2014 QDR Rejected

As legislated by Congress in the 1997 NDAA, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a study by the United States Department of Defense (DoD that analyzes strategic objectives of- and potential military threats to the US. The Quadrennial Defense Review Report is the main public document describing the United States’ military doctrine, strategies, and capabilities.

For the first time since its inception the QDR report has been rejected. Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA) Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee found that Secretary of Defense, Charles Hagel’s 2014 report to not meet the legal requirements for such documents.

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.

— Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA)
Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

Chairman McKeon’s issues with the 2014 QDR were three-fold: the law requires the QDR to identify resources not included in the Pentagon’s 5 year spending plan yet the report didn’t do so; the 2014 QDR was too shortsighted, looking out only 5 years, instead of the 20 years required by law; and this QDR accepts additional and elevated risks when the law requires the QDR to offer a low-to-moderate risk plan.

Essentially, while the QDR should have been an opportunity for Defense Secretary Charles Hagel to lay out his vision to refine defense strategy and to tell how the Defense Department will adapt the joint force to support that vision, it was instead a political document and, therefor, the House Armed Services Committee rejected it as fundamentally not meeting the legal requirements placed upon this accounting.

Personally, I think this was the right course of action and one that was overdue but not at all surprising in the need for it. As Chairman McKeon has noted, the QDR has become less and less compliant as time goes has gone by. It was past time to fix this issue.

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A Catch-22 SNAFU

Private SNAFUThere is, quite rightfully, a lot of kerfuffle over the Obama Regime’s new military budget which cuts the military to pre-WW2 strength levels. This is a logical and pragmatic fear-based outraged. The world is largely not our friend and a weakened military is not Americans’ ally at all.

On the other hand, this is not the gutting of our defensive strength that it is proclaimed to be. We’re talking about just under a 20& reduction in force over the next 5 years if nothing changes. Hence, the complaint are largely, though by no means entirely, unfounded and spurious.

No, what we have here is the ever-repeating Catch-22 SNAFU. The situation is normal, all fucked up, because it’s normal for circular logic and self-conflicting rules within the civilian political bureaucracy to interfere with the efficient operation of the military. Irrespective of political party affiliation it’s a rarity for any politician to have our nation’s defense as a priority when it comes time for the US Military appropriations budget.

Additionally, reductions in force and realignment of assets is also normal as the priorities and threats shift. As the Obama Regime has: no interest in returning to Iraq; has abandoned Afghanistan; and has no intention of projecting military force to protect or expand American interests abroad, this had to be expected.

It’s really pointless, given the nature of the problem, to argue against these defense cuts on the basis of national security. It, however, is wise to argue against them on the grounds of economics and the horrendous impact they will have upon employment. Financially the proposed cuts by the Obama Regime are historic.  The 2011 defense budget represented 4.7% of America’s GDP; this year’s total will be 2.7%.  In other words US defense spending is set to plummet from $705.6 billion in 2011 to $496 billion, a 30% drop.

So there will be approximately $209 billion less spent upon the military which will in turn mean that defense contractors will be able to earn that much less. This will necessarily cost thousands upon thousands of jobs across the country.

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