National Defense into the 21st Century: Defining the Issues

  • June 01, 1997
  • Dr Earl H Tilford Jr

In March 1996, Colonel Jim Blundell of the Association of the United States Army's Institute for Land Warfare and Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr., of the U. S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute envisioned a symposium that would bring all the services together for an open and honest meeting aimed at defining the complex issues that will face the services individually and the Department of Defense corporately during the Joint Strategy Review and Quadrennial Defense Review process. This symposium brought together men and women, soldiers, airmen, marines, and civilians from government, industry, academia, and the media to speak and, more importantly, to listen. Every speaker, even those who were clearly the specified advocates for their respective services, emphasized both the need for the current QDR and the absolute conclusion that defending the United States is and will remain a joint endeavor. The honest and forthright exchange of ideas, concepts, and opinions furthered the process and, quite possibly, pushed the Department of Defense closer to a successful QDR. The QDR is an event of extreme importance for the Department of Defense, the individual services, and for the American people. What is at stake is the future capability of the nation's military. Now is the time to face the truth, to speak the truth, and to put aside parochial interest so that the interests of us all, the preservation and extension of freedom, may endure into the coming millennium