recommendations in the NDP's report in December came as a surprise to the other group.

The intent of the legislation was to have the Department of Defense and the National Defense Panel perform separate, yet complementary, examinations of the nation's future defense requirements, including a recommended security strategy for the early 21st century. Both groups were tasked to address force structure and modernization requirements, as well as infrastructure and other elements of the defense budget. While the intent of the legislation may have been clear to Congress, the Department of Defense and its military departments quickly determined that the QDR was all about resources and the future role each service would play in national security.

Bureaucratic Politics

One should not be too surprised that the QDR devolved into a turf battle over future roles and missions--and money. Graham Allison and Morton Halperin offer the compelling argument that government decisions are not reached through a single rational choice, but rather are the result of the "pulling and hauling" of separate organizations within the government.[5] This perspective goes a long way toward explaining the behavior of each of the military services, as well as the actions of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), which had overall control of the QDR process.

OSD got under way late in 1996, organizing the QDR into seven functional groupings, or "panels," that focused on particular aspects of national defense. These aspects were strategy, modernization, force assessment, readiness, infrastructure, human resources, and information operations and intelligence. Logically, one would regard the work of the Strategy Panel to be the foundation for the work of the other panels. However, OSD insisted that all seven panels proceed in tandem. While there was some exchange of information between panels, a commonly voiced critique from those involved with the QDR was that the task of the Strategy Panel should have been completed before the other panels began work. The probable explanation for this seemingly illogical approach was the desire on the part of OSD to keep the ensuing debate out of the public domain until the entire report was submitted to Congress. There was concern within OSD that if the strategy was completed early, it would be subject to external criticism that might cripple the rest of the effort.

OSD's bureaucratic interest was in producing a completed document that would withstand the inevitable assaults from various factions within and outside of government. Of at least equal importance to OSD was the goal of providing big cost savings, a vital concern of the Administration. Therefore, OSD's organizational imperative was to deliver a strategy and force structure that would keep spending flat at about $250 billion, in constant dollars. The QDR essentially became a "cut drill" to save big money. To accomplish that, OSD had to keep a tight lid on any nettlesome QDR leaks to avoid providing ammunition to outside critics, especially those in Congress who might not share the Administration's desire for defense cuts. Thus, all of the other panels began their work of analyzing and making recommendations on force structure, modernization, readiness, etc. in the absence of a known and articulated strategy. What should have been a sequential process, with strategy in the forefront, became instead a parallel process. In contrast to the QDR, the New Look defense review completed during the Eisenhower Administration offers an example of how a sequential defense review can be successfully structured.[6] Congress now seems to have recognized this flaw in the QDR, and has passed legislation directing that the 2001 QDR should be "driven by the demands of strategy, not by any presupposition about the size of the defense budget."[7]

It is also worth noting that the enabling legislation directed that the QDR look out only through the year 2005, while it asked the NDP to look to 2010 and beyond.[8] Why did Congress make this distinction? Perhaps the best explanation is that the QDR was to be centered on the immediate budget process, with a correspondingly shorter time horizon, while the NDP was to take a long-range, visionary approach. However, the shorter-range perspective of the QDR created certain problems. For example, since the lead time to develop and procure advanced weapon systems is often 15 years or more, the narrowly focused QDR could not make recommendations for truly fundamental changes, since these would have extended beyond its time mandate. This was a real handicap.

To counter criticism that the 1993 Bottom Up Review (BUR) had been a closed process, the QDR was billed as more open. During a QDR briefing prepared by the Joint Staff's J-8 Directorate (Force Structure, Resources & Assessments) for the CINC (Commander-in-Chief) Conference held in Washington, D.C., on 29-30 January 1997, the CINCs were told that the QDR process was "inclusive, collaborative, and responsive."[9] The J-8 organization was responsible, along with OSD's Program Assessment and Evaluation section, for integrating the efforts of the seven panels. However, the tight timeline for delivering the report, along with the departure of William Perry as Secretary of Defense and his replacement by William Cohen just as the QDR was beginning, served to make a thoughtful examination of alternative defense strategies more difficult. Therefore, the desired openness proved to be elusive.

As OSD was organizing its panels, the services likewise sprang into action to support the OSD effort. More important, each service was clearly motivated to put forth the maximum effort to further its own institutional interests. This led to sharp and often bitter disagreements among the services over cuts in personnel and future modernization. One of the more visible expressions of this conflict was the battle between the Navy and Air Force over fighter aircraft modernization. The QDR's Modernization Panel struggled with the task of trying to support three new fighter programs--the Navy's F/A-18E/F, the Air Force's F-22, and the Joint Strike Fighter, an aircraft with variants for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The challenge was to either find the money to fund all three programs (and thus satisfy the institutional interests of each service), or make the politically and bureaucratically difficult choice of cutting one or more of the new fighter aircraft to save taxpayer dollars.

Both the Air Force and the Navy were in need of new jet fighters to replace their existing fighter inventory. The Navy's mismanagement of its A-12 stealth fighter program during the Bush Administration had caused Secretary of Defense Cheney to cancel the entire program. Desperate to find a near-term successor for its aging F-14s, the Navy decided to procure the F/A-18E/F. It feared that without a replacement aircraft early in the next century, it would not be able to keep its carrier decks full of planes, thus potentially undermining support for the existing fleet of 12 carriers.

The Navy supported the F/A-18E/F because this newer version of the existing F/A-18C/D could be produced and delivered several years sooner than either the more advanced Joint Strike Fighter or a naval variant of the Air Force's F-22. Also, since the F-22 was an "Air Force program," the Navy resisted getting involved--a prime example of the bureaucratic model at work. The Navy made its decision to press ahead with the F/A-18E/F despite the fact that it represented only a marginal performance improvement over the older version.[10] The General Accounting Office (GAO) further pointed out that the F/A-18E/F could not be considered a "stealth platform" since it carried external fuel tanks and external weapons--unlike the stealthy F-117, F-22, and B-2.[11] This point is significant because a decade earlier the Navy had argued that the need for the A-12 was driven by the requirement for a carrier-based stealth fighter. Now, the Navy was willing to disregard this previously stated imperative. Indeed, as the GAO highlighted in its report, the requirement for stealth capability was a stated need for "first day of the war" survivability for the Navy's own version of the Joint Strike Fighter.[12] This inconsistent reasoning, however, failed to kill the F/A-18E/F. Finally, the Marine Corps decided to back out of the F/A-18E/F program, preferring to wait for its variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.[13] Despite all of this, the Navy was successful in its intense lobbying effort to keep the controversial F/A-18E/F program alive, although in reduced numbers.

The Air Force's F-22 also came under attack as being too costly and being unnecessary given the likely nature of the threat. Nevertheless, the Air Force felt confident that the superior performance capabilities promised for the stealthy F-22 justified the expense. Then, late in the QDR process, the service chiefs were asked to make sacrifices to help trim the defense budget. Anticipating similar force structure reductions in all the services, the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Ronald Fogleman, reluctantly agreed to give up one wing of the planned four wings of F-22s. This was a decrease from 438 aircraft to 339.[14] The other service chiefs were asked to make similar cuts, but they weren't biting. The Army fought to maintain its active-duty force structure of 485,000 soldiers. The Navy likewise refused to budge from its insistence on 12 carriers, while the statutory requirement for retention of three Marine combat divisions and three air wings meant they were largely immune from cuts.

The voluntary Air Force cut in the F-22 did not spare the service from even further reductions. Indeed, the final QDR report produced a relatively larger share of cuts for the Air Force than for the other services. Specifically, the Army was allowed to retain its ten active-duty divisions and take a reduction of just 15,000 personnel from its active force. The Army did offer up a 45,000-soldier cut in its reserve components (Army National Guard and Army Reserve) to save dollars.[15] This led to acrimonious charges from the Army National Guard that it had been betrayed by the active Army. This tension was evident during the August 1997 annual meeting of the National Guard Association of the United States. When Army Chief of Staff General Dennis Reimer was introduced as a guest speaker, the thousands of Guardsmen in attendance gave him a tepid reception.[16] The conflicting institutional interests of the active Army and Army National Guard were exposed and laid bare by the QDR. The Army and Army Guard are now working hard to heal the wounds.

For its part, the Navy succeeded in retaining its 12 carriers and ten active air wings.[17] The Navy took a reduction of 18,000 active-duty personnel and 4,100 from its reserves--a testament to the Navy's ability to ward off major challenges to its force structure. The Marine Corps sustained a token active-duty decrease of 1,800 along with a cut of 4,200 from its reserves. The Air Force, in addition to the 25-percent reduction in the F-22 buy, took a cut of 26,900 from its active force. Compared to the other services, the Air Force's active duty losses were larger, both in percentage and absolute numbers.[18]

This result came as a genuine shock to some in the Air Force, since the service had been largely triumphant during the deliberations of the Strategy Panel and had succeeded in getting language on "Halt Phase" warfare included in the QDR report. Indeed, the Air Force considered the language on Halt Phase as a major step forward. The new emphasis on rapidly halting enemy aggression, the Air Force believed, would increase the appreciation of airpower and lead to a greater share of the defense budget devoted to the Air Force. Therefore, the Air Force's victory in the early battles over defense strategy became somewhat hollow, since QDR force structure and modernization decisions were largely divorced from strategy. This critique of the QDR's parallel approach was an observation shared by the NDP as stated in its May 1997 assessment of the QDR. The NDP was generally pleased with the QDR strategy, but noted that "program decisions and priorities would benefit from a much tighter linkage with this strategy."[19]

The record shows that contrary to the expectations of Congress's enabling legislation, the QDR did not produce sweeping, innovative recommendations. Rather, the bureaucratic process, coupled with the institutional imperatives of OSD and the services, produced a set of force structure and modernization decisions reflecting the overriding desire of OSD to produce savings, while each service attempted to retain as much budget share as possible. Although these deficiencies could be predicted for the QDR, the NDP should have been structured to exhibit more independent and creative thinking.

The National Defense Panel

Despite the inherent deficiencies in the OSD-led QDR, the "independent" National Defense Panel should have provided an objective forum for examining our defense requirements. But did it? The legislation specified that the Secretary of Defense, "in consultation with the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives,"[20] would appoint a chairman of the NDP and eight other members. This was to be done not later than 1 December 1996. However, the departure of Secretary Perry during this period, and his replacement by Secretary Cohen, slowed the process. As a result, the NDP members were not in place until the end of February 1997. This made their interim review of the QDR on 14 March 1997 somewhat superficial.

It is overridingly significant that the composition of the NDP ensured that it would be anything but "independent." First, Chairman Phil Odeen was the President and Chief Executive Officer of BDM, a large defense contractor. Former Ambassador Richard Armitage had strong ties to the Navy, as did, quite obviously, retired Admiral David Jeremiah. Retired General Richard Hearney was a former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. Former Ambassador Robert Kimmitt was a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, while Andrew Krepinevich was a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Retired Army General Robert RisCassi was a former Commander-in-Chief of US Forces, Korea. General James McCarthy was retired from the Air Force. Only Janne Nolan, a senior fellow at Brookings, could be considered a neutral player. Thus the lineup for the NDP had three members of the sea services, three from the Army, and only one from the Air Force. (And even had the imbalance been in the Air Force's favor, the results would likely have been no less parochial.) A balanced membership would have been more likely to produce balanced results. The 1997 NDP's recommendations must be viewed with the actual composition of the panel in mind.

The fact that almost every member of the NDP had a prior link to a particular service meant that genuine independent thought was difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. For example, General McCarthy found himself virtually alone when advocating airpower solutions to US defense requirements. Perhaps nothing illuminates this point so dramatically as the striking omission from the NDP report of any mention of Halt Phase warfare, which depends for its execution upon airpower.

The initial collegial working relationship within the NDP gradually became more strained as time went on. This was not only due to the composition of the panel itself, but was also a result of the makeup of the NDP's staff. Each service furnished officers to the NDP to assist the members with their duties. Although the NDP staffers worked in business suits that eliminated the outward signs of service allegiance, they still retained their service perspectives. Again, this made objective analysis quite difficult to achieve.

The importance of the staff function should not be underestimated. The staff, which included highly capable officers in the rank of colonel or Navy captain, prepared briefings for the NDP and drafted the final report. Although the panel members themselves had the final approval authority, the power of the pen was not trivial. The staff wrote successive drafts of the final report during the last weeks of the panel's work in October and November 1997. Staffers from each service labored tirelessly to insert language favorable to their parent service. In the end, the Army was successful in eliminating the Halt Phase references contained in the QDR report. The long reach of the services had extended into the very NDP that Congress had charged with being "independent." The net result of the NDP was somewhat anticlimactic. Congress held hearings in early 1998 to take testimony from the panel members, but nothing substantive ever came of the NDP's work.

The Hart-Rudman Commission and A Glance Back at the Packard Commission

One might be tempted to despair over the failure of either the QDR or the NDP to fashion meaningful, long-term changes in America's defense posture. The competing bureaucratic interests that were so much in evidence during the QDR and NDP processes clearly interfered with objective analysis of the nation's defense needs. However, there is reason to hope the next review will develop more useful recommendations.

One such encouraging development is the creation of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, with its affiliated National Security Study Group (NSSG).[21] The brainchild of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the commission was initially headed by former Senators David Boren of Oklahoma and Warren Rudman of New Hampshire as cochairmen. Senator Boren left in the spring of 1999 and was replaced by former Colorado Senator Gary Hart. The commission is now also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission. Secretary Cohen also added Gingrich himself to the commission after the former Speaker of the House resigned from Congress.[22] This organization has two and a half years--considerably longer than either the QDR or NDP--to craft a new national security strategy, along with alternatives.[23] The work of the commission is broken into three phases. Phase 1, from July 1998 to August 1999, focused on establishing the likely domestic and international security environments of the first quarter of the next century. The commission's Phase 1 report was published in September.[24] Phase 2, from August 1999 to April 2000, is exploring how current national security strategies match up against likely future threats to America's security interests. Phase 3, from April 2000 to February 2001, will develop recommendations to "adapt existing national security structures or to create new structures" to carry out Phase 2 strategies.[25]

The Hart-Rudman Commission released its interim report on 15 September 1999. It postulates that while "the size of the world's middle class may increase many times over,"[26] the United States must play an active role in fostering that kind of future. America's continued economic and military strength will be necessary to help ensure peace in the new century. New threats will emerge, including the danger posed by income disparities between advanced and developing nations. The commission believes that threats to the homeland, as well as to American citizens abroad, will increase. These threats may come from nongovernmental entities such as "terrorists and other disaffected groups,"[27] which may acquire and even use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Furthermore, America's superior military capabilities may be ill suited to protecting us from these challenges. The interim report argues that the United States will need "military capabilities characterized by stealth, speed, range, unprecedented accuracy, lethality, strategic mobility, superior intelligence, and the overall will and ability to prevail."[28] This is indeed a daunting challenge, even for a nation as powerful as the United States. The commission will present its strategy for dealing with future security threats in April 2000.

Unlike the NDP, retired military officers do not dominate this commission. The organization's Commissioners represent a diverse mix of 12 distinguished Americans, including former Indiana Representative Lee Hamilton, Anne Armstrong from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger.[29] There are two retired military officers among the Commissioners--General John Galvin, USA Ret., and Admiral Harry Train, USN Ret.--while the executive director of the commission is retired Air Force General Charles Boyd. The commission's study group members are equally impressive, virtually all civilians but reflecting a broad background in security matters and foreign policy.[30] The significantly longer time horizon allocated for the commission to perform its work, along with the rich mixture of talent from industry, academia, and the military, enhances the likelihood that this group will produce a more coherent and far less parochial report.

While one must acknowledge that no one is free of bias, the approach taken in forming the Hart-Rudman Commission is a positive step. To answer those who might be critical of not having a defense review dominated by retired generals and admirals, we have only to look at the outstanding results produced by the Packard Commission in 1986.

Led by industrialist David Packard, this earlier commission made recommendations that laid the foundation for the watershed Goldwater-Nichols Act, which strengthened the authority of the combatant commanders and greatly invigorated the Joint Staff.[31] The esteemed 15-member panel that served under Packard included only four retired officers of flag rank: General Robert H. Barrow of the Marines, General Paul F. Gorman of the Army, Navy Admiral James L. Holloway, and Air Force General Brent Scowcroft.[32] The Packard Commission also included in its membership future Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and William Perry as well as future CIA Director James Woolsey.

The Packard Commission made the case for strengthening the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and for establishing powerful regional Commanders in Chief, as well as making several specific recommendations for acquisition reform.[33] From this history, we can be encouraged about the ability of an independent body to seek out information from competent military sources as it conducts its review, taking positions based solely on the national interest. The key is to ensure that bright, knowledgeable individuals are brought together without the strong service connections that characterized the NDP.


While OSD may genuinely want to make substantive changes on its own to force reform of structure and spending priorities, internal political and bureaucratic dynamics may make such dramatic steps nearly impossible to achieve. Therefore, OSD should find it easier to embrace creative recommendations coming from a respected study group outside the department.

With these thoughts in mind, the following recommendations are offered for the 2001 QDR:

For the NDP of 2001, the following suggestions are offered:

The recommendations above will not make the next QDR or NDP perfect, but they will go a long way toward the goal of creating more objective, fact-based review processes. That goal is certainly worth pursuing, for the security needs of the United States will remain a crucial issue. New threats and opportunities are bound to confront the nation in the new century. We must take great pains to craft the best possible framework for the review process so that we can produce the best possible strategies and force structure for America.


1. William S. Cohen, Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review (Washington: GPO, May 1997), pp. iii-iv.

2. National Defense Budget Estimates for FY 1999 (Washington: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense [Comptroller], March 1998), pp. 4, 7, 10, 201.

3. Ibid., p. 10.

4. Public Law 104-201, 23 September 1996 (Washington: GPO, 1996), 110 Statute, 2624-2629.

5. Graham T. Allison and Morton H. Halperin, "Bureaucratic Politics: A Paradigm and Some Policy Implications," World Politics, 40 (Summer 1972), 43.

6. Patrick M. Condray, "Charting the Nation's Course: Strategic Planning Processes in the 1952-53 `New Look' and the 1996-97 Quadrennial Defense Review," master's thesis, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala., June 1998, p. 40.

7. William Matthews, "Review to Tackle Real Needs of Service," Air Force Times, 6 September 1999, p. 8.

8. Public Law 104-201, 23 September 1996 (Washington: GPO, 1996), 110 Statute, 2624, 2626.

9. Major General Mark Hamilton, Vice Director, J-8, "QDR Briefing to CINC Conference 29-30 January 1997," slide 2.

10. GAO Report, F/A-18 E/F: Marginal Improvement at High Cost (Washington: GPO, June 1996).

11. Ibid., p. 37.

12. Ibid.

13. GAO/NSIAD-98-61, "Navy Aviation: F/A-18E/F Development and Production Issues," Letter Report, 13 March 1998.

14. Cohen, p. vii.

15. Ibid., p. 29.

16. Author's observation at the August 1997 convention of the National Guard Association of the United States in Albuquerque, N.M.

17. Cohen, p. 29.

18. Ibid., p. 30. The F-22 program has since come into jeopardy from another direction. On 12 July 1999, the House Appropriations defense subcommittee voted to delay for one year production of six F-22s intended for flight and weapons testing. See Bruce Rolfsen, "Showdown Brews Over Raptors vs. Eagles," Air Force Times, 22 July 1999, p. 8.

19. National Defense Panel, Assessment of the May 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (Washington: GPO, 15 May 1997), p. 1.

20. Public Law 104-201, 23 September 1996 (Washington: GPO, 1996), 110 Statute, 2626.

21. From the Hart-Rudman Commission's web site ( comes the following organizational information (accessed 15 September 1999):

Co-Chairs: . . . [F]ormer United States Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman provide general oversight of the entire study. . . .
Commissioners: The Commissioners are a bipartisan group composed of civic leaders from public and private sectors of American society. They provide overall vision and guidance to the study. . . .
Executive Director: Charles Boyd [General, USAF Ret.] coordinates with the Co-Chairs and the Commissioners and directs the operation of the Study Group and Staff. . . . .
Study Group Members: Study Group members are experts on various aspects of US foreign and national security policy. They provide recommendations to the Executive Director for consideration by the Commissioners. . . .
Research and Support Staff: Research Associates provide research support for the endeavors of the Study Group Members. . . .
The Administrative Staff provide[s] daily . . . administrative support for the entire study.

22. Christopher J. Castelli, "Gingrich to Join National Security Study He Championed on Capitol Hill," Inside the Pentagon, 10 December 1998, p. 1.

23. Hart-Rudman Commission web site,, accessed 15 September 1999.

24. The United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century, Major Themes and Implications (Washington: The Commission, 15 September 1999).

25. Hart-Rudman Commission web site:, accessed 15 September 1999.

26. The United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, New World Coming, p. 1.

27. Ibid., p. 4.

28. Ibid., p. 7.

29. The other seven Commissioners are: Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed-Martin; former NBC correspondent John Dancy; Leslie Gelb, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; former Under Secretary of Commerce Lionel Olmer; Donald Rice, CEO of UroGenesys, Inc.; and Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the United Nations. Ibid.

30. Individuals in this 28-member group (at this writing) include: Dr. Barry Blechman, Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr., Dr. Adam Garfinkle, Dr. John Hillen, Dr. Richard Kohn, Dr. Charles Moskos, and Dr. Williamson Murray, among others. Ibid.

31. Public Law 99-433, 1 October 1986 (Washington: GPO, 1985), 100 Statute.

32. President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, A Quest for Excellence: Final Report to the President (Washington: The Commission, 30 June 1986).

33. Ibid., pp. xix, xx, 37-38, 52-71.

34. General Accounting Office, Quadrennial Defense Review: Opportunities to Improve the Next Review (Washington: GPO, 25 June 1998), pp. 5-6.

Lieutenant Colonel David E. Snodgrass, USAF, is Chief of the Joint Doctrine Branch in the Joint Staff's Operational Plans and Interoperability Directorate, J-7, at the Pentagon. He is a graduate of Indiana University and holds an MBA from the University of North Dakota and an MSSM degree from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of the Air Force's School of Advanced Airpower Studies at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and is a 1999 distinguished graduate of the National War College. Lieutenant Colonel Snodgrass has flown as a navigator in the B-52 and B-1 bombers. In 1995-96 he commanded the 7th Operations Support Squadron at Dyess AFB, Texas, and subsequently served on the Air Staff.

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Reviewed 8 February 2000. Please send comments or corrections to