Tough Choices: Toward a True Strategic Review

The upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review will have to go beyond superficial plans, address the international environment squarely, assess real savings and the difficult political decisions that they will engender, and avoid budgetary sleights-of-ha

Issue: Spring 1997

Well before Bill Clinton was re-elected to office, indeed long before
the Congress required a formal review of U.S. defense posture as part
of the Fiscal Year 1997 Defense Authorization Act, the Department of
Defense realized that such a review was inevitable. As early as 1995
Pentagon leadership recognized that it simply could not fund its
declaratory strategy, which called for supporting two major regional
conflicts (MRC) simultaneously. This strategy had accorded
insufficient attention to the seemingly endless expansion of
peacetime missions under the rubric of the catch-all phrase
"Operations Other Than War" (with its horrible acronym, OOTWA) that
marked the first Clinton term. Moreover, advertised savings from
infrastructure cuts, acquisition reform, and other longtime favorites
of budget cutters had failed to produce the extra resources needed to

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