Sneak Previews for Quadrennial Defense ReviewA draft of the US Quadrennial Defense Review, due to Congress on Feb. 6, has emerged in public and the results are ... predictable, apparently. Reports from various news outlets say the product that the US Defense Department has come up with does not contain very many surprises, though that in itself should not necessarily be a surprise, given that the Defense Department and its various service chiefs have been basically singing in harmony the past few years about "jointness," "net-centric warfare," training forces for urban operations, and so on (see "Expecting the Unexpected" and "Guessing Game: Quadrennial Defense Review 2005").
Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson gives an overview of the various early reports coming on the QDR, and says "the 2005 QDR ends up being a status-quo document -- a fact that will be readily apparent to anyone who scrutinizes the 2007 defense spending request that accompanies the QDR report to Capitol Hill." Reporting specifically on the DOD plans to add more Special Operations-type forces, Ann Scott Tyson of the Washington writes in her story on "Plan Seeks More Elite Forces to Fortify Military" that the Special Operations Command in Tampas, FL, is expected to get billions of dollars added to its budget. It currently has 52,000 forces, but will receive thousands more under the QDR plan.
TheDoD clearly sees smaller scale operations targeting individuals as opposed to conventional military units as a primary task of the military in the future, as it is largely today. For more on this kind of warfare, see also "'Small Wars' the Norm for USMC" and "Urban Puzzle."