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WASHINGTON— Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee made the following statement upon receipt of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) for 2014.  The QDR is a legally required strategy that the Department of Defense must issue every four years.  The statute mandating the QDR includes a series of  elements the review must include. 

“I appreciate the work that has gone into this QDR. A rigorous analysis and debate that takes place every four years as the review is put together should be immensely valuable to planners and senior commanders.  Unfortunately, the product the process produced this time has more to do with politics than policy and is of little value to decision makers.  For that reason, I will require the Department to re-write and re-submit a compliant report.  In defiance of the law, this QDR provides no insight into what a moderate-to-low risk strategy would be, is clearly budget driven, and is shortsighted.  It allows the President to duck the consequences of the deep defense cuts he has advocated and leaves us all wondering what the true future costs of those cuts will be.  

“No QDR is perfect, but I have been disturbed  that the review has become less compliant as time goes on.  The QDR has legal standards to meet for a reason.  They were designed to guide Congress and the Commander-in-Chief as we make tough choices about resources and security.  The information produced by the review process could be immensely valuable, but is often withheld from those who need to understand it most. In the coming days, I will introduce legislation intended to reverse this trend.  The legislation will require DoD to re-write and re-submit a compliant QDR for FY14, and could be considered on its own or incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act.  In the coming days, I will consider what measures could be added to such legislation to ensure a prompt and compliant re-write.”

What’s wrong with the QDR for 2014:

  • Budget Driven: The FY14 QDR is heavily constrained by low budget levels.  The law requires the QDR to identify resources not included in the Pentagon’s 5 year spending plan. The whole point of the review is to identify the budget needed to address the evolving threat
  • Shortsighted: The FY14 QDR only looks out 5 years, instead of the 20 years required by law.   
  • Assumes Too Much Risk: The law requires the QDR to offer a low-to-      moderate risk plan for our forces and mission.  By Secretary Hagel’s      own admission, this QDR accepts additional risks. 

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