Quadrennial Defense Review Is 'Well Along,' Rumsfeld Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 19, 2001 Work on the Quadrennial Defense Review, the "blueprint" to U.S. military transformation, is on track, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said July 18.
The QDR "is a tough process. It is an important process. We've had wonderful cooperation, and we're well along in that process," Rumsfeld told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
Conducted every four years by congressional mandate, the QDR evaluates military force structure, capabilities, and resource requirements. Its recommendations are to be provided to Congress Sept. 30.
The services began collecting data for the QDR last year, but the prolonged 2000 presidential election has squeezed the time available to work on the review.
"To accomplish it in a relatively short period is a particular challenge," Rumsfeld said, noting that senior military and civilian leaders have for months been engaged in myriad QDR meetings and briefings.
Those senior leaders first arrived at "unanimous" agreement on terms of reference for the review, Rumsfeld said. Panels were then formed to research strategy and force planning; military organizations, arrangements, capabilities and systems; space; information/intelligence; personnel and readiness; infrastructure; and force integration.
Rumsfeld likened the QDR to a balancing of risks.
"We're trying to look at operational risks and evaluate them," he said. "We're trying to then look at the risks of not doing a proper job for our people, and balancing that against operational risks.
"Were looking at the risks of failing to fix the underfunding that went on for a long period of years with respect to modernization and readiness.
"In addition, we're trying to follow the president's guidance of balancing the risks of transformation or not transforming in a time to address the kinds of problems that we inevitably will be facing in the period immediately ahead."
Rumsfeld said military leaders from all the services have provided a kaleidoscope of valuable opinions and views for the QDR.
"They're overwhelmingly, absolutely terrific human beings. And, we're fortunate to have them," he said.
However, transforming DoD to meet the realities of today's post-Cold War world and the envisioned challenges of the future isn't easy, Rumsfeld said.
"I think it is perfectly correct to say that change is hard whether it is the contracting community or the Congress or the department itself, civilian or military," he said. "I don't know if there is a lot of difference between any of those categories, that what exists is understandable, it's clear, it's working from their personal standpoints, and to alter it is unsettling."