Retired Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy, are among four appointments to the Quadrennial Defense Review’s independent panel the Senate Armed Services Committee announced March 5.
Also named to the panel were retired Air Force Gen. Gregory S. Martin, former commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, former Defense Intelligence Agency director.
As part of a 10?member independent panel of civilian experts, they will provide outside analysis of the Defense Department’s work on the 2014 QDR that will guide U.S. strategic planning and procurement for the next two decades.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will appoint the chairman and vice chairman of the independent panel, and other panel appointees will be made by the chair and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
The QDR is a congressionally mandated review of national defense strategy, force structure, modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plans and other elements of defense policy, conducted every four years. The 2014 QDR will be the fifth since Congress established the requirement in the fiscal year 1997 National Defense Authorization Act.
Congress also required an independent panel to review the department’s work. Panel members will review DOD’s force structure and resource recommendations. Within three months of the QDR’s completion, they will submit an assessment of the QDR to the congressional defense committees.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised Cartwright and Flournoy, his selectees to the panel, for the vast background they will bring to the panel.
“General Cartwright and Michele Flournoy enjoy exceptionally high respect throughout the U.S. and international security policy communities for their life?long experience, deep understanding, and commitment to keeping America strong and safe,” he said. “Their contributions to the independent panel’s assessment of the Defense Department’s strategic review will help ensure that the entire process provides Congress and the nation with the best-possible security analysis and recommendations as we continue to anticipate and adapt to these challenging times.”
Sen. James Inhofe, the Senate committee’s ranking minority member, offered similar praise to Martin and Maples, his panel choices.
“The many years of military service, defense policy experience, and deep understanding of national security issues General Martin and Lieutenant General Maples bring will be invaluable to the panel as it evaluates the department’s review of the strategic environment and makes its recommendations to adapt policies, programs and strategy for the challenges our national defense needs to address in the years ahead,” he said.