|SecDef Speaks on Defense Policy, Budget |
SecDef Speaks on Defense Policy, Budget
By Senior Airman Jennifer Glaser, 15th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.
Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii -- (AFPN) August 3, 2001 -- As the Bush administration reviews the way the United States will conduct future wars, two keys to a strong military continue to take top priority: money and people.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, July 30. Rumfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell were on a return trip to Washington from Asia.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Seyer
"There's no question that the central theme of importance to the armed forces is the people," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a July 30 visit to Hickam. "We simply have to find a way to show people that we have the things to attract and retain them in the service."
He said the recent targeted military pay raise and a series of initiatives are geared toward keeping people in the service.
"The president wants to do several things: one of these is to take steps to improve the circumstance of the men and women in the armed services, " he said. "And as a result, he offered some initiatives when he first arrived in January that involved funds for housing, pay increases and some funds for infrastructure of various types."
Rumsfeld is also overseeing a sweeping review of the way the armed forces operate. Current defense strategy calls for a military capable of waging two wars simultaneously. However, shortages in manpower, airlift capability and other assets has placed a strain on all the services. As a result, defense strategists are looking at different concepts.
"When we think of having to be prepared for two major regional conflicts, and then simultaneously doing all of these other things, it's pretty clear that's asking a lot of the force structure we currently have," he said. "What we're looking at is the ability of the United States of America to engage in a major regional conflict anywhere in the world and prevail on our terms, then simultaneously be capable of repelling an attack somewhere else in the world."
Rumsfeld said he was optimistic about the future of the armed forces and had a great deal of confidence in the people who are a part of that force.
"We have a wonderful group of young men and women who serve, and who do it voluntarily as opposed to the conscript force 20 years ago. They come from all parts of the country, all different backgrounds, and are constantly providing that strength that attributes to peace and stability in the world. I think that's the common thread that will continue to run through the military."
(Courtesy of Pacific Air Forces News Service)