Do you hear the crickets? A blue ribbon panel in Washington recently published a major report on U.S. security challenges — with little fanfare from the media. The National Defense Panel (NDP), co-chaired by two respected leaders, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and retired General John Abizaid, was tasked with providing an independent assessment of the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The august body of major players, including two former Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy, and numerous generals, panned the QDR strategy as well as its proposed force structure and risk assessment.

Normally, a congressionally sponsored commission making critical comments about the administration would get some attention from the mainstream media. Thanks to the doldrums of August, the report did not get the attention it merits. But the quiet reception may also reflect the interested public’s take on a document that satisfied every possible demand for more defense spending but offered little in terms of tradeoffs or priorities. The result was an unconstrained strategy that reads like a lengthy and expensive shopping list, everything the Pentagon would want. [Read more] – Michael’s Blog