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Release No: 681-97
December 15, 1997


U.S. Department of Defense Secretary William H. Cohen today submitted to Congress his comments on the National Defense Panel's report "Transforming Defense."

In his response, Secretary Cohen said he "strongly endorsed its key recommendation to accelerate the transformation of U.S. military capabilities using savings generated by far-reaching business and acquisition reforms and additional base closures."

Additionally, Secretary Cohen said "the fundamental challenge facing the Defense Department, indeed the Nation, is to continue to meet the challenges of shaping the security environment and responding to the full range of crises in the near term while at the same time transforming our forces and capabilities to meet the demands of an uncertain future.

"The Panel correctly states that we do not have the luxury to choose between these sometimes competing demands. We must do both."

Having consulted with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense responded to the Panel's report as required by Section 924 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.

The full text of his response can be found at the Department of Defense website at www.defenselink.mil.

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