Republic Of China (Taiwan), Quadrennial Defense Review, 2009

The Ministry of National Defense (MND), in compliance with Article 31 of the National Defense Act, is required to submit a Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) within ten months after each presidential inauguration. 


March 1, 2009
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I. Legal Basis and Background of the Quadrennial Defense Review 
In accordance with Article 137 of the Constitution of the Republic of China, the Armed Forces shall have a mission of "protecting national security and maintaining world peace”. The Ministry of National Defense shall observe the principle of “Taiwan first and in the interest of the people” as announced by the President and adhere to the concept of “preventive defense”. To ensure a peaceful and secure environment for the nation’s development and prevent armed conflicts from endangering people's lives and properties, the MND is committed to maintaining an appropriate defense force during peacetime as a means of deterring war, preventing conflict, protecting the homeland, and fending off any potential aggressors. Due to the complexity and seriousness of the challenges it faces, the MND must conduct a pragmatic, full-scale review of the national security environment, cross-strait relations, and military threats to formulate appropriate defense strategies, promote the transformation of the Armed Forces, and review defense policies and the priority of force development, in order to strike an optimal balance between strategic needs and resource
limitations, and thereby ensure that the Armed Forces' strength can achieve national security objectives.
To ensure that the defense readiness complies with overall strategic guidance and is subject to legislative supervision, the Legislative Yuan passed the "Amendment to Article 31 of the National Defense Act" on July 17, 2008, which was promulgated by the President on August 6, 2008. The newly-added Paragraph 4 of this article states. “The Ministry of National Defense shall, within ten months after each  presidential inauguration, publicly submit a Quadrennial Defense Review to the Legislative Yuan.” The purpose of amending this law was to allow review of existing defense policies by each newlyinaugurated president and to ensure that the President's defense blueprint and strategic ideas are refl ected in MND policies. The QDR also provides the Legislative Yuan with a basis for reviewing and supervising the MND's policy implementation.
II. Significance of the Quadrennial Defense Review
The issuance of the first QDR has three important implications. Firstly, the QDR incorporates the President's overarching concept of national defense in the MND's policy planning, and further solidifi es the concept of “civilian control over the military”. Secondly, the QDR follows the President's overarching concept of national security in shaping the MND’s defense strategy and force planning, thus consolidating the strategic planning system and ensuring that theROC Armed Forces' organization, plans, and capabilities effectively support defense strategies and fulfill military missions. Thirdly, the establishment of a four-year periodical review mechanism will enable the MND to conduct comprehensive assessments of major defense policies and policy planning, integrate internal views, incorporate a broad range of external recommendations, and articulate the vision for future reforms and development based on an up-to-date thinking.
Unlike most conventional policy reviews, the QDR not only  examines the current state of the Armed Forces, but also performs an integrated assessment and proposes forward-looking reforms. The QDR relies on an assessment of the future strategic environment and trends to determine the goals the Armed Forces must attain, capabilities they must possess, and readiness they must achieve to respond to future security challenges. The QDR further examines the Armed Forces' current deficiencies and shortcomings, and lays out appropriate transformation strategies and reform measures accordingly. In other words, the QDR is not just a retrospective or summary review, but also a new starting point and roadmap for further progress. Accordingly, the MND must engage in a series of carefully thoughtout planning, assessment, and improvement actions, and pragmatically assess existing strategies, organizations, plans, resources, priorities, and focuses to update defense strategies and attain national security objectives.
III. Methodology and Logic behind the Quadrennial Defense Review
The compilation of this QDR adopted the logic of the "strategy to task" principle. This is to say, in order to uphold national interests  and achieve national security objectives, it is necessary to forecast the future security environment and determine defense challenges and opportunities, and use this information to map out defense strategies and military strategies and the missions needed to realize them. This process will allow development of key abilities corresponding to mission needs, and facilitate the acquisition of weaponry needed to create effective fighting power.
Therefore, the QDR's role in the Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PPBS) is to clarify defense strategy guidance and the focus of future military capability development, thereby guiding the formulation of “force planning concepts” and “force buildup program” within military strategy plans. This will ensure that the allocation of defense resources can satisfy force requirements in accordance with defense strategy plans, and achieve the goals of force development and national defense.
IV. Framework of the Quadrennial Defense Review
The compilation of this QDR is based on the defense concept  proclaimed by the President on numerous occasions and the policy directives of the Minister of National Defense. The QDR task force recruited staff from policy offi ces and agencies of the MND. Experts and scholars from the private sector were also invited to form a consulting team. 
The QDR comprehensively examined the Armed Forces' current systems, mechanisms, and major policies  and plans in a forward-looking manner to identify problems and deficiencies and formulated improvement methods to determine future strategic guidance and directions of force development.The QDR contains four chapters: "Core Defense Challenges",  "National Strategic Guidance", "Planning for Defense Transformation", and "Guidance for Joint Warfighting Capability Development."  The logical process consists of identifying security challenges and, accordingly, formulating strategic guidance and specific actions of defense transformation to serve as the foundation for building capabilities needed by the Armed Forces. The purpose is to enhance efficiency of defense organizations, strengthen self-defense capabilities, effectively safeguard national security, and collaborate with various administration measures of the government, so as to achieve the goals of creating peace and maintaining stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The following is a summary of the QDR:
1. Core defense challenges 
In the foreseeable future, key challenges facing Taiwan's defense include coping with changes in regional and crossstrait security environments, countering military threats from the PRC, updating strategies, restructuring the Armed Forces, to develop a mix of defensive capabilities, and facilitating economic development with defense investments. To address the aforementioned challenges, the MND must utilize limited resources to promote transformation measures for organizational efficiency, critical military capabilities, joint warfighting capabilities, defense technology advancement, industrial development and all-out defense. 
2. Defense strategic guidance 
Taiwan's defense strategy seeks to protect national security,  keep the Taiwan Strait free of war, and enable the people to live and work in peace and contentment. The country's current defense strategy has the objectives of war prevention, homeland defense, contingency response, conflict avoidance, and regional stability. By building a "Hard ROC" defense and participating in regional security cooperation, the Armed Forces can deter potential aggressors from taking reckless actions. The military strategic concept is "resolute defense and credible deterrence”. When war is inevitable, the Armed Forces shall exert joint warfighting capabilities and also draw on civilian sector resources in an all-out defense to deter, defeat, and annihilate the enemy and safeguard national security. 
3. Planning for defense transformation 
Transformation is a fundamental task in defense strategies, which enables the Armed Forces to cope with the evolving  strategic environment and diversifi ed challenges in the future. The MND must strike an appropriate balance between dealing with current security threats and promoting reform and transformation. Critical transformation elements include organizational efficiency, force structure, transitioning into an all-volunteer force, force planning, armaments development mechanism, joint operations command mechanism, human resources development, defense expenditure management, and combining defense with civilian needs. 
4. Guidance for joint warfi ghting capability development
Based on the guidance of defensive defense and the military strategic concept of "resolute defense and credible deterrence", the ROC Armed Forces must consolidate various warfighting capabilities on the basis of improved joint operations effi ciency in order to achieve “strategic sustainment and tactical decisiveness”, dissolve enemy attempts to achieve a quick victory, and seize on a strategic turning point. Key items include joint C4ISR, joint information operation (IO) and electronic warfare (EW), joint counter air, joint sea control, joint ground defense, asymmetric warfare, reserve mobilization, joint logistics, and intangible combat capabilities.

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