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DoD Examines Structure With Eye on 'Paradigm Shift'

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2001 – DoD officials involved with the Quadrennial Defense Review process say they have given Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld a range of options for force size.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said during an Aug. 8 press conference that an internal DoD process exposes the secretary to a range of alternatives. "We did almost a bit of role-playing to make sure that a pretty wide range of issues was put in front of him," he said.

Wolfowitz said the options the secretary is looking at are "predecisional," meaning news reports that say the QDR will call for cuts are premature, to say the least. Accompanied by Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he said the QDR will be ready for delivery to Congress by the Sept. 30 deadline.

He said senior officials have been meeting daily on the QDR because it is "getting down to the final stages, and it's very important to get decisions crisply and moving along."

Wolfowitz called the QDR a "paradigm shift" for the military. "You start with two major regional contingencies, which we came up with 10 years ago when we had a huge Cold War structure we were trying to draw down," he said.

He said the thought then was that a force sized to handle 2MRCs could cover all lesser contingencies. Over the past 10 years, that assumption has become "increasingly inappropriate," he said.

The force-sizing assumption missed the extent of the missions the military performs today. Wolfowitz cited contingencies in Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor and the Sinai as examples of the demands placed on the force.

"All of these activities put a large demand on the rotation base, put a large demand on personnel, large demand on the so-called low-density, high-demand assets," he said. "Those can no longer be regarded as a lesser included case. They've got to be accounted for, and accounting for that turns out to be a complicated and difficult job."

Another aspect the 10-year-old force-sizing concept missed is the need to transform the force. He said transformation calls for new methods of measuring readiness and accounting for new types of military risks.

"It involves looking at forces not just in terms of their operational risks ... but the force management risk -- which is the risk associated with too much time away from home," he said. Not planning for transformation, he said, is "the future capability risk" -- the risk involved if the United States needs new capabilities and doesn't have them.

Wolfowitz said the U.S. military also has an efficiency risk -- how it manages infrastructure.

Myers said DoD's senior military leadership agrees there's a need for serious change in the force. "There is consensus that we have to change," he said. "It goes back to the fact that, today, we do have a strategy force structure imbalance that has to be corrected." He said civilian and military leaders are working well together and have been discussing a wide range of ideas and processes to initiate the "paradigm shift."

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Related Sites:
DoD News Briefing: Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and Gen. Myers Brief on QDR Update, Aug. 8, 2001

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