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Top Commanders, Pentagon Chiefs Discuss QDR, Other Issues

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2006 – Senior U.S. military commanders from around the world are in Washington this week for meetings with Pentagon officials to discuss the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and other issues, a senior Defense Department spokesman said here today.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are hosting the Senior Defense Leaders' Conference that starts today and runs through Jan. 11, DoD spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said. The first two days of the conference, he said, will feature updates provided by regional combatant commanders.

The QDR is expected to be a major topic of discussion when Pentagon military and civilian leaders meet with combatant commanders Jan. 11, Di Rita said.

QDRs are conducted every four years to ascertain what the military will require in manpower and materiel to address anticipated missions 20 years hence. "How will the world look in 20 years?" Di Rita asked reporters during a Nov. 22 Pentagon news conference, noting that QDRs also are used to help prioritize departmental needs regarding force size and the acquisition of military hardware.

Di Rita has said the 2005 QDR is the first to draw on lessons learned from fighting the global war against terrorism. Previous QDRs were conducted in 1997 and 2001.

Officials are getting close in finishing the 2005 QDR, Di Rita told Pentagon reporters today. "There are drafts for comment going around," he said.

The QDR is expected to be presented to Congress in February.

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