DoD Releases QDR to Chart Way Ahead to Confront Future
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2006 The Defense Department unveiled the Quadrennial Defense Review today, charting the way ahead for the next 20 years as it confronts current and future challenges and continues its transformation for the 21st century.
Navy Vice Adm. Evan Chanik (left), Joint Staff director of force structure, resources and assessment, and Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, speak with reporters at the Pentagon about the Quadrennial Defense Review during a Pentagon press briefing on Feb. 3. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Sean P. Houlihan, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The 92-page report, sent to Congress beginning today, represents "a common vision of where we need to go and what we need to do," Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary for policy, told Pentagon reporters today.
The report was driven, managed and authored by senior leaders throughout the department, from Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the service chiefs and secretaries to the combatant commanders, he said.
Its release corresponds with that of the fiscal 2007 DoD budget request, which President Bush will send to Congress Feb. 6.
The QDR aims to shift military capabilities to fight terrorism and other meet nontraditional, asymmetric threats, while shaping a defense structure better able to support and speed up this reorientation, Henry said.
At the same time, it recognizes the continued need to defend against conventional threats, conduct humanitarian missions at home and abroad, and help U.S. allies and partners develop their own defense capabilities.
The first of three QDRs conducted during wartime, this year's report focuses on the need for the U.S. military to continue adjusting to an era of uncertainty with asymmetric challenges, he said.
It incorporates lessons learned from operational experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan, Ryan said. Similarly, it incorporates experience gained in other operations associated with the so-called "long war" against terrorism in places like the Philippines, Horn of Africa, Georgia and Northern Africa.
As a blueprint for shaping the force to carry out these far-reaching responsibilities, the QDR shifts from traditional thinking in pointing the direction forward, Henry said. "It's not about numbers. Numbers don't tell you if you can get the job done," he said. "It's about capabilities."
The report focuses on a lighter, more agile, more deployable force that operates more jointly with a streamlined, more efficient defense operation supporting it, Vice Admiral Evan Chanik, the Joint Staff's director of force structure, resources and assessment, told reporters.
It promotes more special operations, intelligence gathering, language and cultural capabilities, improved communications and enhanced security-cooperation activities.
Chanik called the QDR evolutionary rather than revolutionary and said it reflects an ongoing DoD transformation that began in 2001. The terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11 of that year and the war on terror that resulted accelerated this transformation, he said.
"We're making sure we have a range of capabilities into the future," Chanik said.
Servicemembers won't be surprised by what ahead for them in the QDR, Chanik predicted. "The average military guy out there understands we live in a changing world and that as this world changes, we need to change with it," he said.
With its emphasis on education and training, the military ensures that its members have the skill sets them need to meet evolving requirements, he said.