美國為因應後冷戰時期國際安全環境與威脅的改變，至 1996 年止已執行多次全面性的兵力結構檢討。然而，國會認為國防部僅考量維持現有規模與預算，而非依外在安全環境與威脅的改變來調整所需兵力結構。因此，國會為因應二十一世紀的威脅及確保美國國家安全利益，通過「1996 年軍力結構總檢法案」，要求國防部配合總統任期執行「四年期國防總檢」及將評估重點予以法制化。鑑於國內學術界對美國「四年期國防總檢」的論述均以報告內容為重點，故本文將從理性決策與戰略規劃面向，來評析美國實施「四年期國防總檢」的立法精神及其對美國戰略規劃制度的關係與影響。美國國會相信要求國防部執行「四年期國防總檢」，除了提昇國會對於國防政策的監督功能外，更能提昇戰略與資源的結合及強化國防部長階層的戰略指導責任。
In response to the changes of international security environment and threat in the post-Cold War era, the United States had conducted various comprehensive assessment of its force structure in 1990-1996 periods. However, the Congress pointed out the Department of Defense intended to realign the force structure just from the view of keeping forces size and defense budget and not from the changes of security environment and threat. In order to meet the threats and protect the U.S. national security interests in the twenty-first century, the Congress passed the Military Force Structure Review Act of 1996 and mandated DOD to conduct a Quadrennial Defense Review ( QDR ) at the beginning of each newly elected presidential administration. This paper aims to, on the aspect of rational decision and strategies, study the legislation and the relations and impact on the system of American strategic planning by the QDR. The U.S. Congress believes that this legalization not only promotes congressional supervision function effectively but also makes defense policy more transparent, elevates the integration of resources and strategy, and consolidates the leadership and responsibility of the ministry level government.
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