Panel Submits Recommendations for Changes in Defense Planning

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The Independent Panel’s Assessment of the Quadrennial Defense Review submitted a report yesterday outlining recommendations for several changes in the Department of Defense’s future strategies and priorities.

Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry and former National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley handed the report over to House Armed Services Committee after the panel found the department had not adequately planned far enough into the future for the military.

The suggestions in the report included funding a major recapitalization of equipment, revamping the personnel system and expanding the number of people serving in the Navy.

According to DoD, the panel identified America’s four “enduring national interests that transcend politics” as, defense of the homeland; assured access to sea, air, space and cyberspace; a favorable balance of power in western Asia; and overall humanitarian good.

“The world’s first order of concern will continue to be security concerns,” Hadley said.

As such, the panel suggested a complete recapitalization of military hardware and equipment.

“This will be expensive,” Perry said. “But deferring recapitalization will require even more expenses in the future.”

The panel also called for a review of how the department manages its resources, adding dual competition should be required in all production programs with a limit of five to seven years for the delivery. Also, the panel recommended  officials need to clarify roles within the department’s acquisitions workforce.

In regards to the restructuring of forces, the report included DoD should build up Navy end-strength and improve the Air Force’s long-range strike capabilities to counter emerging threats in the Western Pacific.

U.S. allies in the East “are worried about China and they want us there working with China, and we are,” Perry said.

Additionally, the report advised a re-evaluation of how the military uses the National Guard and reserve forces.

“Our panel thinks we really need to re-think our relationship between the active force and the Guard and reserves, and if we need a mobilization capability beyond our current mobilization force,” Hadley said. “How much of the Guard and reserve is an operational reserve? How much of it is a strategic reserve? How much of it is for homeland security? All this needs to be re-thought.”

The QDR is a legislatively mandated review of DoD strategy and priorities.

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