In This Review

This War Really Matters: Inside the Fight for Defense Dollars
This War Really Matters: Inside the Fight for Defense Dollars
By George C. Wilson
CQ Press, 2000, 239 pp.

Here's a book for the defense-policy junkies. Wilson uncovers the no-kidding, inside dirt on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) -- a massive, utterly typical Pentagon bureaucratic drill that consumes the labors of countless diligent officers and bureaucrats. The field marshal of these maneuvers, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre, may be unknown outside the Beltway, but the author describes him as a worthy man who is a bureaucrat's mix of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. The book also offers much interesting detail about the Pentagon's budget battles. But the title's contention is dubious. The QDR was only one in a series of bottom-up reviews, national defense panels, and national security study groups -- none of which has changed the essential physiognomy of a defense establishment that remains a shrunken version of Reagan's military.