DoD Launches Defense Review Effort
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 1996 DoD will undertake an overarching review of national defense with an eye to ensuring the United States has the correct strategy and resources to combat threats into the next century.
The congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review will continue the work of the Base Force and Bottom-up Review, DoD officials said.
As part of the process, the secretary of defense, in consultation with Congress, will appoint a nine-member National Defense Panel. Pentagon officials said the panel will review DoD's data and conclusions and deliver its own report to Congress. The results are due on Capitol Hill May 15.
"The essence of the [Quadrennial Defense Review] is a blueprint which distills the thinking of the department on resources, requirements and how they are connected," said Defense Secretary William J. Perry during a news conference Dec. 12.
Perry hastened to add the review is not just a budget review. The panel will look at fundamental issues: the threats facing the United States, the U.S. response to those threats and strategy. Deputy Defense Secretary John White told reporters the review will look at the full range of defense matters from terrorism to weapons of mass destruction.
The review is a collaborative effort among the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the services and the joint commands, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili. The legislation mandating the review also calls for the chairman to prepare an independent assessment of the review.
Shalikashvili said the recently completed Joint Vision 2010 will help those involved in the review "Joint Vision 2010 will ... serve as a conceptual template for understanding our future military operations and the capabilities that we will need in the years ahead to remain dominant across the full spectrum of conflict and operations," he said. "In turn, the [review] will provide one of the many steps towards implementing Joint Vision 2010."
Shalikashvili said the review is not about protecting today's force, but about shaping tomorrow's.
White told reporters nothing is off limits. "We are not holding sacrosanct any particular end stength, any particular platform size, any particular structure," he said. "We are going to look at everything. In addition to that, we are going to stress innovative approaches to what it is we're doing. We're going to stress joint approaches to what we're doing. And we're going to stress concrete options with respect to what it is we need to develop going into the future."
The secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will head the DoD effort. White and Vice Chairman Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston will head a steering group. Reporting to them is an integration group to ensure all parts of the review make coherent sense.
Various panels will handle different aspects of the review. These include stratgey, force structure, modernization, readiness, infrastructure and human resources, among others.