The United States, its friends and allies face a world of complex challenges and great opportunities. Since the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania seven years ago, we have been engaged in a conflict unlike those that came before. The United States has worked with its partners to defeat the enemies of freedom and prosperity, assist those in greatest need, and lay the foundation for a better tomorrow.
Tackling our common challenges requires a clear assessment of the strategic environment and the tools available to construct a durable, flexible, and dynamic strategy. This National Defense Strategy outlines how we will contribute to achieving the National Security Strategy objectives and secure a safer, more prosperous world for the benefit of all.
This strategy builds on lessons learned and insights from previous operations and strategic reviews, including the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. It represents the distillation of valuable experience across the spectrum of conflict and within the strategic environment. It emphasizes the critical role our partners play - both within the U.S. Government and internationally - in achieving our common goals.
The United States will soon have a new President and Commander-in-Chief, but the complex issues the United States faces will remain. This strategy is a blueprint to succeed in the years to come.
Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
The National Defense Strategy - 2008 was written and published by the DoD, and can be downloaded in its original form here.