Review Strikes Right Balance for Military, Admiral Says
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2010 The Pentagon’s military leaders say the new Quadrennial Defense Review strikes the right balance between today’s wars and the need to combat future threats.
Navy Vice Adm. Stephen Stanley, Joint Staff director for force structure, resources and assessment, told the House Armed Services Committee the review sets the department on a new path.
“The QDR focuses not just on winning today's fight, but also on the complex and uncertain future security landscape and potential conflicts the United States and our partners are most likely to face in the future,” Stanley said. The admiral testified alongside Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy. The two were the point persons for the document in the Pentagon.
Stanley said the review addresses the top three goals of Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: winning today's fight; balancing global strategic risk; and preserving and enhancing the health of the force.
The review supports the military’s mission to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida globally, and particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan through investment in critical “enablers” such as rotary-wing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and special operation forces that have experienced persistent shortfalls over the years.
“Winning the fight requires changing our capability mix, and we are doing it,” Stanley said.
Balancing global risk in today's environment requires a ready and agile force with sufficient capability across military operations, Stanley said. The review recognizes the importance of developing capabilities to prevent the enemy from accessing new areas, he said.
“Additionally, the QDR focuses on regional, forward-based and rotational engagement with partners to set conditions that not only preclude conflict but establish the security environments that undercut extremism,” the director said.
The United States has retained the capability to act decisively when appropriate, still “we prefer to partner and work with others in major operations,” he said. “Our forward-stationed and rotational joint forces will ensure the ability to both sustain forward engagement and rapidly project forces and power globally to defeat future adversaries or, as in Haiti, rapidly respond to international crises.”
Preserving and maintaining the health of the force, begins with taking care of people. “Our men and women in the armed forces are America’s greatest strategic asset,” Stanley said. “The QDR advocates important initiatives to enhance warrior and survivor care, reinforcing the urgency to improve research and treatment for a broad range of injuries, especially traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.”
The review seeks to reduce stress on the force through family support initiatives and a focus on properly resetting the force.