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Wolfowitz Discusses DoD Goals During Testimony

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2001 – Pay and quality of life issues are paramount to building a strong military, but DoD also must examine missions to ensure service members are performing the right tasks with the least strain, said Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Before Wolfowitz was sworn in as deputy March 2, he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. His testimony gives an idea of his thinking as he takes office. He addressed personnel issues, defending against asymmetric threats, the transformation of the military and defense strategy.

"Good pay and fair allowances by themselves won't keep the best people in the service,” Wolfowitz said in testimony. “Working with the Congress and with our allies, we must also re-examine the balance among force levels, commitments and deployments.” He said DoD must ensure the country is focusing on the most important defense tasks and not placing “unreasonable” burdens on American service members.

Wolfowitz said the United States must develop new strategies to defend against missiles, terrorists, cyberwarfare and attacks against satellites. “U.S. military strength in the field is unparalleled,” he said. “Many of our enemies, therefore, have determined that in order to move against us, they must be able to strike us at home.”

Some adversaries are working on long-range missiles, while others support or direct terrorist attacks, he said. Terrorists may try to increase their reach by using conventional devices with increased destructiveness, weapons of mass destruction or cyberweapons against the United States, Wolfowitz said. “We must do everything in our power to stop them.”

The deputy said DoD must take advantage of the technological revolution, "to help us create a military for the 21st century."

“To this end, at the direction of the president, (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) has already launched a review of our defense strategy and programs designed to provide a sound understanding of the state of our armed forces and their readiness for the 21st century security environment,” he said. “This work must be done quickly, and it must be done before we can know what our true defense resource requirements are.”

Wolfowitz agrees that DoD needs “to engage our brains before we open the taxpayer's wallet.”

He said he would work toward realizing Rumsfeld’s five goals for the department. The first is to fashion and sustain a new form of deterrence appropriate to the new strategic environment. The second is to assure the readiness and sustainability of the armed forces now and into the future. The third calls for DoD to modernize command and control, and space capabilities. The fourth is to begin reshaping the U.S. defense establishment to meet new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

Finally, he said he would work to reform Department of Defense structures, processes and organizations.

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