Strategy Turned Upside Down: The Bottom-Up Review and the Making of U.S. Defense Policy [open pdf - 12MB]
The Bottom-Up Review's mandate was to conduct a 'comprehensive review of the nation's defense strategy, force structure, modernization, infrastructure, and foundations.' Sadly, these high goals were not achieved. The steering committee correctly described the post-Cold War environment that the U. S. faces, but proceeded to propose a military force ill-designed to confront the four dangers identified: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; democratic reform in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; dangers to the U.S. economy; and, the threat of regional aggressors. Only the threat posed by regional aggression is confronted by the BUR force. This paper reviews the rationale behind the review, the politics behind the process, the implications of review recommendations and proposes other considerations for achieving U.S. national security objectives not addressed adequately by the Bottom-Up Review.