Balancing Strategy, Forces, and Resources

Lessons for the Current Defense Review

by Eric V. Larson, David T. Orletsky, Kristin J. Leuschner

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This research brief describes work documented in Defense Planning in a Decade of Change: Lessons from the Base Force, Bottom-Up Review, and Quadrennial Defense Review (MR-1387-AF).

Excerpt: The post-Cold War era has been one of immense change, and one that has created equally immense challenges for defense planners. Changes in the international environment and the nature of threats to U.S. interests-as well as the size of defense budgets-have placed tremendous strain on the U.S. policymakers who sought to achieve a balance between strategy, forces, and resources. The question of how best to achieve such a balance has arisen again with the defense reviews of 2001.

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