From 2005 September

Officials from Washington think tanks agreed Sept. 14 that the Defense Department's ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) should not focus on immediate needs and that allies will be increasingly important over the next two decades, but they disagreed on whether the Air Force's tactical aircraft and the Navy's ships should be sacrificed for newer efforts.

The officials, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee, further told panel members to be creative and use their imaginations in reviewing the QDR, expected next February. A so-called lack of imagination has been blamed, in part, for not foreseeing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or even New Orleans flooding after Hurricane Katrina.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the committee, announced that the panel will undertake its own assessment of long-term threats to U.S. national security. Hunter said the effort is not supposed to be a "little QDR" or to second-guess the Pentagon's report. Nevertheless, Democrats voiced their skepticism of previous QDRs.

"I don't think I will surprise anyone here today when I note that we have been somewhat disappointed with the last several QDRs," said Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), the ranking committee Democrat. "In the past, the QDR has been only marginally useful to us in our oversight role."

Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute, told the committee to be wary of the Pentagon sacrificing "overmatch" capabilities.

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Topics of Interest

NEAR MISS, FOR NOW The U.S. military's leadership is "reasonably satisfied" with the proposed $419.3-billion Fiscal 2006 defense budget because it protects major modernization programs for another...

The Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) will advocate a two-war combat capacity for the U.S. military that depends on several variables such as duration of conflict and partnering...

Around $75 billion worth of U.S. Army and Marine Corps recapitalization and reset needs will hit taxpayers over the next five years, and the Bush administration is failing to account for it in regular...

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