Defense

March 18, 2013

General discusses parameters of Quadrennial Defense Review

Work has begun on the Quadrennial Defense Review, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Steven L. Kwast believes the review can help leaders understand the security environment and tailor forces to best operate in a new world.

Kwast heads the Air Force QDR office at the Pentagon and says this is a unique time for the review. He spoke to the Defense Writers Group March 15.

“We’re coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq, we have a new strategic guidance that shifts the balance towards Asia, and we have a global fiscal reality that is unique,” he said. “Those things all come together in a way … that makes this an opportunity to have a significant discussion about strategy for the next 20 years and whether this is one of those inflection points … to adjust that strategy.”

Congress requires the report, and it is due in 2014. Leaders in both the executive and legislative branches of government use the review to assess risks, make budgeting decisions and look at resources.

“Whenever we have uncertainty in budget, whenever we have uncertainty in the strategic environment, there is nothing more important than stepping back and thinking strategically,” Kwast said. “What is that we’re trying to do here, and how can we ensure that we are formed for the purpose that we are created for?”

Kwast said DOD is in a “crazy place” right now in regards to finances and resources. But even with this uncertainty, “as long as we build things that have the attributes – flexibility, adaptability and resilience – then you can fuse and form and swarm your way to fit the problem that emerges.”

The military also can adjust capabilities and capacities for the budget topline. “The real genius of this work … is that we articulate a strategic vision for how we approach the defense of this nation that is consistent regardless of political party and regardless of topline,” he said. “We can adjust and still maintain our core purpose.”

The QDR expresses “the theology” behind defense strategy, Kwast said. “We are still on this journey from a Cold War structure … and shaping it into a structure that has more agility, flexibility and resilience,” he said.

The review seeks to understand the entire battlespace – land, sea, air, space and cyber. All these realms are interconnected and leaders must understand these connections as they approach national security, he said.

The other services are working with the Air Force, Joint Staff and Defense leaders to formulate strategy and capitalize on savings by building a joint force.

“We must be more integrated in a fuller way,” Kwast said. “If we continue clinging to our tribalism in a way that does not provide solutions to the nation, that truly have the efficiencies and agilities that come with the cross-domain capability, then we will be insufficient for the tasks that appear in our future.

“If we do that, then we’re going to fail the nation,” he continued. “We have to do this jointly. There’s no other option.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>