Quadrennial Review Allows DOD to Make 'Vector Changes'
Quadrennial Review Allows DOD
to Make 'Vector Changes'
American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. -- (AFPN) February
3, 2006 -- The Quadrennial Defense Review is a chance for the Defense Department
to make "vector changes" on the transformation of the American military, the
vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Navy Adm. Edmund Giambastiani said the review allows the department to assess
the path it is on and move the emphasis from certain areas and place it on other
more important areas.
"For example, we're worried about disruptive challenges out there "Some would
call them asymmetric threats," Admiral Giambastiani said. “We have to understand
today's environment, and see these irregular challenges. We are trying to shape
the department to be more flexible, adaptive and to think about and position
ourselves to deal with these threats in the future. It's a stock-taking."
The admiral said it is important to understand the review in terms of the
transforming process the military is going through. He said that since 2001 DOD
has been transforming to meet the threats of the 21st century.
"We have tried to embed a culture of constant change, constant innovation (in
the military)," he said.
While the review has always been a chance for the department to take stock, this
year the review comes out in conjunction with the president's 2007 defense
At the heart of the review is what Army Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central
Command, has called "the long war." This is the long struggle against terrorist
These networks "have no compunction about killing civilians, no compunction
against causing collateral damage, because they see this as part of their
extremist ideology," Admiral Giambastiani said. "How this QDR fits into this is
that it recognizes this long-term struggle against these terrorist extremists."
The review is aimed at emphasizing agility, flexibility, speed, responsiveness
and pre-emption, the admiral said.
"We're increasing capability in people, expertise, skill sets and also getting
more equipment," Admiral Giambastiani said.
In addition, the review calls for a force with better language capabilities,
better intelligence-gathering capabilities, better human intelligence "and all
those things needed to pursue a long campaign not operating against state
entities, but terrorist networks," he said.
The Marine Corps has added 2,600 Marines to U.S. Special Operations Command, or
SOCOM. The Army is increasing its number of units assigned to SOCOM and is
adding to the number of special forces units. The Navy is adding its
sea-air-land, or SEAL teams, and the Air Force is adding squadrons to the
command as well.
But conventional forces operational arms also will grow, Admiral Giambastiani
said. This means conventional forces will shift people from combat service and
combat service support jobs into combat jobs, the admiral said. The services
will do this inside their end-strength constraints -- without adding to their
authorized overall manning levels.
The admiral said manning is shifting emphasis "from artillery units to military
police, civil affairs, engineers -- those who can be helpful in this long war,
the more irregular war."
The conventional forces also will perform more special operations jobs, the
admiral said. Conventional forces will train foreign militaries, such as the
Marines have done in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
"In the long war, it's important to assist in creating police forces and armed
forces like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo," he said.
The review looks not only at forces, but also at the business side of the
Pentagon, Admiral Giambastiani said, and includes recommendations about defense
"This looks at how can we produce the best for the least taxpayer dollars -- or
how do we get the biggest bang for the bucks," the admiral said.
The review also stresses the way the services work together, the communications
and intelligence networks that allow the services to be more joint and also
looks at what America's allies bring to the long war, Admiral Giambastiani said.
The admiral said the department is "not going to be shy about asking for or
recommending changes to Congress. They have been receptive in the past."
"It's impossible for any of us to see the future. We can only speculate or use
informed judgments about what is ahead of us," he said. "In an era of
uncertainty and surprise, where we have these very devastating weapons that
could be used anywhere in the world including the United States, you have to
have an ability to defend the homeland."
The review looked at the supporting role the department plays in homeland
"We created U.S. Northern Command for homeland defense," he said. “The command
showed its usefulness in the DOD's response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”
"The ability to have them properly trained and equipped to respond to such
emergencies is a key component in making sure we are a more capable force inside
the United States," Admiral Giambastiani said. "That is a major theme inside the
Quadrennial Defense Review."
The admiral said the bottom line is that the review is a tool for building "a
more useful, more capable military."