This past April, the U.S. Department of Defense released an inauspicious two-page "Fact Sheet" outlining the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a comprehensive examination of the U.S. military's strategic posture. Such a document rarely raises eyebrows outside the cloistered world of military analysts and wonks. But this unremarkable two-pager speaks volumes about the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. military in the beginning of the twenty-first century.

It begins by laying out an exhaustive list of "threats and challenges the nation faces." Key security challenges include "violent extremist movements, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, rising powers with sophisticated weapons, failed or failing states, and increasing encroachment across the global commons (air, sea, space, cyber-space)." Confronting these challenges suggests a broad national mandate for the U.S. military.


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pp. 69-74
Launched on MUSE
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