The Navy should look at more undersea warfare capabilities and long-range threats. The Army should spend less time focusing on repelling tanks and more time on missile defense and training indigenous forces. The Marine Corps should shy away from acting as America's second land army and more for deterrence and crisis response.
"Rather than asking all services to prepare for the exact same thing, that could drive a lot of redundancy into the force, why not better focus them?" Gunzinger says. "You always have to consider the budget, but ... we really need to ensure that we're making the right investments to develop the future force that's better capable of handling the kinds of threats we've discussed."
And simply building a force that can meet reduced budgets will leave the U.S. vulnerable in the future.
"If that's what the QDR is all about, just another drill to balance the books, what we may end up with is a smaller version of today's force that's best prepared for fading threats," he says. "And that would be a lost opportunity."
CSBA has a full copy of Gunzinger's report.