The U.S. Army War College's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and Strategic Studies Institute are pleased to offer this important study on key considerations for DoD as it works through the on-going defense review. Mr. Freier outlines eight principles for a risk management defense strategy. He argues that these principles provide measures of merit for evaluating the new administration's defense choices. This monograph builds on two previous works — Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development and The New Balance: Limited Armed Stabilization and the Future of U.S. Landpower.Combined, these three works offer key insights on the most appropriate DoD responses to increasingly unconventional defense and national security conditions. This work in particular provides DoD leaders food for thought, as they balance mounting defense demands and declining defense resources.Current fiscal and operational realities no doubt constrain the defense decision space. It is realistic to view the coming era as one of general defense and national security evolution, complemented by some targeted revolution within the Department of Defense (DoD). Toward that end, the current Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR 10) must rationalize competing visions about the certainty of future unconventional threats and lingering uncertainty about evolving traditional challenges. Doing so requires adoption of a new risk management defense strategy.Both the President and the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) recognize the need for a risk management approach in future DoD strategy, planning, and capabilities development. The President, the new national security team, and the SecDef also recognize that the likeliest and most dangerous future security challenges will be unconventional. A contemporary risk management defense strategy should adhere to and be judged against eight principles. These help inject realism, rigor, and strategic precision into future DoD plans and programs.
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