InsideDefense.com obtained a draft copy of the report
titled “The QDR in Perspective: Meeting America’s National Security Needs in the
The 20-member blue-ribbon panel -- co-chaired by former Defense
Secretary William Perry and Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to
President George W. Bush -- also finds a significant increase in funding is
needed to bolster capabilities necessary to counter anti-access challenges,
strengthen homeland defense; and to deal with cyber
The panel's report argues that a centerpiece of the 2010
Quadrennial Defense Review -- a force-planning construct that downplayed the
significance of preparing to fight and win two, nearly simultaneous major wars,
a bedrock of defense planning since 1993, in order to prepare U.S. forces to
deal with a wider set of possible contingencies -- is unreliable. Instead, the
independent panel recommends the Pentagon adopt force levels required by
analysis conducted 17 years ago.
The “panel recommends the force structure be sized, at a minimum,
at the end strength outlined in the 1993 Bottom-Up Review,” an assessment
prepared by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin, which Perry then worked to
implement during his 1994 to 1997 term as secretary. “We further recommend the
department's [weapon system] inventory be thoroughly recapitalized and
modernized,” states the draft report.
Funding to pay for these capabilities, as well as to recapitalize
equipment consumed in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, will require resources
beyond the $100 billion efficiency savings recently directed by Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, according to the report.
The “panel believes that substantial additional resources will be
required to modernize the force. Although there is a cost to recapitalizing the
military, there is also a price to be paid for not recapitalizing, one that in
the long run would be much greater.”
Tasked by Congress -- and composed of members appointed by
lawmakers and Gates -- the panel's report delves into nearly every dimension of
the U.S. military enterprise -- from personnel policy to weapons acquisition to
defense policy formulation -- and offers an “explicit warning” about the shape
of U.S. weaponry after a nearly a decade of persistent
“The aging of the inventories and equipment used by the services,
the decline in the size of the Navy, and the growing stress on the force means
that a train wreck is coming in the areas of personnel, acquisition, and force
structure,” states the draft report.
The draft document argues that the Pentagon's force-structure plans
“will not provide sufficient capacity” to deal with a major domestic catastrophe
while also conducting contingency operations abroad. The panel also asserts that
the recently established U.S. Cyber Command should be prepared to assist
civilian authorities in defending this domain “beyond” the Defense Department's
current role, to support civilian agencies.
The Pentagon's 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review did not include a
force-planning construct that explicitly quantifies the number and type of
contingencies for which the U.S. military must prepare, removing a formula the
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have relied on since the end of the Cold War
to justify their force structures and their investment plans, an omission the
independent panel laments.
The Pentagon's 1993 Bottom-Up Review, the first major assessment
of the the U.S. military's needs after the fall of the Berlin Wall, advanced a
requirement to fight and win two major-theater wars nearly simultaneously, a
construct that was incorporated in the 1997, 2001 and 2006
“The 2010 QDR, however, did not endorse any metric for
determining the size and shape of U.S. forces,” states the independent panel's
draft report. Rather, it put diverse, overlapping scenarios, including
long-duration stability operations and the defense of the homeland, on par with
major regional conflicts when assessing the adequacy of U.S.
The current size of U.S. ground forces “is close enough to being
correct,” according to the draft report.
In addition, the panel argues that the Army is
“living off the capital accumulated” during the Reagan administration. “The
useful life of that equipment is running out; and, as a result, the inventory is
old and in need of recapitalization,” states the draft report, which calls for
inventory replacement on a one-for-one basis “with an upward adjustment in the
number of naval vessels and certain air and space assets.”
larger Navy and Air Force, according to the panel, is needed to protect U.S.
interests in the Pacific region.
“The force structure in the Asia-Pacific needs to be increased,”
states the draft report. “The United States must be fully present in the
Asia-Pacific region, to protect American lives and territory, ensure the free
flow of commerce, maintain stability, and defend our allies in the region. A
robust U.S. force structure, one that is largely rooted in maritime strategy and
includes other necessary capabilities, will be essential.”
The panel advances recommendations to reform the
structure and organization of both Congress and the executive branch in order to
improve oversight of national security matters. The panel also advances
suggestions for the Defense and State departments to shore up “institutional
weaknesses of the existing security assistance programs and