QDR Outlook

It remains to be seen whether the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review, anticipated for release on Feb. 1 in conjunction with the President’s Fiscal 2011 budget, will provide a clearer defense strategy, Jim Thomas, vice president of strategic studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Tuesday at the organization’s annual pre-budget-release briefing in Washington, D.C. While special operations forces have seen great expansion since 9/11, Thomas said the emphasis will now be on enablers such as intelligence and analysis assets and vertical-lift capabilities. Further, he said there likely won’t be a new start for a future bomber capability in 2011, but he thinks a program will emerge later in the decade as the technology matures and research and development funding—including in classified accounts—is steadily maintained, but not drastically increased. (For more from CSBA’s briefing, see What to Expect)