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Budget Planning Guidance Goes to Services

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2001 – The services have received guidance from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that sets budget priorities as they shape the fiscal 2003 DoD Budget Request.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard Myers told the press the Defense Program Guidance lays out five priorities for the Department of Defense.

The first priority is to protect U.S. bases of operation and to be able to defeat nuclear/biological/chemical weapons and ballistic missile attack.

The second priority is the capability to project and sustain U.S. forces to distant lands in face of enemy opposition. The third priority is to be able to deny an enemy sanctuary from American forces. This particularly focuses on long-range precision strike capabilities of various kinds.

The fourth priority is to have the capability to conduct space operations and the fifth, is to ensure joint and combined interoperability and integration of long-range strike and deep maneuver forces.

"[This] is guidance for the service programmers in developing their Program Objective Memoranda that lay out the Five Year Defense Plan," Wolfowitz said. " They have to complete that work rather soon, and essentially have it nearly finished by the time the [Quadrennial Defense Review] itself is finished. So this is to give them guidance, and it's an annual document that tells them how to go about building those programs."

The document is meant to give the services the latitude to examine the missions ands make adjustments as needed, Wolfowitz said. "On the question about force structure reductions one of the things we're discussing in both contexts is to what level do you want to specify where those sort of reductions ought to be made and to what extent you want them to come out as a result of other sorts of guidance," Wolfowitz said.

The secretary could order certain reductions or he could give the services the latitude to make their own adjustments. ."You could say, 'I want you to have X divisions and Y air wings, no matter what else you do,' or alternatively you could say, 'I want you to have certain capabilities and you pay for them any way you have to,'" he said.

If a service believes the best way to get that capability is through cutting some force structure, that's the decision it can make. "I would say, as a general philosophical principle, I think the secretary strongly believes in the whole idea of freedom to manage, of giving people the responsibility for managing their organizations to certain goals; rather than telling them exactly how they should run them, tell them what it is you want them to achieve and then let them figure out how to do it" he said.

Wolfowitz said the guidance is less detailed than in the past and it does start the transformation process for the department. "In the long run the most important requirement is the requirement to build capabilities for the future which aren't oriented toward a specific conflict or a specific war plan," Wolfowitz said. "Because they are future oriented, they are by definition against somewhat hazier objectives but nonetheless extremely important. And that's the sort of transformational requirements."

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Related Sites:
DoD News Transcript: Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Briefing on the Defense Planning Guidance, Aug. 16, 2001

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