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Work on Quadrennial Defense Review, 2007 DoD Budget Continues

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2005 – Pentagon civilian and military leaders continue work on developing the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review and the 2007 DoD budget, officials said.

QDRs are performed every four years to help defense planners ascertain what the military will need in manpower and materiel to address anticipated missions 20 years in the future.

Special operations forces, intelligence, communications, force structure and language training were among the topics addressed at QDR meetings, Lawrence Di Rita, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told Pentagon reporters at a recent news conference. He said this year's QDR is the first to draw on lessons learned from fighting the global war against terrorism that began when terrorists attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. Previous QDRs were conducted in 1997 and 2001.

Defense leaders can also use QDRs to plan and prioritize defense needs regarding force size and the acquisition of military hardware, Di Rita said.

Those needs will be reflected in the fiscal 2007 defense budget, DoD spokeswoman Marine Lt. Col. Rose-Ann Lynch said. "This process will play out between now and January 2006, when the fiscal year 2007 budget preparation process will conclude," she said.

The 2007 Pentagon budget will be released in February 2006, around the same time the QDR is due to be completed. The armed services and other Pentagon components now are studying ways to save money to meet mandated DoD budgetary savings for fiscal 2007, Lynch said.

"In the coming weeks, we will attempt to determine which of these options the QDR team should study further," Lynch said. "It is premature to draw any conclusions or comment on any specific numbers at this time," she said.

President Bush sent DoD's fiscal 2006 budget request to Congress on Feb. 7, 2005. That request contained $419.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for DoD. It represented a nearly 5 percent increase over the fiscal 2005 defense budget.

Congress hasn't yet approved the fiscal 2006 defense budget, which spans Sept. 30, 2005, to Oct. 1, 2006. Since the fiscal year's start, Congress has passed a series of continuing resolutions to fund DoD activities, including up to $50 billion in supplemental money to fund overseas operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and other funds to replace worn-out equipment.

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