The Air-Minded QDR Opportunity

While the Quadrennial Defense Review has long been characterized as a “political football,” the review’s upcoming iteration is a chance for the Air Force to take a serious look at its mission and how it can bring solutions to the nation’s security from an air-minded perspective, said Maj. Gen. Steven Kwast, the Air Force’s QDR director. “The QDR is about us fulfilling our mission, and should be about the future and what we want to become,” said Kwast in his address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 22. The Air Force cannot be all things to all people, but airmen have to have some way of articulating a core vision of what airpower means to the defense of the nation if this QDR will be useful, observed Kwast. “We have a process that prevents us from getting the most out of this, and that is tribalism,” he said. This is not just an issue among the services; it is also within the Air Force where officials examine challenges and solutions through the lens of the Active Duty component, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve, or through career fields, such as space or cyberspace, he said. “This is about us being innovative and creative,” said Kwast of the QDR process. “We need to find a way to embrace a broader vision of Air Force airpower.”