Review of the 2018 National Defense Strategy Summary


To: Foreign and defense policy staff
From: Kurt Couchman, Vice President of Public Policy
Date: Friday, January 26, 2018
Re: Review of the 2018 National Defense Strategy Summary


The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) replaces the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), last published in 2014. It builds on the December 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS).

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 requires the Pentagon to deliver to military leaders and the congressional defense committees—appropriations and armed services—the NDS in classified form with a public, unclassified summary. By contrast, the full QDR was available to the public.

This review highlights the key points from the 2018 summary, not the full, classified version. Balancing transparency and secrecy will be an ongoing challenge.