QDR Emphasizes International Alliances
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 8, 2006 A key element of the Quadrennial Defense Review is to strengthen allied operations and increase partner-nation capacity, senior defense officials told a Senate committee here today.
Allied operations will help the U.S. share military and security burdens around the world, but future operations will use varied methods of partnership, as opposed to formal, multilateral alliances, Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
An example of the different methods for allied operations is the Proliferation Security Initiative, which brings together more than 70 nations to contribute to stemming the flow of weapons of mass destruction, Henry said. For different operational needs, the U.S. will engage willing nations in a coalition effort, he said.
Henry emphasized that the QDR recognizes the value of the alliances the U.S. already has and the contributions of close allies such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
To make allied operations possible, the QDR also focuses on increasing partner-nation capacity, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England said at the hearing. The U.S. has made commitments to NATO to develop joint warfare training capabilities, England said, and the entire NATO alliance has come on board to develop a joint warfare center. The U.S. also has an international presence in Norfolk, Va., that helps NATO countries with concept development and experimentation of warfighting principles, he said.
England stressed that the QDR was an inclusive effort that included many agencies within the U.S. government and allied countries. "This is the very unified output of the federal government and also our friends and allies who participated in this review," he said.
As a result of the QDR, DoD will be recommending some legislative changes, including expanding U.S. authority to provide supplies and services to allied countries participating in combined operations, England said.
"What we have learned in the past four years, we have tried to incorporate in the QDR and in some of the legislative changes we will be recommending to you," he said.
Both officials said that some changes from the QDR will be included in the president's 2007 budget, but the majority will be in the 2008 budget.