Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Big National Security Event and .... of Course Here's the QDR

The once every fourth year Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is out. You can get it here, or read it below.

Funny thing about the QDR, it has a habit of showing up, 2001 like, right after what could be argued is a significant change to the global security environment. Before going on to some maritime bits, let's look in 20/20 hindsight what it has to say about Russia.

A quick word search gives you 10 mentions of Russian in the what the numerologists‎ would sardonically snort, 88 pages of length.

Let's run through those 10 mentions and see how we did, we'll start with 1 & 2.
The United States is willing to undertake security cooperation with Russia, both in the bilateral context and in seeking solutions to regional challenges, when our interests align, including Syria, Iran, and post-2014 Afghanistan.
BILATS don't quite seem in our near future, and it seems Russia has other ideas about seeking solutions to challenges in its region. The first two didn't quite work our well, how about #3.
At the same time, Russia’s multi-dimensional defense modernization and actions that violate the sovereignty of its neighbors present risks. We will engage Russia to increase transparency and reduce the risk of military miscalculation.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I think we have the sovereignty of its neighbors taken care of, as well as military miscalculation. Well, that is if we use 3/4 of DIME right.

Now, on to #4;
, we are increasing our emphasis on actively countering ballistic missile challenges by detecting missiles and continuously defending the U.S. homeland at longer ranges and at all altitudes. The ability to deter and defeat these kinds of threats protects the United States, reassures our allies and partners, and preserves strategic stability with Russia and China.
We need to find some way to apologize to our Polish and Czech friends.

On to 4 & 5:
We will pursue further negotiated reductions with Russia. In a new round of negotiated reductions, the United States would be prepared to reduce ceilings on deployed strategic warheads by as much as one-third below New START levels. The United States will also work with our NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe.
I think that will take awhile to sell to both the American public and the Europeans. Maybe next QDR.

And six:
We will retain and strengthen our power projection capabilities so that we can deter conflict, and if deterrence fails, win decisively against aggressors. The North Korean regime continues to pursue interests counter to those of the United States. Faced with this threat, the United States is committed to maintaining peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and closely monitors the situation through military and diplomatic channels in coordination with the ROK, Japan, China, and Russia.
That has pretty much been the case for half a century.

As U.S. nuclear forces are reduced through negotiated agreements with Russia, the importance of ensuring our remaining forces are safe, secure, and effective increases.
See 4 & 5 above.

We will continue to work to achieve a Europe that is peaceful and prosperous, and we will engage Russia constructively in support of that objective.
That didn't work out too well timing wise ... but the QDR was already at the printer - so tough luck, eh?
This U.S. strategic nuclear force complies with the central limits set forth in the U.S.-Russia New START Treaty. These limits must not be exceeded from 5 February 2018 onward; that is, seven years after the treaty entered into force.
See 4 & 5 above.

So, there is the Russian vibe to the new QDR.

Just a reminder of where we stand in the Russian mind:

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