Many commentators have already called the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) a continuation of the status quo, since it does not eliminate high-profile defense programs or significantly restructure the department. But in fact, quite the opposite is true. Compared to its predecessors, this QDR was conducted in a much different manner and context and in the end charts a much different course for the future of the Department of Defense (DOD). The most disruptive results of the QDR won't be seen, though, until future budgets are completed.
For starters, DOD entered this QDR with a different set of priorities than past reviews. The nation was, and continues to be, at war. The retention of Robert Gates from the previous administration as Secretary of Defense implied existing strategies and priorities would remain in place. The QDR process emphasized today's wars to an unprecedented degree, ensuring that our warfighters get the equipment, policies, and support they need to be successful in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our look at future capabilities used today's force as the starting point, instead of assuming the future force could be created from scratch.