Pentagon Strategy Review to Drive Budgets

Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the Pentagon’s Strategic Choices Management Review initiated by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel would conclude and provide recommendations “in the coming weeks and months.” The review will help the Pentagon to put a foundation under the “strategic transition” from the military built to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan to the one called for in order to execute the January 2012 defense strategic guidance in the aftermath of budget sequestration, he said during a May 7 speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Carter said the review is exploring the following areas: roles and missions; war planning; business practices; force structure; personnel and compensation; modernization and procurement; and how the military operates and maintains readiness. Officials conducting the SCMR have made “substantial progress” in framing choices in many of these areas, said Carter. “In other cases, people need to be pushed harder to think more innovatively,” he added, referencing contingencies “at the more extreme range.” The choices presented to Hagel and President Obama will inform the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2015 budget cycle as well as execution of the Fiscal 2014 budget, said Carter. (Carter transcript)