Let’s Get Real

The 2007 defense authorization legislation purports to divorce the Quadrennial Defense Review from monetary considerations, a particular hobby-horse for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who, as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, declaimed often that the QDR has become a “budget-driven exercise.” Per the defense bill, lawmakers want the QDR to “make recommendations that are not constrained to comply with the budget submitted to Congress by the President.” Congress says it wants more than an “overview of global threats and the general strategic orientation” of DOD. It is looking for hard data as to the general number and type of specific military platforms it will take to achieve strategic and warfighting objectives. It also wants the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to go beyond merely pointing out risks presented by the QDR and describe the capabilities the services would need to address such risks. And, Congress now wants an independent assessment.