May 14, 2014

CNAS Expert on the Key Issues Facing the National Defense Panel

Washington, May 14, 2014 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new policy brief today that sets the agenda for the congressionally mandated National Defense Panel (NDP), which will issue its assessment of the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in early June. Written by Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Responsible Defense Program Dr. Nora BensahelBeyond the QDR: Key Issues Facing the National Defense Panel argues that the NDP needs to help the Department of Defense (DOD) by highlighting some of the key unanswered questions in the QDR and offer new and creative ways to implement its main principles. 
Dr. Bensahel argues that the NDP should focus on six critical strategic issues that the QDR did not sufficiently address:

  • Assessing the risks of defense budget cuts
  • Restructuring the relationship between the active and reserve components so they work more effectively as a total force
  • Rapidly regenerating ground forces if they are needed for future contingencies
  • Reforming the defense enterprise
  • Engaging with U.S. allies and partners even as many of their defense capabilities decline
  • Ensuring U.S. technological superiority

Download a copy of Beyond the QDR: Key Issues Facing the National Defense Panel.
The brief concludes that the NDP will have a powerful public platform to promote bold and creative ideas that are not constrained by bureaucratic politics.  Dr. Bensahel argues that “the NDP can help DOD with the difficult task of implementing the ideas in the QDR while also stimulating an important congressional and public debate about the future of U.S. defense strategy.”


  • Nora Bensahel