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Content Analysis of Quadrennial Defenses Review of 2014

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ICES
3В° International Conference on Educational Sciences 2014
TIRANA ALBANIA, April 24-25, 2014
PROJECT OBJECTIVE
This study tries to analyze the content of Quadrennial Defense
Review 2014 by using central themes of scenario planning
literature such: Driving forces, uncertainties, Weak signals and
Strategies. The analysis of the manifest and latent content of
QDR 2014 is the first step to evaluate and assess the
challenges and opportunities of security environment of the
United States and international system as well.
Obviously, The QDR is a strategy-driven assessment that
balances the preparations of the present with anticipated
challenges and opportunities of the future. Therefore, the
scenario planning seems the main analytical framework of
Quadrennial Defense Reviews, and it provides us also a
comprehensive tool to read Quadrennial Defense Reviews as
well. Because, today scenario planning is prime technique of
future studies that have been used currently by governments,
planners, corporate managers and military analysts as powerful
tool to help decision making process to face uncertainty and
establish new thinking about possible futures to avoid
catastrophic outcomes.
According to Bernard Berelson, content analysis “a versatile
tool for social science and media researchers” thus many
scholars adopted it for historical and political researches as well
(Holsti, 1969). However, the content analysis method has
achieved a greater popularity among scholars after the its
developments as full-fledged scientific method took place
during the World War Two, when the American government
sponsored a project under the directorship of Harold Laswell to
analyze the enemy’s propaganda contents (Steve, Stemler,
2001).
INTRODUCTION
On March 3, 2014, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
submitted the latest Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This
report has identifies the major security challenges likely to
emerge in the foreseeable future of United States of America.
The QDR is a legislative mandated review of Department of
Defense to conduct a comprehensive examination of the
national defense strategy, force structure, force policies of
United States and establishing a defense program for the next 20
years.
Though, the QDR is also provides new trends and directions
for the structure of Department of defense in order to develop
common assessment of the security environment. Thus, the
QDR represents a scenario based document that explores the
multiple possible futures of U. S near and long term security
challenges. The reviews of QDR are supposed to look out over
twenty year horizon. Since 1997 review, these reviews have
become integral components of defense’s Department overall
strategic planning.
Obviously, The QDR is a strategy-driven assessment that
balances the preparations of the present with anticipated
challenges and opportunities of the future. Therefore, the
scenario planning seems the main analytical framework of
Quadrennial Defense Reviews, and it provides us also a
comprehensive tool to read Quadrennial Defense Reviews as
well. Because, today scenario planning is prime technique of
future studies that have been used currently by governments,
planners, corporate managers and military analysts as powerful
tool to help decision making process to face uncertainty and
establish new thinking about possible futures to avoid
catastrophic outcomes
The American Environment Security Scenarios of
2035: Content Analysis of Quadrennial Defenses
Review of 2014
Frequencies percentage at each category of QDRs 2014,
2010, and 2006
KHEMIS Mohamed
Assistant professor in future studies
UniversitГ© Kasdi Merbah Ouargla, Algerie
khemiss-moh@hotmail.com
khemise.mo@univ-ouargla.dz
ABSTRACT
The Quadrennial Defense Review represents an important official document to drawn the
multiple scenarios of America’s future security environment, and highlights the main shifts
that rebalance the urgent demands of today and the most likely threats of the future. This
study aims to analyze the Quadrennial Defense Review of 2014 by using the content
analysis as a central methodological tool, and noting that scenario-based planning literature
is the theoretical background of this study.
keywords: Quadrennial Defense Review 2014, Content analysis, Security environment,
Scenario building, Driving forces, Uncertainties, Weak signals, Strategy
Content Analysis of QDR 2014
Sampling Units Selection of QDR 2014:
It could be argued that, what makes content analysis technique useful and unique is its
reliance on coding and categorizing of the data, according to many scholars the unit of
analysis refers to the basic unit of text to be classified during content analysis. Therefore,
this study has selected paragraphs of Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 as sampling units
which are compatible with multiple ideas of the whole text.
The manifest content categories of QDR 2014:
The manifest content of Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 has exposed as the table
illustrated below:
Categories Definitions:
In fact, categorizing and coding scheme is process that can be derived from three
sources: the data, previous related studies, and theories. Thus this study relies on scenario
planning literature as significant basis that enable us to develop four categories inductively
from the whole text of QDR 2014, and we assume that the QDR written to make future
strategies, and response to the possible threats. The four categories are addressing the wide
range of QDR 2014 connotations. The QDR 2014 categories are outlined as following:
- Driving forces coded as (Df)
- Uncertainties coded as (Un)
- Strategy coded as (St)
- Weak signals coded as (We)
Original categories order of QDR 2014
See tables and the appendixes below: Text
order
1
Categories
1
2
3
4
Number of
frequencies
Driving Forces 54
Uncertainties 24
Strategy
58
Weak Signals 30
Research categories
Driving Forces
Uncertainties (Wild
Cards)
Strategies
Weak signals
Percentage
33 %
14 %
35 %
18 %
Coding
Scheme
Df
Un
St
We
Categorizing according to original text
connotations
It contains all connotations about: the role of United
States at international mainstream, and the rising
challenges from emerging powers such as BRICS
countries, U.S. relations with allies and partners,
globalization and the proliferation of technology,
knowledge and WMD, proliferation of asymmetric
challenges.
It contains all connotations about: uncertainties, Black
Swans and Wild Cards of that might happen at
operational, institutional, political and military levels.
2
3
It contains all connotations about: Rebuilding,
rebalancing the defense enterprise, new approaches
adoption, new reforms integrations.
It contains all connotations that address the small
changes and unconventional policies such: Climate
change, human care, assistance, education, and
training.
4
5
Future Security Environment:
- Regional Trends
- Global Trends
- U. S. Strengths and Opportunities
The Defense Strategy:
- Pillars of the U. S. Defense Strategy
o Protect the homeland
o Build security globally
o Project power and win decisively
- Force Planning Construct
- A Foundation of Innovation
Rebalancing The Joint Force:
- Air Force
- Army
- Navy
- Marin Corps
- Adjusting the Balance between Active and Reserve
- Protecting Key Priorities
o Protect the homeland
o Build security globally
o Project and win Decisively
- Risks
- Main Elements of Planned U. S. Force Structure and End Strength, FY
2019
o Department of the Army
o Department of the Navy
o Department of the Air Force
o Special Operations Forces
o Strategic Nuclear Forces
o Cyber Mission Forces
Rebalancing the Defense Institution
- Strengthening the Health of All Volunteer Force
- Rebalancing the Defense Institution
o Efficiencies
o Better buying power and financial management reforms
o Managing the Total Force
o Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
- Pay and Compensation
Category Definitions
1-
Driving Forces (Df):
Driving forces are the external factors that are causing, or might cause,
changes in likelihood of system. These factors are external to the system of
interest to stakeholders in that they are considered to be beyond the control of
these stakeholders. Driving forces can include change in demographical,
social, economic and environmental factors.
The category of driving forces includes 54 frequencies in QDR 2014, and
occupied 33 percent of the total frequencies of the whole text. See figures and
the tables. This category addressed the role of the Unites States and its
exercise global leadership in supporting its interests:
2- Uncertainties/ Wild Cards (Un):
Uncertainties are wicked problems which resist to be solved with
conventional methods of scientific inquiry. This type of problems is probably
needs a multi-disciplinary approach or multiple types of knowledge. They are
likely to require people to change their mindsets and behaviors. The category
of Uncertainties/ Wild Cards includes 24 frequencies in QDR 2014, and
occupied 14 percent of the total frequencies of the whole text
3- Strategy (St) The category of Strategy which represents the major of
the Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 frequencies, it contains 58
frequencies, and occupied 35 percent of the total frequencies of the whole
text. Noting that, the QDR 2014 was “strategy-driven and resource-informed
process focused on preparing the Department of Defense for the future and
prioritizing our efforts in period of fiscal austerity (QDR, 2014, p. 1)
Therefore we conclude that the strategy is the central theme of 2014
Quadrennial Defense Review
4- Weak Signals (We):Weak Signals are the anticipating indicator events of
the coming changes in the future, and detecting weak signals is the main
activity for acquiring information and gathering data to make changes in
strategies and policies to avoid chaos and disaster of future surprises (Elina
Hiltunen, 2008).
The category of Weak Signals (We) includes 30 frequencies in QDR 2014,
and occupied 18 percent of the total frequencies of the whole text
Implications and Risks of Sequestration-Level Cuts
CONCLUSION
The content analysis process of Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 has shown a huge development in terms of distributed frequencies at each category, if we compare the development
frequencies percentage that addressed the uncertainties and weak signals categories in QDR 2006 where they represented just 7 percent from whole text which contributed its 93 percent
to the Strategy and driving forces issues, and exceeds 20 percent of the total frequencies of Quadrennial Defense Review of 2014.
Although, the increasing percentage of uncertainties and weak signals categories in previous Quadrennial Defense Reviews has redoubled twice in QDR 2014 and exceeds 30 percent
of the whole report. See the figures.
Regardless, the strategy-driven nature of Quadrennial Defense Review, the wide range of weak signals and critical uncertainties facing the United States in security environment has
escalated dramatically, especially the fiscal austerity that constrained the Department of Defense’s future investment plans and initiatives. In addition, the growing cost in personal
accounts are already raised the pressure on investment, especially R&D and procurement.
The urge need to build a robust strategy and make the right assessment of the security environment is getting more and more difficult especially when the security threats were blur and
cloudy. During the Cold War, the NATO alliance and most of other nations of the noncommunist world saw the potential expansion of the Soviet Union as clear and present danger
against which well-defined security plans (strategies/driving forces) were an absolute necessity. Therefore, the previous QDRs were spending much attention on plans or the so-called
Strategies/Driving forces. However, the rapid changing nature of security environment and the rising of new threats and challenges have brought the American strategists to pay more
attention to weak signals ascendance that might detect dramatic changes in the near future.
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