QDR Heavily Influenced by 9/11, England Says
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 17, 2006 Had the terrorists possessed the means and the know-how, they would have killed 3 million people instead of 3,000 on Sept. 11, 2001, the deputy defense secretary said here yesterday.
"In my judgment, the reason 3,000 people were killed that day is because the terrorists did not know how to kill 30,000 people, and they didn't know how to kill 3 million people," Gordon England told an audience at the National Defense University. "But if they had known on 9/11 how to kill 30,000 people or 3 million people, in my judgment, they would have done so."
England said the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review is a Defense Department document intended to help prevent future terrorist attacks of all magnitudes, and he likened it to a roadmap that would guide the military to meet both traditional and nontraditional threats.
The QDR is "informed by what happened on 9/11 and all the events since 9/11," England said. "And the QDR, I would remind you, is a strategic document. It looks out 20 years."
England said the QDR also represents a cultural shift. "We're trying to move what is still to some extent legacy Cold War constructs, and shifting the emphasis to a new area to deal with the diversity of threats that we have today," he said.
The deputy secretary emphasized that predicting future threats is a difficult task, but the individuals who worked on the QDR did the best they could in judging the security challenges that lay ahead for the United States. "Nonetheless, events will change, and so we will re-examine this periodically," he said.
The QDR is now moving forward in terms of implementation, England said. He stressed that there will be numerous difficulties associated with putting the review into practice because there are so many actions set forth in the document.
"Every place the QDR says something will be accomplished, if you write those down, as we have, you will end up with 141 actions," he said. "So we are in the process of taking those 141 actions and scheduling every action."