National Defense Strategy Commission

The Commission on the National Defense Strategy (NDS) for the United States examines and makes recommendations with respect to the national defense strategy of the United States. Created in 2017, the Commission consists of twelve members selected by members of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

The Commission is independent of the Department of Defense, although the Department of Defense provides support to its members.  This support includes the full and timely cooperation from the Secretary of Defense and a liaison officer from the Department of Defense.

Established from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.


The national defense strategy must include the following:

  • The priority missions and key force planning scenarios;
  • The projected strategic environment and the strategies that the Department of Defense will employ to counter key threats;
  • A strategic framework guiding how the Department of Defense will prioritize among threats and military missions, manage risks, and make resource investments;
  • The roles and missions of the armed forces to carry out key missions;
  • The size, shape, posture, capabilities, and readiness of the force, along with other elements of the defense program necessary to support the strategy;
  • And the investments in capabilities, structure, readiness, posture, and technological innovation that the Department of Defense will make over a five-year period to execute the strategy.

In accordance with the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is conducted every four years.


External Links


Advisory Panel

SASC Commission Members:

  • John Kyl - Former, Sen. (R-AZ)
  • Jack Keane - Retired, Army General
  • Thomas Mahnken - President, CSBA
  • Christine Fox - Former, Deputy SECDEF
  • Michael Morell - Former, Acting CIA Director
  • Anne Patterson - Former, Asst. SoSEA

HASC Commission Members:

  • Eric Edelman - Former, USDP
  • Andrew Krepinevich - Former, CEO CSBA
  • Roger Zakheim - Former, Congress Def. Staffer
  • Gary Roughead - Former, CNO
  • Kathleen Hicks - Former, PDUSDP
  • Mike McCord - Former, Pentagon Comptroller