The world is undergoing a profound and lasting shift in the relative balance of power among nations. While the United States will remain the single most powerful nation well into the century, globalization, combined with the rise of new powers such as China and India, will undeniably reshape the contours of global power.1 This evolution in international affairs offers as many opportunities as it does challenges. The challenge for U.S. strategists and policymakers is to develop and implement a grand strategy that can protect our people, preserve our interests, promote our values, and position America to lead during a century of complex change.
A core task of senior leaders at the Department of Defense is to ensure that hard-fought wartime lessons are institutionalized at all levels to win the wars we are in while simultaneously preparing for future challenges—not all of which are apparent today. Finding and maintaining the right balance between these imperatives remains the guiding principle as DOD develops and eventually implements the Quadrennial Defense Review.