The National Defense Strategy Commission (NDSC), a congressionally mandated panel charged with examining and making recommendations with respect to the U.S. national defense strategy and whose work has been facilitated by the United States Institute of Peace, released its final report on November 14, 2018.

Providing for the Common Defense cover

The United States Institute of Peace was named as the facilitator of the NDSC because of its recognized expertise in facilitating congressionally mandated bipartisan reviews. The Institute also served as facilitator of the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) panels and of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. It additionally served as the lead facilitator of the Iraq Study Group and has been named to facilitate the work of the Syria Study Group.

Established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, the Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States is a panel of bipartisan national security experts appointed by Congress to make recommendations for the nation’s defense strategy at the outset of an administration. It succeeded the National Defense Panel created in the mid-1990s to evaluate the Department of Defense’s QDR, which Congress eliminated, and offer an independent assessment of defense needs.

The 12-member Commission was charged with reviewing the current national defense strategy of the United States, including the assumptions, missions, force posture, force structure, and risks associated with the strategy. The panel also conducted a comprehensive assessment of the strategic environment, national security threats, the size, shape, and posture of the force, military readiness and capabilities, and the allocation of resources. The Commission will present its recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and relevant congressional committees.

The panel's 12 members were selected by Congress:

  • The Honorable Eric Edelman, Co-Chair
  • Admiral Gary Roughead (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Co-Chair
  • The Honorable Christine H. Fox
  • The Honorable Kathleen H. Hicks
  • General John M. “Jack” Keane (U.S. Army, Ret.)
  • Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr.
  • Senator Jon Kyl (assumed Senator McCain’s seat in September 2018)
  • Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken
  • The Honorable Michael J. “Mike” McCord
  • Mr. Michael J. Morell
  • Ambassador Anne W. Patterson
  • Mr. Roger I. Zakheim

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