The Department of Defense released their 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) today. Their report demonstrates a missed opportunity to make fundamental changes in their failed U.S. defense strategy. Two of their most egregious errors:
1. The Pentagon ignores the fact that the all-volunteer Army is at its breaking point. The evidence is in a recent report that the Pentagon itself commissioned titled “The Thin Green Line.” Instead of increasing troops or funding for personnel to meet new challenges, however, the Pentagon only adds more responsibilities to an already strained military.
2. The Pentagon fails to make any major cuts to its weapons systems. Most analysts thought weapons cuts were inevitable but the Penatgon actually increased funds for weapons systems by 8%. This means that taxpayer dollars will continue to be poured into inefficient programs at the expense of other important security priorities, such as personnel and homeland defense.
The Center for American Progress has its own Quadrennial Defense Review, entitled Restoring American Military Power. The Center’s review outlines a strategy that gives top priority to our men and women in uniform, the protection of the homeland and the prevention of conflicts. Understanding that we live in a budget-constrained environment, it makes the hard choices about where valuable U.S. resources and funding should be directed in order to reap the largest security gains.
– Caroline Wadhams