There is an even greater need for the Quadrennial Defense Review process today than there was when it was instituted in 1993, but it must be reformed, said outgoing House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) on Tuesday. McKeon, who called on the Defense Department to rewrite its most recent review earlier this year, said “the QDR is intended to provide a force-sizing product that describes how the Pentagon will size and shape the military to meet future challenges.” McKeon challenged Michele Flournoy and Eric Edelman, both former under secretaries of defense for policy and members of the National Defense Panel tasked with reviewing the QDR, to “recommend a different force-sizing construct” that more completely considers full force capability. “Because we’re a global power with global interests, we’ve got to be able to deter and if necessary roll back or defeat aggression in multiple other areas at the same time … while maintaining homeland security and critical operations globally like counterterrorism,” Flournoy said. Citing concerns about “uncertainties in northern Africa, the spread of terrorist groups in the trans-Sahel, the uncertainties in the Levant because of ISIL, continued problems in the Persian Gulf with Iran, [and] North Korea,” Edelman said the possibility of a major conflict is likely and the US must address funding issues to ensure the ability to secure all of the nation’s national security interests.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.