Army Vice Chief Gen. Peter Chiarelli said all four services are diligently working together as part of the Pentagon’s overarching strategic review to identify and eliminate redundancies. “The first area I would take a look at is the ISR portfolio,” said Chiarelli during a Thursday meeting with defense reporters in Washington, D.C. “We have some tough questions to ask there,” he added, such as whether each service should have its own intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capabilities or if the Air Force should take ownership of that portfolio. Chiarelli said the services should also look at precision munitions, which are “very expensive.” The review, due for completion by the early fall, stems from President Obama’s directive to shed up to an additional $400 billion in total from the nation’s national security budget by 2023. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the review should weigh the strategic and national security consequences of the proposed resource reductions. (See also Strategic Choices.)
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.