pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #12A – The 2010 US Quadrennial Defense Review: Implications for Southeast Asia

The Obama administration released its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) on Feb. 1, 2010. Detailing the Pentagon’s priorities, force structure, and budget plans, the document is the product of the Defense Department’s Congress-mandated four-yearly assessment of US defense policy. As the QDR sets the overall tone and direction of US defense policy, its findings and recommendations bear careful scrutiny. The 2010 review – the fourth in the series that commenced in 1997 – certainly has its "same old, same olds." But it also bears the new Democratic administration’s imprimatur. Advancing the Obama government’s activism in Asia and seeking to preserve US access to the global commons, the 2010 QDR has stressed the need for the Pentagon to continue nurturing defense relations with states in Southeast Asia.