"At the end of the Cold War, America entered a new and unfamiliar global security environment. As the Department of Defense began to alter strategies and plans, it quickly became apparent that changes might have to be made across the defense establishment. This led in 1993 to the Bottom-Up Review, and, starting in 1997, to the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) process. As the Department of Defense enters its third QDR this year, it is important to understand how central the QDR has become to the work of the department - and how different this QDR is, compared to its predecessors. With a yearly budget in excess of $400 billion, the Department of Defense is perhaps the largest single bureaucracy in the world. Sheer size, as well as vested interests and old ways of thinking, tend to give large bureaucracies an inertial resistance to change. One of the tasks in the department this year is to ensure that the QDR can instead be an engine of continued transformation. The need to transform our military has elevated the role of the QDR from a tool of periodic refinement to a fulcrum of transition to a post-9/11 world. This article will explore what the QDR has become, how it is being processed, and what the Defense Department hopes it will achieve."
"At the end of 2004, the world was witness to an event that no one could have foreseen. Even more startling than the shock of the Indian Ocean tsunami itself was the scale of its impact. But the very suddenness and speed with which the tsunami struck gave a glimpse of how valuable it is to posture our forces for uncertainty. Had the tsunami occurred in 1985, at the height of the Cold War, it is difficult to imagine that the United States could have surged the forces and logistical support needed to deliver food and water to the areas of the eastern Indian Ocean that were the hardest hit. It is even more difficult to imagine that the United States could have depended on an extensive network of partner nations to assist us in exercising our global responsibility to act. Only through the transformation of the U.S. military's capabilities and the growing flexibility of our overseas posture was the United States able to respond as quickly and effectively as it did during this crisis. The security environment at the start of the twenty-first century is perhaps the most uncertain it has been in our nation's history. This article focuses on the strategic realities that are driving the transformation of the American global defense posture to contend with that uncertainty, and the resultant changes the Department of Defense is working to bring about in our relationships and partnership capabilities around the world."