Any incoming administration is guaranteed unsolicited national security advice. This collection of essays emanates chiefly from members of the analytical community -- the RAND Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Brookings Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations -- and represents both the high pedigree of the authors and their moderate leanings. The authors' pervasive discontent with the Clinton administration's defense record is perhaps more striking, given their centrist-Democratic perspective and affiliations. (That said, the first Bush administration hardly receives much kudos for its management of the transition to a post-Cold War military.) Some essays are good, some less so, but most striking is the absence of a clear foreign policy framework for defense issues. The analysis is sober, well-informed, and thoughtful, but one detects no consensus on what exactly the armed forces exist to do.