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Quadrennial Defense Review Process Revs Up

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2005 – The Quadrennial Defense Review looks to make sure DoD is "arranged in the way that makes the most sense for the current situation," a senior Pentagon spokesman said here July 5.

The QDR is a congressionally mandated study used to analyze the full range of DoD activities. DoD will present the review to Congress with the Fiscal 2007 Defense Budget Request on Feb. 6.

The last review was conducted in 2001. Officials collected most of the information used in that review before the terror attacks that hit New York and the Pentagon. While officials worked to include experiences from the attacks and from subsequent operations in Afghanistan, the review did not do justice to those experiences. "We have learned a lot since (2001)," Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said in a news conference.

The 2001 review helped planners determine the size of the force, the capabilities the force would need, and the growing importance of the homeland defense mission.

"Obviously, a lot has happened since the last Quadrennial Defense Review," Di Rita said. "The senior leadership of this department has established terms of reference for the ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review to look at a lot of activities, try and learn from what has happened since the last Quadrennial Defense Review, try and analyze various options, and come to some conclusions about how we're organized."

Di Rita said many military and civilian personnel will work on the review. In addition, personnel from other government agencies will offer expertise and advice. DoD will work closely with Congress as the process moves along, he said.

The QDR started as the "Bottom-Up Review," released by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin in October 1993. The review looked at the Defense Department's role in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union.

Congress called for the process to be institutionalized, and the QDR process began in 1996 with a finished report delivered by then-Defense Secretary William Cohen in 1997.

The process looks at all aspects of DoD, including the right mix of capabilities, department roles, missions and organizations, agency business practices, and DoD processes.

The biggest difference between this review and those in the past is that for the first time the process is happening while the United States is at war. Joint teams will look at proposals from the military services to ensure that capabilities are not duplicated or resources wasted. The information collected for the review will be used immediately to inform senior leaders' budget decisions.

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Lawrence Di Rita

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