Quadrennial Defense Review: Future Reviews Can Benefit from	 
Better Analysis and Changes in Timing and Scope (04-NOV-02,	 
GAO-03-13).							 
                                                                 
Congress mandated that every 4 years the Department of Defense	 
(DOD) conduct a review to examine the national defense strategy  
and its implications for force structure, modernization,	 
infrastructure and the budget. Because the 2001 review, which was
issued on September 30, 2001, will have a significant impact on  
the department's planning and budget, GAO was asked to assess (1)
the strengths and weaknesses of DOD's conduct and reporting of	 
the review, and (2) whether changes in the QDR legislation could 
improve the usefulness of future reviews.			 
-------------------------Indexing Terms------------------------- 
REPORTNUM:   GAO-03-13						        
    ACCNO:   A05465						        
  TITLE:     Quadrennial Defense Review: Future Reviews Can Benefit   
from Better Analysis and Changes in Timing and Scope		 
     DATE:   11/04/2002 
  SUBJECT:   Internal controls					 
	     National defense operations			 
	     Planning programming budgeting			 
	     Reporting requirements				 
	     Schedule slippages 				 
	     Strategic planning 				 
	     DOD Quadrennial Defense Review			 

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GAO-03-13

Report to the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Armed
Services, U. S. Senate

United States General Accounting Office

GAO

November 2002 QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW

Future Reviews Can Benefit from Better Analysis and Changes in Timing and
Scope

GAO- 03- 13

DOD*s 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) was marked by both strengths
and weaknesses. On the positive side, the review was enhanced by the
sustained involvement of the Secretary of Defense and other senior
department leaders. It also led to the development of a new defense
strategy that underscores the need to transform the forces to better meet
the changing threats of a new security environment. On the other hand,
DOD*s decision to delay the start of the review until late spring 2001
constricted an already tight timetable; there was not always a clear link
between the study team assignments and the legislatively required issues;
the thoroughness of the analysis on these required issues varied
considerably; and the assessment of force structure needs had some
significant limitations. As a result, Congress did not receive
comprehensive information on all required issues, and DOD lacks assurances
that it has optimized its force structure and investment priorities to
balance short- term and long- term risks.

Options exist for changing the timing and refocusing the scope of the QDR
to make it more useful to Congress and DOD. To address concerns that a new
administration cannot study all the issues by the September 30 deadline,
especially when there is a major change in the defense strategy, Congress
could (1) delay the report by 4 months until the second February of a
President*s term, (2) delay the due date for 12 to16 months, allowing
significantly more time for analysis, or (3) require the report in two
phases, the first to discuss the defense strategy, and the second* due
during the second year of a 4- year term* to address force structure and
other issues. Each option would also better support DOD*s planning and
budget cycle. In terms of the QDR*s scope, Congress could eliminate issues
that are less relevant in the new security environment or that are
included in other routine DOD analyses. Congress could also reinstitute an
advisory panel to help set the QDR*s agenda.

2001 QDR Conducted under Tight Time Frame

Source: DOD. QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW

Future Reviews Can Benefit from Better Analysis and Changes in Timing and
Scope

www. gao. gov/ cgi- bin/ getrpt? GAO- 03- 13. To view the full report,
including the scope and methodology, click on the link above. For more
information, contact Henry L. Hinton at (202) 512- 4300 or [email protected] gao.
gov. Highlights of GAO- 03- 13, a report to

Senate Committee on Armed Services

November 2002

Congress mandated that every 4 years the Department of Defense (DOD)
conduct a review to examine the national defense strategy and its
implications for force structure, modernization, infrastructure and the
budget. Because the 2001 review, which was issued on September 30, 2001,
will have a significant impact on the department*s planning and budget,
GAO was asked to assess (1) the strengths and weaknesses of DOD*s conduct
and reporting of the review, and (2) whether changes in the QDR
legislation could improve the usefulness of future reviews.

To enhance the usefulness of future reviews, GAO recommends that the
Secretary of Defense clearly assign responsibility for addressing all QDR
legislative requirements and provide Congress with more complete
information on DOD*s force structure analyses and other key conclusions.
GAO is also suggesting that Congress consider (1) extending the QDR
deadline, (2) revising the scope of the issues for DOD to address in the
QDR, and (3) establishing an advisory panel prior to the next review to
identify critical issues and programs for QDR analysis. DOD partially
agreed with our first recommendation but did not take a position on our
second recommendation. DOD supported our suggestion to change the review*s
timing and scope.

Page i GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense Letter 1

Results in Brief 2 Background 4 QDR Process, Analysis, and Reporting Are
Marked by Strengths

and Weaknesses 9 Legislative Options Are Available to Improve Usefulness
of QDR 19 Conclusions 29 Recommendations 30 Matters for Congressional
Consideration 31 Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 31

Appendix I Scope and Methodology 33

Appendix II Quadrennial Defense Review Legislation in Effect as of
September 30, 2001 35

Appendix III QDR Follow- On Studies, Plans, Reviews, and Concept
Development Taskings 38

Appendix IV Comments from the Department of Defense 41

Figures

Figure 1: Organizational Structure for the Development of the 2001 QDR 8
Figure 2: Timeline of Strategic Reviews and 2001 QDR Activities 14 Figure
3: Confirmation Dates of Department of Defense Leadership

in 2001 20 Figure 4: Timing Options for Conducting the 2005 QDR 22
Contents

Page ii GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense Abbreviations

DOD Department of Defense OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense QDR
Quadrennial Defense Review

Page 1 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

November 4, 2002 The Honorable Carl Levin Chairman The Honorable John W.
Warner Ranking Minority Member Committee on Armed Services United States
Senate

To ensure that the country*s defense needs are reviewed periodically,
Congress directed the Department of Defense to conduct comprehensive
Quadrennial Defense Reviews to examine the national defense strategy,
force structure, modernization, infrastructure, and the budget. In
response to this mandate, the department submitted on September 30, 2001,
its second quadrennial report to Congress. 1 This was the first
quadrennial report submitted by the new administration that took office in
January 2001. Moreover, it established a new defense strategy, which
revolves around four critical goals: to assure allies and friends that the
United States is capable of fulfilling its commitments; to dissuade
adversaries from undertaking activities that could threaten U. S. or
allied interests; to deter aggression and coercion; and to decisively
defeat any adversary if deterrence fails. Moreover, the review shifted the
basis of defense planning from the long- standing *threat- based* model,
which focuses on specific adversaries and geographic locations (e. g.,
two- major- theater- war scenario), to a *capabilities- based* construct
that emphasizes the need to prepare for a range of potential military
operations against unknown enemies. The report concluded that the current
force structure generally can implement the new defense strategy goals
with moderate operational risk, 2 although the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff cautioned that additional war- fighting analyses are
needed to confirm this initial assessment.

Because the 2001 review will have a significant impact on the department*s
defense planning and budgetary decisions over the next several years, you
asked us to evaluate the review and the process that the Department of
Defense used to conduct it. In this report, we assess (1) the strengths
and

1 The first Quadrennial Defense Review was submitted to Congress in May
1997. 2 The Department of Defense defines operational risk as the ability
to achieve military objectives in a near- term conflict or other
contingency.

United States General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548

Page 2 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

weaknesses of the department*s conduct and reporting of the 2001 review,
and (2) the legislative options that are available to Congress to improve
the usefulness of future quadrennial reviews. In addition to this report,
we plan to issue a separate classified report that discusses the
thoroughness of the department*s analysis of force structure alternatives
to determine the one best suited to carry out the new defense strategy.

To evaluate the conduct and reporting of the 2001 Quadrennial Defense
Review, we documented and analyzed the department*s timetable and
management structure for conducting the review, compared the department*s
guidance for the review with the legislative reporting requirements, and
assessed the thoroughness of key analyses, such as the department*s
examination of force structure requirements. Although the department
provided us with access to analyses completed between June and September
2001, the period of time that the department defines as comprising its
quadrennial review, department officials did not provide us with access to
documentation on preparatory activities and analyses that occurred prior
to June 2001. As a result, we were not able to fully assess the
department*s efforts to prepare for the review or the extent to which
analyses conducted during this time frame may have influenced the review*s
key conclusions. To examine legislative options that might enhance the
usefulness of future reviews, we identified potential options from our
analyses of the 1997 and 2001 quadrennial defense reviews and obtained the
views of defense department civilian leaders, military leaders, and
nongovernment defense analysts who played a key role in the 2001
quadrennial review or in prior defense strategy reviews. The scope and
methodology we used in our review are described in further detail in
appendix I.

The Department of Defense*s 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review was marked by
both strengths and weaknesses. On the positive side, the review was
enhanced by the sustained involvement of the Secretary of Defense and
other senior department officials who provided top- down leadership for
the process. In addition, it led to the adoption of a new defense strategy
that underscores the need to transform the force to meet future military
threats and adopt more efficient business practices. However, several
weaknesses in the department*s process, analysis, and reporting limited
the review*s overall usefulness as a means for fundamentally reassessing
U. S. defense plans and programs. Specifically, the Secretary of Defense*s
decision to delay the review*s start until late spring 2001, when the
department completed a series of strategic reviews led by outside defense
experts, imposed additional time constraints on the Results in Brief

Page 3 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

quadrennial review*s already tight schedule. In addition, because the
study*s principal guidance document was designed to emphasize the
Secretary*s priorities, there was not always a clear link between the
specific reporting requirements in the legislation and the issues assigned
to study teams for analysis. Moreover, the thoroughness of the
department*s analysis and reporting on issues mandated by legislation
varied considerably, and some significant issues, such as the role of the
reserves, were deferred to follow- on studies. Finally, the department*s
assessment of force structure requirements had some significant
limitations* such as its lack of focus on longer- term threats and
requirements for critical support capabilities* and the department*s
report provided little information on some required issues, such as the
specific assumptions used in the analysis. As a result of these
shortcomings, Congress did not receive comprehensive information on all of
the legislatively mandated issues, the department lacks assurance that it
has optimized its force structure to balance short- and long- term risks,
and the review resulted in few specific decisions on how existing military
forces and weapons modernization programs may need to be changed in
response to emerging threats.

Several options exist for changing the timing and refocusing the scope of
the quadrennial defense review to improve its usefulness both to the
Department of Defense and Congress. These options would address concerns
identified by department officials, defense analysts, and our analysis
that the current deadline* September 30* does not provide a new
administration with adequate time to analyze a range of complex defense
issues (particularly when it is considering making significant changes to
the nation*s defense strategy) and integrate the review*s findings with
the department*s planning and budgeting process. Each option, however,
could have some positive as well as negative effects. One option is to
extend the review*s deadline by 4 months, from September 30 to early
February; while this option would allow the review to coincide with an
administration*s first budget submission, it would only provide a few more
months for analysis. A second option is to extend the deadline by 12 to 16
months; this would allow considerably more time for analysis, but it would
delay the impact of the quadrennial review until an administration*s
second full budget cycle. A third option is to divide the review into two
phases, with an initial report on broad security and strategy issues due
on September 30 and a final report on the remaining issues, including
force structure, to be submitted the following year. Several options also
exist to respond to concerns that the legislative requirements are
currently too numerous and detailed and should be better focused on a few
high- priority issues. Many defense officials believe that some
requirements, such as the

Page 4 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

one to examine the extent to which military forces would need to be
shifted from one theater of operations to another, are no longer as
relevant given the defense strategy*s decreased emphasis on planning for
twomajor theater wars. In addition, some legislative requirements that ask
DOD to address important issues such as mobility needs and the alignment
of military commands may not have to be included in future quadrennial
reviews because they require significant time for analysis and DOD has
separate processes to review these issues. Finally, most department
officials and defense analysts we spoke to believe that a congressionally
mandated advisory panel of outside defense experts should precede the next
quadrennial defense review to identify the key issues and alternatives
that the department needs to examine as part of its review.

To enhance the usefulness of future quadrennial defense reviews, we are
recommending that the Secretary of Defense clearly assign responsibility
for addressing all legislative requirements and provide Congress with more
complete information on the department*s analyses to meet the legislative
reporting requirements, particularly its examination of force structure
requirements. In addition, Congress may wish to consider extending the
time frame for the review, reassessing the legislative requirements and
focusing them on a clear set of high- priority issues, and establishing an
advisory panel to identify the critical issues the next review should
address. In its written comments to our report, the Department of Defense
partially agreed with our first recommendation and noted that the clear
assignment of responsibilities is important to the success of the review.
The department did not take a position on our second recommendation but
noted that it had provided Congress information on the Quadrennial Defense
Review decisions and the basis for them. The department also stated that
it supports, and has proposed, changes in the timing of future reviews.
See the *Agency Comments and Our Evaluation* section for our detailed
response to DOD*s comments.

The idea of a comprehensive quadrennial review by the Department of
Defense (DOD) of the country*s defense strategy and force structure was
initially proposed in May 1995 by the Commission on Roles and Missions of
the Armed Forces. In August 1995, the Secretary of Defense endorsed the
idea, and the following year Congress mandated that DOD conduct the 1997
Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). 3 Congress also authorized

3 P. L. 104- 201 S: 923. Background

Page 5 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

establishing a National Defense Panel, composed of national security
experts from the private sector, to review the results of the QDR and
conduct a subsequent study to identify and assess force structure
alternatives. After DOD completed its first QDR in May 1997, the National
Defense Panel concluded that (1) DOD had focused its resources on the
unlikely contingency that two major theater wars would occur at the same
time, and (2) DOD should begin vigorously transforming the military so
that it would be capable, for example, of quickly moving to and conducting
military operations in overseas locations that may lack permanent U. S.
bases.

Our review of the 1997 QDR highlighted several opportunities for improving
subsequent reviews. 4 Specifically, we noted that the 1997 QDR, although
broader in scope and more rigorous in some aspects than prior reviews of
defense requirements, did not examine enough alternatives to the current
force and that DOD*s modernization assessment did not reflect an
integrated, mission- focused approach. We also recommended that DOD take a
number of steps, such as considering the need for changing the structure
and timing of the QDR process, to prepare for the next review.

With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2000 in 1999, Congress created a permanent requirement for DOD to conduct
a QDR every 4 years and specified that the next report was due no later
than September 30, 2001. 5 According to this legislation, DOD is to
conduct a comprehensive examination of the national defense strategy,
force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plan,
and other elements of the country*s defense program and policies with a
view toward determining and expressing the nation*s defense strategy and
establishing a defense program for the next 20 years. (See app. II for the
text of the legislation governing the 2001 QDR.) The legislation also
identifies 13 specific issues that DOD is to address, such as the extent
to which resources would have to be shifted among two or more geographic
regions in the event of conflict in these regions and the effect on force
structure of new technologies anticipated to be available in the next 20
years. Moreover, it allows the Secretary of Defense to review any other

4 U. S. General Accounting Office, Quadrennial Defense Review:
Opportunities to Improve the Next Review, GAO/ NSIAD- 98- 155 (Washington,
D. C.: June 25, 1998). 5 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2000, P. L 106- 65 S: 901, 113 Stat. 512, 715 (1999) (codified at 10
U. S. C. S: 118 (2001). Purpose of QDR

Page 6 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

issues he considers appropriate. Finally, it directs the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff to review the QDR report and include an assessment
of the risk associated with implementing the defense strategy.

The QDR is a key component of national security planning. Other
legislation requires the President to submit to Congress a national
security strategy along with budgets for each fiscal year. 6 (The current
administration issued its National Security Strategy on Sept. 17, 2002.)
The national security strategy is intended in part to (1) identify U. S.
interests, goals and objectives vital to U. S. national security and
achieving security, and (2) explain how the United States uses its
political, economic, military, and other elements of the national power of
the United States to protect or promote the interests and achieve the
goals and objectives as identified above. The QDR, in turn, is intended to
outline a national defense strategy that supports the national security
strategy.

Some preliminary planning for the 2001 QDR began in February 2000 when the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff organized eight panels within the
Joint Staff to conduct preparatory work for the review. Although the
Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has the lead role in conducting
the QDR, the Joint Staff plays a supporting role in the process and has
primary responsibility for leading the analytical work to support the
Chairman*s risk assessment. Each Joint Staff panel was assigned to address
specific topics, such as strategy and operational risk assessment,
modernization, and readiness. At the same time, the military services set
up separate QDR offices, which were composed of panels that paralleled
those of the Joint Staff, and assigned representatives to the Joint Staff
panels. These panels continued to operate throughout 2000, but they were
put on hold in early 2001 when the newly confirmed Secretary of Defense
decided to undertake a series of strategic reviews led by defense experts
from the private sector. The strategic reviews covered a wide spectrum of
subjects, including missile defense, conventional forces, and
transformation, and, according to DOD officials, were designed to
stimulate the Secretary*s thinking about the critical issues that faced
the department. However, these reviews were not completed as part of the

6 50 U. S. C. S: 404a (a) also requires a new President to submit a
national security report no later than 150 days after assuming office.
This report is in addition to the report submitted by the outgoing
administration for that year. 2001 QDR Process

Page 7 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

QDR, according to OSD officials. The strategic reviews culminated in a
series of briefings to the Secretary of Defense in the spring of 2001.

OSD began its work on the QDR in May 2001 when it established a structure
and process for the review. It set up seven integrated project teams to
undertake the analysis for various issues such as strategy and force
planning; personnel and readiness; infrastructure; and space, information,
and intelligence. 7 These study teams were generally led by OSD staff and
included service and other DOD analysts. On June 22, the Secretary of
Defense approved the Terms of Reference, which outlined the policy
guidance and specific tasks that the study teams were to follow during the
review. The study teams were to undertake initial analyses in their
subject areas and develop options and alternatives for the executive
working group to consider. The executive working group was led by a
special assistant to the Secretary of Defense and included the head of
each of the study teams. The executive working group was responsible for
ensuring that the teams coordinated their work and for determining what
information each study team would provide to the senior- level review
group, which consisted of the Secretary of Defense, the services
secretaries, the Joint Chiefs, the under secretaries of defense, and the
special assistant to the secretary. According to OSD officials, the senior
level review group issued guidance to the study teams and made all
decisions that were included in the QDR report. Figure 1 shows the
structure that OSD established to conduct the QDR.

7 We refer to the integrated project teams as study teams throughout this
report.

Page 8 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Figure 1: Organizational Structure for the Development of the 2001 QDR

Source: DOD.

The Secretary of Defense issued the QDR report on September 30, 2001, as
required by law, despite the September 11 attacks on New York City and the
Pentagon. At the time of the attacks, OSD officials had developed a draft
of the report. Although final preparation and approval of the report were
made more difficult by the immediate issues confronting senior OSD
officials and the physical condition of the Pentagon following the
attacks, OSD officials obtained and responded to comments from numerous
DOD offices during September and issued the report as planned. According
to OSD officials, although the draft report was modified to include
references to the attacks and noted the need for more study of the
implications of the attacks on future DOD requirements, the initial draft
recognized the need for more attention to homeland defense.

Page 9 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

DOD*s 2001 QDR had several strengths; however, its usefulness in
stimulating a fundamental reexamination of U. S. defense plans and
programs was limited by some significant weaknesses in its process,
analysis, and reporting. The review benefited from the sustained
involvement of the Secretary of Defense and other senior officials who
provided critical management direction and oversight. It also led to the
adoption of a new defense strategy that extends defense planning beyond a
two- major- theater- war scenario and underscores the need to transform
the services* military capabilities and business processes to meet future
threats and to use defense resources more efficiently. However, the
Secretary of Defense*s decision to delay the start of the QDR until late
spring 2001, when DOD had largely completed a series of strategic studies
led by outside experts, further compressed an already tight schedule. In
addition, the QDR*s terms of reference did not clearly assign
responsibility to project teams for studying some issues that were
specified in the legislative mandate, and the thoroughness and reporting
on study issues mandated by the legislation varied significantly.
Moreover, DOD did not provide Congress with detailed information on its
force structure analysis, such as the key assumptions used, because much
of this information is classified and DOD chose not to report any
classified information. As a result, although the review established a
vision for change in the department, the 2001 QDR did not result in many
decisions on how DOD*s force structure, acquisition programs, and
infrastructure should be adjusted and realigned to implement this vision.
Moreover, Congress did not receive comprehensive information to help them
assess the basis for DOD*s conclusions or the need for changes in DOD*s
programs.

One of the strengths of the 2001 QDR was the sustained involvement of the
Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and other DOD
senior leaders who provided the direction and oversight that the QDR
process needed to initiate the development of a new defense strategy.
According to current management studies, such top- level leadership is
crucial for engineering major changes in an organization. Top leaders
establish the framework for change and provide guidance and direction to
others to achieve that change. According to this research, senior
leadership involvement is needed because middle managers often are
reluctant to promote and foster new ideas and concepts through fear of
reducing their opportunities for advancement. As such, best practices
clearly indicate that top- level management involvement is needed to
effect major institutional changes. QDR Process,

Analysis, and Reporting Are Marked by Strengths and Weaknesses

Senior Leadership Provided Direction and Oversight to QDR

Page 10 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

In assessing past defense reviews, defense analysts have also noted the
need for more guidance and involvement by senior leaders in facilitating
change within DOD. For example, an assessment of the lessons learned from
the 1997 QDR by the Rand Corporation cited the absence of OSD leadership,
control, and integration of the study groups as contributing to the lack
of fundamental changes proposed in DOD*s force structure, infrastructure,
and modernization programs. 8 Moreover, the report of the U. S. Commission
on National Security in the 21st Century noted that strategic planning in
the department suffers because senior defense leadership has spent a
disproportionate amount of time on budgeting rather than on strategic
planning. To address this concern, the commission recommended that the
Secretary of Defense develop defense policy and planning guidance that
defines specific goals and establishes relative priorities. This guidance
would provide the basis for defining the national military strategy and
conducting the QDR and for supporting other DOD planning efforts.

According to OSD and service officials, the Secretary of Defense, other
key OSD officials, and senior military leaders from each of the services
actively participated in planning and implementing the 2001 QDR. DOD
officials characterized the process as a top- down effort where the
leadership provided direction and the staff responded to the priorities
the leadership established. According to one service official, the
Secretary of Defense and the service chiefs attended a 5- day meeting to
discuss issues related to threats, capabilities, and force structure.
These discussions ultimately culminated in the Terms of Reference, which
provided guidance on what issues should be assigned high priority during
the QDR, how the process would be structured, and what issues the study
teams would tackle. Each of the study teams also presented one or more
briefings on their analyses and options between June and August 2001 to
the Secretary of Defense and other members of the senior- level review
group. Moreover, according to service officials and the OSD official who
had primary responsibility for drafting the QDR report, the Secretary was
directly involved in reviewing and revising drafts of the QDR report. One
highranking OSD official stated that he had not seen as much interaction
among the senior leadership in any of the three prior defense planning
studies he had participated in. The broad consensus of officials we spoke

8 Schrader, John, Roger Allen Brown, and Leslie Lewis, Managing
Quadrennial Defense Review Integration: An Overview (Rand Corporation,
2001).

Page 11 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

with across DOD is that the QDR report represents the Secretary*s thinking
and vision.

DOD and other defense analysts we met with generally agree that the 2001
QDR successfully laid out a new defense strategy* a broad framework that
can guide planning for a range of military operations and that places less
emphasis on planning for specific military scenarios, such as two major
theater wars. As noted earlier, the strategy is focused on four key
tenets: (1) assuring allies and friends that the United States is capable
of meeting its commitments; (2) dissuading adversaries from undertaking
activities that could threaten U. S. or allied interests; (3) deterring
aggression or coercion; and (4) decisively defeating any adversary if
deterrence fails. In addition to adopting a new strategy, the QDR
concluded that force structure planning should be based on a
capabilitiesbased approach that focuses more on how a range of potential
enemies might fight rather than on defining who the adversary might be and
where a war might occur.

During the last few years, a number of military commissions and panels
have concluded that DOD needed to shift its defense planning paradigm* and
restructure its military forces* to meet the changing threats of a new
security environment. Beginning in the mid- 1990s and including the report
of the 2000 U. S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century,
military analysts have called for the replacement of the two- major-
theaterwar model with a broader and more flexible model to serve as the
basis for force planning. The commission noted that DOD*s dependency on
the two- war model has failed to produce the capabilities that the
military needs to confront the various and complex military contingencies
that occur today and are likely to increase in the years ahead. DOD
officials and outside defense analysts we spoke to see DOD*s adoption of a
new strategy and a *capabilities- based* approach to force planning as
significant steps that should better enable defense planning to focus on
future, rather than near- term, threats.

The QDR report also identifies a number of steps that DOD must take to
advance military transformation to achieve the objectives of the defense
strategy, which can range from exploiting new approaches and operational
concepts to a fundamental change in the way war is waged. The QDR report
concluded that the needed transformation of the armed forces can be
achieved by exploiting new approaches, technologies, and new organization.
It also unveiled six critical goals that will provide the focus for DOD*s
transformation efforts. For example, three of the goals are to (1) QDR
Sets Framework for

New Defense Strategy and Emphasis on Military Transformation

Page 12 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

protect critical bases of operations; (2) project U. S. forces in distant
locations against enemies who seek to deny the U. S. access; and (3)
enhance the capabilities and survivability of space systems. To support
the transformation effort, DOD*s senior leadership agreed to establish a
new transformation office reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense
and develop transformation roadmaps for the services and defense agencies.
To improve the services* ability to operate together in situations that
require a rapid response, the Secretary directed the department to develop
a prototype for a Standing Joint Task Force Headquarters* a headquarters
with representatives from each of the services and other DOD organizations
to provide uniform standard operating procedures, tactics, and techniques.

The QDR also recognizes that DOD has lacked an overarching strategy to
improve its business practices to free up resources to support
transformation efforts. Although the QDR legislation does not specifically
require DOD to report on its business practices, the 2001 QDR report
outlines the Secretary of Defense*s vision for making DOD more efficient
by reforming its financial systems, reducing the size of headquarters
staffs, and consolidating DOD*s facilities and supply chain. Although the
report does not include many specific decisions on how these goals will be
accomplished, it highlights them as issues that are important to the
Secretary and identifies several specific councils, boards, and follow- on
studies to develop plans in these areas.

The Secretary of Defense*s decision in early 2001 to delay the start of
the QDR until late spring 2001, following a series of strategic reviews by
military experts in the private sector, compressed the already- tight time
frame available to conduct the QDR. As a result, many QDR study teams had
little time available to conduct original analysis of issues required by
the QDR legislation. Instead, they relied heavily on previous analytical
work that was often based on the former defense strategy or had only
enough time to identify significant issues requiring further analysis.

The QDR timetable is short under normal circumstances: the report is due
to Congress no later than September 30 of the first year of an
administration. Anticipating these time constraints for the 2001 QDR, the
Joint Staff and the services began informal preparations (without
direction from OSD) nearly 1 year ahead of time by establishing panels or
offices to study a number of issues, such as defining the force needed to
meet the defense strategy, and developing core themes to study, such as
the mismatch between the defense strategy and force structure. According
to Decision to Delay Start of

QDR Further Compressed Time Available for QDR Analysis

Page 13 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

service and DOD officials, these efforts slowed down considerably or
stopped completely early in 2001 at OSD*s direction when the newly
confirmed Secretary of Defense initiated a series of outside strategic
reviews. Service and Joint Staff officials told us that they had only
limited involvement in the strategic reviews. Some service officials also
said that at the time they were unclear if the strategic reviews were part
of the QDR process.

Led by military experts from outside DOD, the strategic reviews addressed
a wide spectrum of topics, including missile defense, conventional forces,
and transformation. According to DOD officials, these outside reviews
resulted in numerous briefings to the Secretary of Defense during the
spring of 2001 and were designed to stimulate the Secretary*s thinking
about the major issues that the department faced. Moreover, some OSD
officials informed us that the results of the strategic reviews were
considered by some of the QDR study teams. However, we could not assess
the extent to which they were used during the QDR process because OSD
officials consider the strategic reviews to be separate from the QDR, and
they did not provide us with access to briefings and other documents that
the strategic review teams produced.

Rather than conducting the QDR concurrent with the strategic reviews (or
making the strategic reviews an official part of the QDR process), OSD
waited until May 2001 to establish the organizational structure and
process for the QDR. Also, OSD did not finalize and issue the terms of
reference until June 22. (See fig. 2 for a detailed timeline of the
strategic reviews and QDR process.) After the terms of reference were
issued, most study teams had only until mid- July at the latest to study
issues, identify options, and develop briefings for the executive working
group and senior- level review group. In some cases, study teams were
required to begin briefing DOD management before their specific taskings
had been finalized. For example, the strategy and force planning team was
required to provide an interim briefing on June 12 even though the terms
of reference detailing its responsibilities were not finalized until June
22. Although all of the teams were supposed to submit their final results
to senior leadership by July 11, at least one provided briefings after
this date.

Page 14 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Figure 2: Timeline of Strategic Reviews and 2001 QDR Activities

Source: DOD.

According to several study team officials who met with us, some teams had
insufficient time to conduct comprehensive analyses of some issues
specified in the QDR legislation. They pointed out that the limited time
available was particularly difficult because the new defense strategy
required new analyses. To meet their deadlines, some study teams relied on
previous work or reached conclusions based on informed opinion rather than
on detailed analysis. For example, the infrastructure team was tasked with
finding the most efficient way to align infrastructure with force and
mission requirements, work that was heavily dependent on the findings of
the force structure team. However, the force structure team performed its
work concurrently with the infrastructure team. Although the
infrastructure team developed a plan called Installations 2020 to guide
the transformation of DOD*s infrastructure, it is limited in part because
the team did not receive any information from the force structure team on
how force structure is likely to change in the future due to changes in
the threat and technologies. Moreover, infrastructure team officials said
that they would have required more time (at least 6 months) to conduct
indepth analysis even if it had had data on likely force structure
changes. Instead, the infrastructure team relied on earlier analytical
work that had a

Page 15 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

short- term focus and was based on the previous defense strategy and
current force structure. The team concluded that installations should
prepare and implement 20- year strategic plans and that these plans must
support changing force structures and new mission requirements.

Our analysis of the terms of reference that DOD provided to study teams
demonstrates that there was not always a clear link between the specific
reporting requirements in the QDR legislation and the issues that the
teams were directed to study. According to OSD officials, this discrepancy
stems from the Secretary of Defense*s decision to place more emphasis on
some requirements and less on others within the context of a tight QDR
timetable.

The QDR legislation requires DOD to address several broad policy issues,
including delineating the national defense strategy; defining the force,
infrastructure, and budget needed to carry out the strategy; and assessing
the magnitude of risk associated with carrying out the missions expressed
in the strategy. The legislation also identifies 13 specific issues that
need to be addressed, such as the forward presence necessary under the
national defense strategy and the strategic and tactical airlift, sealift,
and ground transportation capabilities required to support the strategy.

Although OSD and service officials agreed that it would have been
reasonable to expect the department to ensure that all of the specific
legislative requirements were assigned to a study team, OSD officials
stated that, in developing the guidance, they followed the Secretary*s
desire to place more emphasis on some issues and less on others, given the
limited time frame. According to OSD officials, the Secretary*s priorities
were to: (1) define the security environment, (2) present the defense
strategy, and (3) discuss the capabilities required to meet the strategy.

As a result, several critical issues were among the requirements that were
not specifically tasked to a study team. For example, DOD is required to
examine the manpower and sustainment policies needed under the national
defense strategy to support any engagements in conflicts lasting longer
than 120 days. However, the only assignment related to manpower in the
guidance directs the personnel and readiness team to develop policy
alternatives for strengthening the recruitment and retention of military
and civilian personnel, with attention to such issues as career paths and
mandatory retirement extensions. The legislation also requires that the
QDR assess the advisability of changes to the Unified Command Plan and
Study Guidance Did Not

Clearly Assign Responsibilities for Addressing All Elements of the
Legislative Mandate

Page 16 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

the effect that participation in operations other than war and smaller-
scale contingencies will have on readiness for high- intensity combat.
However, the study guidance did not task any of the study groups with
addressing these issues.

The quadrennial review legislation also requires DOD to identify a budget
plan to successfully execute the full range of missions called for in the
defense strategy at a low to moderate level of operational risk, and to
identify any resources beyond those programmed in the current years*
defense program to achieve such a level of operational risk. Although some
study teams were tasked with addressing budget issues in their limited
area of research, we did not find any requirement for a team to address
this issue from a departmentwide perspective.

The thoroughness of DOD*s analysis and reporting on the issues it was
required to address as part of the QDR varied considerably. Overall, DOD
undertook substantial analysis and reporting on the security environment
and defense strategy, but it conducted limited analysis and reporting on
several other issues required by the legislation. In addition, DOD*s
analysis and reporting on force structure* an essential component of the
review* was marked by several limitations, such as its near- term focus.
As a result, while the QDR report provides broad direction in many areas,
its limited analysis of some issues meant that DOD did not obtain
sufficient information to make many specific decisions on the need for
changes to existing modernization, infrastructure, and force structure
plans.

As noted earlier, many DOD officials and analysts we spoke with cited the
QDR*s emphasis on assessing the future security environment and evaluating
alternative defense strategies as examples of sound, wellfocused analysis.
According to OSD officials, OSD*s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Strategy drew on a wide variety of sources, from the
strategic reviews to intelligence reports, to develop an initial paper
discussing these issues. The Secretary then held meetings with his top
military and civilian staff to discuss and decide on a defense strategy.
As such, the QDR report includes considerable discussion about broad
geopolitical trends, regional security developments, the increased number
of weak and failing states, and the diffusion of power to nongovernment
actors such as terrorist groups. Moreover, this discussion sets the stage
for the QDR*s conclusion that a broader defense strategy is needed to
focus on threats from other than traditional regional powers. Thoroughness
of QDR

Analysis and Reporting on Key Issues Varied Considerably

Page 17 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

In contrast, DOD*s analysis and reporting on some legislatively mandated
issues, such as the role of the reserves, the need for changes in the
defense agencies, and the Unified Command Plan, were limited. The QDR
report identifies over 30 issues that will be the focus of follow- on
studies. (See app. III for a listing of all QDR follow- on studies.)
Although not all of these studies correlate directly to specific
legislative requirements, a number of them do. For example, the
legislation asks DOD to examine the role and missions of the reserve
forces in the national defense strategy and identify what resources they
need to discharge those duties. However, OSD officials decided to defer
the study of this issue due to its complexity and the limited time
available, effectively limiting the amount of information on this topic in
the report. The QDR report notes that DOD will undertake a comprehensive
review of the active and reserve mix, organization, priority missions, and
associated resources at a later time. According to a November 27, 2001,
memo, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed OSD, with support from the
Joint Staff and the services, to conduct this review. OSD officials
informed us in late August 2002 that the results of this review and other
follow- on studies will be communicated to Congress in a variety of ways,
including the administration*s next budget submission, once they are
completed.

Likewise, there was limited discussion in the QDR report on the
appropriate number and size of defense agencies 9 needed to support combat
operations, because the infrastructure study team did not have time to
conduct a detailed analysis. The report indicated that DOD would begin a
review of the defense agencies to improve their business practices, and,
in a November 2001 memo, it instructed the defense agencies to develop
transformation roadmaps for the Secretary of Defense*s review that
outlined their planned contributions toward helping DOD meet its critical
operational goals. In addition, while the study teams did address the need
for changes in overseas presence, neither they nor the QDR report
specifically addressed changes to the Unified Command Plan. However, DOD
subsequently announced changes to the Unified Command Plan that took
effect on October 1, 2002. These include establishing the U. S. Northern
Command to defend the United States and to support military assistance to
civil authorities and focusing the efforts of the U. S. Joint Forces
Command toward transforming the U. S. military.

9 The term *defense agencies* refers to 15 diverse organizations,
including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense
Commissary Agency, and the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Page 18 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

In addition, DOD*s analysis and reporting on force structure issues had
several limitations. The QDR legislation asks DOD to define the size and
composition of the force that it needs to successfully execute the full
range of missions called for in the national defense strategy. It also
specifically asks DOD to identify *the force structure best suited to
implement that strategy at a low- to- moderate level of risk.* However,
the force analysis had a near- term focus that provided few insights into
how future threats and planned technological advances in U. S.
capabilities may affect future force structure requirements. Moreover, in
assessing the numbers and types of forces required to achieve U. S.
objectives in the specific scenarios examined, DOD relied primarily on
existing military war plans and military judgment; it used analytical
tools such as computer modeling and simulation only to a limited extent.
Such tools can provide a significant amount of additional data and
insights to help decision makers assess operational risk and evaluate
force structure requirements for a range of scenarios and time frames.
Additionally, the analysis only examined requirements for major combat
forces and did not address the types of critical support forces that the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff identified as presenting the highest
risk in carrying out the new strategy. As a result, DOD currently lacks
assurance that it has optimized its force to effectively balance short-
term and long- term risks. 10 DOD officials cited the lack of time as the
primary reason its analysis was not more comprehensive and detailed.
However, some officials also pointed to the inherent difficulty of
examining future force structure requirements given uncertainties in
future threats.

The QDR report also provided little explanation of how DOD reached its
conclusion that the current force structure is generally capable of
executing the defense strategy at moderate operational risk, and it
contained little information on the specific assumptions that DOD made
concerning warning time and the intensity and duration of conflicts
examined, although these are specific items that the report is intended to
address. A DOD official stated that it did not provide a more complete
explanation of the analysis done and key assumptions used because it would
have required discussing classified information. However, DOD

10 DOD*s 2001 QDR report identifies a risk management framework for
balancing short- and long- term risks that includes four components: (1)
force management risk (the ability to recruit, train, and equip sufficient
numbers of personnel), (2) operational risk (the ability to achieve
military objectives in a near- term conflict or contingency), (3) future
challenges risk (the ability to invest in new capabilities needed to
defeat longer- term challenges), and (4) institutional risk (the ability
to develop efficient and effective management practices).

Page 19 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

could have chosen to provide Congress with information on some legislative
requirements in a classified format, in addition to issuing an overall
unclassified report. By not providing this information, DOD limited
Congress*s ability to assess the reasonableness of DOD*s assumptions and
better understand the methodology used to arrive at key conclusions
regarding force structure.

A number of legislative options are available for improving the QDR*s
usefulness to both DOD and Congress. These options would ameliorate some
of the concerns that we and many defense experts have expressed as a
result of examining DOD*s process and analysis for the 2001 QDR and prior
defense reviews* namely, that the QDR is required too soon after a new
administration assumes office, that its timetable does not coincide with
DOD*s planning and budget process, and that its scope is not adequately
focused on high- priority issues. Several options exist for extending the
QDR deadline to provide DOD with more time to conduct the comprehensive
analysis required to reassess force structure, infrastructure, and
acquisition decisions and better link the QDR to DOD*s budget and planning
process. Moreover, DOD officials and defense experts we spoke to agree
that options exist to better focus the legislative requirements on
critical issues required for congressional oversight and internal DOD
planning. Specifically, this could be accomplished by eliminating issues
that have become less relevant given the changing security environment or
that may not be needed as part of the QDR because DOD has other studies in
place to periodically review them. Finally, a congressionally mandated
advisory panel could be convened prior to the next QDR to help identify
the critical issues and alternatives that DOD should examine in its
review.

One of the main concerns with the QDR process has been its short time
frame (approximately Feb. to Sept.). In our report on the 1997 QDR, we
noted that the 6- month time period available for the QDR was extremely
tight, given the complex nature and large number of issues, even for
second- term administrations that may have relatively little turnover
among DOD*s senior personnel. We found that the short time frame was a key
factor in limiting the thoroughness of DOD*s analyses. We also noted that
the conduct of the 2001 QDR could be further complicated because it would
take place just after a new administration assumed office and at the same
time that DOD was experiencing a large turnover in senior officials. For
example, during the first 5 months of President Clinton*s first
Legislative Options

Are Available to Improve Usefulness of QDR

Changing QDR Deadline Would Give DOD More Time to Examine Complex Issues

Page 20 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

administration, the Secretary of Defense had less than half of his top
managers in place.

These concerns again materialized during the 2001 QDR when, except for the
Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Defense had no top
management officials in place until May 1, 2001, when the Comptroller was
confirmed. (See fig. 3.) Many senior officials were not confirmed until
sometime during the May to August time frame.

Figure 3: Confirmation Dates of Department of Defense Leadership in 2001

Source: DOD.

DOD officials informed us that they found it extremely difficult to
conduct the type of work the legislation required without these officials
in place. Moreover, several DOD officials noted that conducting thorough
analyses within the current time frame is a major challenge when an
administration makes significant changes in the defense strategy and can
no longer rely on prior department analyses. The Secretary reiterated
these concerns about the challenges posed by the QDR- reporting deadline
in news conferences. A few defense analysts we spoke to did not agree that
the difficulty in getting appointees confirmed is a justification in and
of itself to change the date of the QDR. One official noted, for example,
that unconfirmed appointees could advise and consult with the Secretary.
Moreover, we noted that one OSD official who played a key role in the
review, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, had

Page 21 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

worked on the 1997 QDR and the service chiefs and many of the members of
QDR study teams were comprised of military officers and civil servants
whose tenure is not affected by the change in administrations.
Nevertheless, defense analysts who have studied the QDR process generally
agreed that the timing is not practical from other standpoints. For
example, two defense researchers concluded that the tight timetable
inhibits the Secretary*s ability to perform the in- depth analysis
necessary. This is especially troublesome since the QDR should form the
basis for the defense agenda and major changes to future budgets.

Additionally, some defense analysts have noted that the QDR was not
synchronized with DOD*s long- term planning and budgeting process even
though the QDR should set the framework for budgetary decisions. For
example, on September 30 when the QDR is due, DOD is still in the process
of reviewing the services* budget proposals and analyzing whether changes
are needed. DOD does not finalize its budget request until late January or
early February when the President submits the budget to Congress.

In our own work and in our discussions with defense experts, we identified
three options that have the potential for alleviating some of the QDR*s
timing problems. However, each option could have some positive as well as
negative effects. Figure 4 illustrates the differences in timing for the
three options.

Page 22 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Figure 4: Timing Options for Conducting the 2005 QDR

Source: GAO analysis.

Option 1 would extend the QDR process by about 4 months and change the
report submission deadline from September 30 to the following February.
This would give DOD a few extra months to complete the review. More
importantly, it would allow DOD to develop both the QDR and the
administration*s first full budget (which is submitted during the second
year of a President*s term) in tandem. Ideally, this would allow decisions
made as part of the QDR process, such as defense strategy and force
structure, to be reflected in the budget plan. Both the QDR and budget
would be submitted to Congress at the same time. A shortcoming of this
option is that DOD and the services would have to work quickly to
translate QDR force- related decisions into budgetary projections.
Moreover, 4 months of additional time may not be sufficient to complete
detailed analysis on all the required issues, particularly if DOD makes a
major change in the defense strategy.

Option 2 would extend the QDR process by 12 to 16 months. The report
submission deadline would change from September 30 of the first year to

Page 23 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

September 30 of the second year of a President*s term at the earliest. As
we noted in our report on the 1997 QDR, this option would give a new
administration substantially more time to put its key officials in place,
develop a defense strategy, make preparations for the QDR, and conduct the
necessary analyses. Moreover, it would provide time for a new
administration to first develop a national security strategy, which many
defense analysts believe should precede the development of a defense
strategy. A disadvantage of this option is that it would postpone a
President*s impact on the defense budget until his or her third year in
office. To illustrate, the Secretary of Defense stated that the fiscal
year 2003 budget they presented to Congress reflected the transformation
goals they reached in the 2001 QDR. If the QDR had been delayed by 1 year*
to 2002* these decisions would not have been reflected until the fiscal
year 2004 budget request.

Option 3 would establish a two- phase QDR process. A study by the National
Defense University*s Institute for National Strategic Studies, as well as
a number of analysts and DOD officials with whom we met, recommended this
approach. During the first phase, the QDR would focus on broad policy
issues, such as the security environment and defense strategy. The first
report would be due on September 30. During the second phase, DOD would
conduct comprehensive and in- depth analysis of force structure, force
modernization, and other legislatively required issues. The final report
would be due sometime during the second year. The strengths of this option
are that it would produce a defense strategy during the first year of a
President*s term that could be used to lay out DOD*s strategic plan and
prepare the Secretary*s budget guidance to the services. Congress could
use the new defense strategy as a framework to evaluate the defense budget
that it receives a few months later. Moreover, according to the National
Defense University review, DOD could take this opportunity to set broad
priorities and decide on major program issues. At the same time, this
option would give DOD up to an additional year to complete its detailed
analyses of force structure and new capabilities, which are needed to
support the defense strategy and provide support for its long- term budget
and program development. However, for this approach to be successful DOD
would have to ensure that each phase receives equal priority and that the
results of both are well integrated. Moreover, this option would delay
major decisions on force structure and major weapon systems until the
latter part of an administration*s second year in office.

As part of its deliberation on the Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense
Authorization bill, Congress is considering changing the timing for future

Page 24 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

QDRs. In mid- 2002, the Secretary of Defense requested that Congress
consider delaying the QDR until the second year of an administration*s 4-
year term. A House version of the bill includes a provision to allow DOD
to submit the QDR in the second year of a President*s term of office
rather than on September 30 of the first year as currently required. The
House Armed Services Committee*s report noted that the complexity of
preparing the report could be compounded by the lengthy confirmation
process for presidential appointees and it concluded that moving the
submission of the report back a year would provide more time to conduct
the type of critical review of all aspects of the department*s operations
envisioned by the statute. 11 The Senate has proposed a shorter extension
of the QDR deadline. The Senate proposal would permit the department to
provide the QDR report in the second year of a President*s term of office,
but not later than the date on which the President*s budget submission is
due. 12 Because the President is required to submit the budget no later
than the first Monday in February, the entire QDR would be pushed back 4
months. 13 The differences between the two bills are expected to be
resolved when representatives from the House and Senate Armed Services
committees meet in conference.

A second concern with the QDR centers on the broad spectrum of issues that
the legislation requires DOD to address. Our assessment of the 2001 QDR
process and our discussions with defense analysts who worked on prior QDRs
and defense reviews indicate that DOD may be able to provide more useful
analysis and reporting to Congress if the specific legislative
requirements are reexamined and adjusted to focus DOD*s efforts on a more
manageable set of high- priority issues. On the basis of our assessment of
the 1997 and 2001 QDRs and discussions with defense analysts and DOD
officials, we identified a number of study issues in the current
legislation that appear critical to meeting the QDR*s purpose of
encouraging a fundamental reassessment of the nation*s defense strategy
and needs. However, some of the required study issues may be less relevant
to DOD and Congress in the future because of changes in the security
environment and the resulting impact on the defense strategy. In addition,
other required issues could be reassessed and potentially

11 H. R. Rep. No. 107- 436 (2002). 12 S. Rep. No. 107- 151, (2002) S: 901.
13 31 U. S. C. S: 1105( a). Narrowing Scope of

Review Could Provide Better Focus

Page 25 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

dropped because they are already addressed by other routine DOD studies
that are accessible to Congress.

DOD officials and defense analysts we spoke to agreed that the most
important aspects of the QDR are the legislative requirements that ask the
Secretary of Defense to delineate a defense strategy and define sufficient
force structure, force modernization, and other elements of a defense
program that could successfully execute the full range of missions called
for by the defense strategy. Analyses have determined that DOD*s current
planning and budget process does not serve as a good tool for making broad
reassessments of defense programs because it has a near- term focus and is
based on a more stovepiped decision- making process. For example, the U.
S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century concluded that that
biggest problem with DOD*s budgeting process is that it focuses on minor
programmatic details rather than on significant alternatives to the status
quo. As a result, the QDR is needed to prompt broader thinking on these
issues and serve as a catalyst for change. Many officials we spoke to also
noted that in requiring DOD to analyze the need for changes and report its
findings and rationale to Congress, the QDR should serve as the critical
document that links DOD*s strategy, force structure, and modernization
priorities and provides Congress with a blueprint for evaluating DOD*s
budget requests.

On the other hand, our assessment of the QDR and discussions with defense
analysts and DOD officials suggest that the following legislative
requirements could be modified or eliminated because they no longer
adequately reflect the changing nature of warfighting and the changing
security environment.

 A discussion of the *appropriate ratio of combat forces to support
forces (commonly referred to as the *tooth- to- tail ratio*) under the
national defense strategy.* DOD*s goal has been to reduce the number of
personnel and costs associated with the support forces, or *tail.*
However, service officials told us that there is no consensus on which
units should be considered support and which should be considered combat.
This has occurred because many support forces that do not deploy overseas
(and therefore have traditionally been considered as part of DOD*s *tail*)
have become critical to the success of combat operations on the modern
battlefield. For example, given the significant improvements in
communications, headquarters units located in the United States, which
include intelligence officers and targeting experts, can play a key role
in planning and directing combat operations. Moreover, DOD officials
cautioned that rapidly changing technologies will make the concept of

Page 26 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

differentiating between support and combat troops increasingly irrelevant
and difficult to measure. For example, as the United States moves toward
acquiring greater numbers of unmanned aircraft piloted from remote
computer terminals and relies increasingly on space- based assets operated
by personnel in the United States, it will be more difficult to
distinguish between combat and support personnel.

 Assessments of *the extent to which resources must be shifted among two
or more theaters under the national defense strategy in the event of
conflict in such theaters,* and the assumptions used regarding *warning

time.* A DOD official and defense analysts who addressed this issue with
us stated that both of these requirements should be eliminated because
they are related to the allocation of forces under the old two-
majortheater- war construct. Under this construct, the amount of time that
was assumed available for warning and the separation time between major
theater wars were critical factors in planning the size and composition of
U. S. forces and assessing operational risk, particularly for assets that
might need to be shifted between theaters. However, the new defense
strategy, along with DOD*s new *capabilities- based* planning construct,
recognizes that DOD has been involved in a wide range of military
operations and faces a more uncertain and unpredictable future, meaning
that DOD*s force structure assessments should be much less focused on
requirements to conduct two major theater wars in specific geographic
locations.

Our review of the QDR process also indicated that the following issues,
while critical, may not need to be addressed as part of the QDR because
(1) they require more time for detailed analysis than is currently
available given the September 30 deadline, and (2) they are examined in
routine DOD studies that are or can be easily provided to Congress.

 An evaluation of *the strategic and tactical airlift, sealift, and
ground transportation capabilities required to support the national
defense strategy.* DOD officials and defense analysts believe that the QDR
is not the most appropriate venue for addressing this mobility issue
because it requires detailed and time- consuming analysis that can best be
conducted after DOD decides on a defense strategy, identifies a range of
planning scenarios consistent with the new strategy, and completes its
detailed analysis of requirements for combat forces. Furthermore, they
noted that DOD routinely conducts comprehensive analyses of its mobility
requirements outside of the QDR process. To illustrate, since 1992 the
Joint Staff has coordinated three major analyses of the U. S. military
strategic lift requirements: the 1992 Mobility Requirements Study, Bottom
Up Review; the 1995 Bottom Up Review Update; and the 2001 Mobility

Page 27 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Requirements Study, 2005. All of these studies focused on the requirements
needed to support two nearly simultaneous major theater wars. Recognizing
that the 1998 study, which took 2 years to complete, was based on the
previous two- major- theater- war, force- sizing construct, the Deputy
Secretary of Defense, in a November 7, 2001, memo, initiated a follow- on
study, to be completed by March 2004, to examine mobility requirements
within the context of the new defense strategy and force- sizing
construct. Overall, analysts believe that DOD*s ongoing process works
well.

 An assessment of the *advisability of revisions to the Unified Command
Plan as a result of the national defense strategy.* Defense officials as
well as outside analysts believe that this requirement is not needed as
part of the QDR because DOD has an ongoing process to reassess the Unified
Command Plan, the assessment is already required under other legislation,
and the timing of the assessment does not need to coincide with that of
the QDR. Specifically, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is
required to review periodically, and not less than every 2 years, the
missions, responsibilities, and force structure of each combatant command
and recommend any changes to the President, through the Secretary of
Defense. 14 This legislation also requires that, except during times of
hostilities, the President notify Congress not more than 60 days after
either establishing a new combatant command or significantly revising the
missions, responsibilities, or force structure of an existing command. As
such, a major event or change in the political or security landscape could
trigger the need for a change in the plan outside or after the QDR
process. Moreover, officials pointed out that such a reevaluation is time-
consuming and may not fit in with the current QDR timetable as the process
is politically sensitive and requires consultation with U. S. allies.
Although the 2001 QDR report did not address the need for changes in the
Unified Command Plan, the Secretary of Defense recently determined that
the changed security environment and change in U. S. defense strategy
required some adjustments to the commands. On April 17, 2002, some 7
months after the QDR was completed, the Secretary of Defense and the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented the 2002 Unified Command
Plan, which realigned and streamlined the U. S. military to better address
their assessments of 21st century threats and reflect the new defense
strategy outlined in the QDR. The new plan led to the creation of a new
command, known as the Northern Command, which is responsible for homeland
defense.

14 10 U. S. C. S: 161( b). Periodic Review.

Page 28 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

The 1996 legislation that guided the development of the 1997 QDR included
a requirement for a National Defense Panel. The panel was composed of
national security experts from the private sector and was tasked to review
the results of the QDR and conduct subsequent work on force alternatives.
The panel completed its report in December 1997, 7 months after the QDR
report was submitted. Among its conclusions was that DOD*s continued
emphasis on the two- major- theater- war, force- sizing construct
inhibited its ability to develop the capabilities it needed to address
future threats, and it served to justify DOD*s current force structure.
The legislation mandating the 2001 QDR and future reviews, however, did
not include a requirement for a similar panel.

As part of our assessment of the 1997 QDR, we suggested that a
congressionally mandated panel such as the 1997 National Defense Panel
could be used to encourage DOD to consider a wider range of strategy,
force structure, and modernization options. Specifically, we noted that
such a review panel, if it preceded the QDR, may be important because it
is extremely challenging for DOD to conduct a fundamental reexamination of
defense needs, given that its culture rewards consensus- building and
often makes it difficult to gain support for alternatives that challenge
the status quo. Moreover, most DOD officials and defense analysts who
provided us with their views on this issue believe that an advisory panel
could be useful in setting the agenda for the next QDR and enhancing the
potential for the QDR to tackle difficult issues. Defense analysts
generally noted, however, that the panel*s structure and timing would
affect its usefulness to DOD and Congress. Based on these views, it
appears that a future panel would need the following ingredients to be
successful.

 A clear mandate of expectations. Some analysts suggested that there
would be neither the time nor the need for the panel to look at the entire
defense program or all of the issues included in the QDR legislation.
Rather, the panel should concentrate on those broad but vital issues that
defense and Congress need to consider and that the QDR should address. The
panel would recommend issues for the QDR study team to review. Such issues
could range from the potential need for changes in the defense strategy to
specifying the types of force structure and modernization alternatives and
investment trade- offs that DOD should analyze as part of the QDR.

 A balanced membership. Analysts and DOD officials who told us they
support an outside panel highlighted the need to obtain a diverse panel
membership to better ensure its objectivity and usefulness. Moreover, one
study found that the 1997 National Defense Panel was not as useful as it
Reinstituting an Advisory

Panel Could Help Set Agenda

Page 29 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

could have been because almost every member of the panel had a link to a
particular service, thereby limiting the flow of independent ideas. Most
analysts we spoke to concluded that a future panel should draw upon
experts in a wide variety of disciplines, including some beyond the
defense community, to stimulate innovative thinking. One defense analyst
also suggested that if the panel begins its work during an election year,
representatives from each presidential candidate*s team should be invited
to participate in the panel to enhance the potential that a new
administration would use its findings.

 A workable timetable. Most defense analysts we spoke with emphasized
that timing was a critical element for a panel*s success. They agreed that
the panel*s report should be completed before DOD starts the formal QDR
process so that it can help stimulate debate and set the agenda. However,
one analyst also suggested that the panel could conduct its work in two
phases: an initial phase to help set the agenda for DOD*s review and a
second report after the QDR is completed to lay out programmatic options,
trade- offs, and recommendations.

Despite general consensus for advisory panels, two defense analysts we
spoke to did not see much value in establishing an outside panel, citing
the significant problems the 1997 panel faced in arriving at its
conclusions or the limited usefulness of its work. Although we agree that
an outside panel could face significant challenges if required to
recommend specific decisions on force structure and modernization, such a
panel may be more effective if its role were limited to identifying the
types of force structure alternatives and investment trade- offs that DOD
should analyze as part of the QDR.

Quadrennial Defense Reviews provide DOD with the opportunity to conduct
analysis that can stimulate broad changes in its defense strategy and
programs in response to a changing security environment, guide its long-
term planning, and assist congressional oversight. Such reviews should be
able to link defense strategy to major DOD programs and initiatives, set
clear priorities for change, and establish the analytical basis for major
decisions affecting DOD*s force structure and investment needs. Although
the 2001 QDR had some strengths, it did not fully meet these goals because
of weaknesses in DOD*s approach to conducting the review and the
challenges posed by the timing and scope of the legislative requirements.
By not clearly assigning responsibility for examining all of the required
study issues, DOD focused the 2001 QDR on issues that were important to
the Secretary of Defense but made it less clear to what extent DOD would
examine other issues included in the legislation. Moreover, Conclusions

Page 30 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

while the 2001 QDR established a new defense strategy and force planning
construct, some important issues mandated by the legislation* such as
force structure and the role of the reserves* were not thoroughly
addressed or were largely deferred to follow- on studies. As a result, the
review was not as useful a planning or oversight tool as it could have
been, and many difficult decisions on how the department should change its
forces and programs to address emerging security challenges were
postponed. Even if DOD more clearly assigns responsibilities in the
future, Congress could still have difficulty assessing the reasonableness
of DOD*s conclusions on key issues such as force structure unless DOD
provides more complete information on its methodology, the types of
alternatives it examined, and its key assumptions. This may require the
department to provide Congress with some information in a classified
format.

Changes in the QDR legislation, along with improvements in the way DOD
assigns and reports on QDR issues, could significantly enhance the
usefulness of future reviews. The tight time frame established by Congress
for submitting the QDR report had a significant impact on DOD*s ability to
conduct in- depth analysis during the 2001 QDR. Moreover, the broad scope
and large number of legislative requirements provided DOD with a further
challenge in conducting meaningful analysis within the time frame and
focusing its attention on high priority issues. Unless the legislatively
mandated issues are reexamined, DOD may spend considerable effort during
the next review assessing some issues that many defense officials believe
are less relevant to the ongoing debate on force transformation and
investment priorities. A concurrent reassessment of both the QDR*s scope
and time frame could provide greater assurances that DOD will thoroughly
address and report on the most critical defense issues that both DOD and
Congress will face in the future.

To enhance the usefulness of future QDRs and assist congressional
oversight, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense (1) clearly assign
responsibility for assessing all review issues required by legislation,
and (2) provide Congress with more complete information describing the
department*s analysis to meet the legislative requirements, particularly
those related to force structure requirements. If necessary, DOD should
provide certain information, such as the key assumptions, scenarios, and
alternatives it used in assessing its force structure requirements, in a
classified format. Recommendations

Page 31 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Congress may want to consider (1) extending the time frame of the QDR to
allow more time for DOD to conduct comprehensive analyses and to create a
better link with DOD*s planning and budget process, and (2) revising the
specific requirements of the QDR to clarify what is expected and set clear
priorities for DOD*s work. Congress may also wish to consider establishing
an advisory panel prior to the next review to identify the critical issues
and programs that the QDR should address.

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed that we fairly
characterized the strengths of the 2001 and agreed that Congress should
consider revising the QDR*s scope and timeframe. However, DOD took
exception to our conclusion that its force structure assessment had
significant limitations. DOD stated that, given the scope and timing of
the review, it effectively used a combination of analytical tools and
professional judgment to reach its conclusions on force structure. DOD
also stated that our report appears to advocate a *threat- based* planning
approach for assessing force structure requirements. Our report recognizes
that the QDR was conducted within a short time frame (June- Sept. 2001)
and notes that DOD used a variety of data sources and analytical methods
in reaching its conclusions. However, we disagree that our report
advocates a *threat- based* planning approach. Rather, as the scope and
methodology makes clear, we based our evaluation on the specific threats
and scenarios that DOD used to assess force structure requirements for the
2001 QDR. Our review identified that many of the specific threats and
scenarios DOD examined had a near- term focus and that DOD, in estimating
the numbers and types of forces required for major combat operations,
relied to a significant extent on existing war plans that have been at the
center of U. S. military planning for a number of years. As a result, we
believe that more extensive use of analytical tools such as modeling and
simulation, along with analysis of a broad range of longer- term scenarios
and threats, would have enhanced the QDR*s usefulness in fundamentally
reassessing force structure requirements.

DOD stated that it partially agreed with our recommendation that the
Secretary clearly assign responsibility for assessing all review issues
required by legislation. However, it noted that the Secretary must be
allowed to manage the QDR in a manner that focuses on issues of primary
importance. While we agree that the Secretary needs to have some
flexibility in conducting the QDR, we continue to believe that the
legislative requirements should guide DOD*s review and that the Secretary
of Defense should clearly assign all legislative requirements to study
teams in future reviews. Matters for

Congressional Consideration

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation

Page 32 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

DOD did not take a position on our recommendation that the Secretary
provide Congress with more complete information describing DOD*s analyses,
particularly those related to force structure requirements, and consider
providing certain information in a classified format, if needed. However,
DOD noted that it provided information to Congress through briefings,
written reports, budget justification materials and testimonies to support
its QDR decisions. We recognize that DOD often provides some members of
Congress and their staffs with briefings and other materials on a wide
variety of topics and that such exchanges are useful. However, this
approach cannot guarantee that all members and their staff receive
sufficient information to evaluate the QDR*s conclusions. Therefore, we
are retaining our recommendation that DOD include more complete
information on its analysis of key issues in subsequent QDR reports and,
if necessary, consider issuing a classified supplement to the QDR report.

DOD*s comments are presented in their entirety in appendix IV. We are
sending copies of this report to interested congressional committees, the
Secretary of Defense, and the Director, Office of Management and Budget.
We will make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the
report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http:// www.
gao. gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report please call me
at (202) 512- 4300 or e- mail me at [email protected] gao. gov. Key staff who
contributed to this report were Janet St. Laurent, Tim Stone, Tina Morgan,
Albert Abuliak, Nancy Benco, and Joan Slowitsky.

Henry L. Hinton, Jr. Managing Director, Defense Capabilities

and Management

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Page 33 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

To determine the strengths and weaknesses of Department of Defense*s (DOD)
conduct of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), we examined the process,
schedule, analysis and reporting that DOD undertook to meet the
legislative requirements. To evaluate the process and scheduling, we
obtained and analyzed Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Joint
Staff, and service directives, briefings, and documents that described the
organizational structure and procedures developed for conducting the
review. We also interviewed OSD, Joint Staff, and service officials about
their roles in the process and tasks they were assigned. Moreover, we
compared the QDR guidance, known as the Terms of Reference, with the
legislative requirements to determine whether all of the legislatively
mandated study issues were assigned to study teams. To assess DOD*s
schedule for conducting the review, we documented and developed a timeline
showing important QDR- related events, such as confirmation dates for key
DOD officials and study team briefings. We also obtained testimonial
evidence from OSD, the Joint Staff, and service officials on the time
frame and nature of work completed prior to June 22, 2001, the date DOD
finalized its QDR guidance, so that we would have a better understanding
of the preparatory work that DOD conducted and the role of the strategic
reviews that were undertaken by outside defense experts for the Secretary
of Defense.

To assess the thoroughness of the analytical work conducted for the QDR,
we interviewed and received briefings from DOD officials who participated
in all seven of the department*s QDR study teams. We held follow- up
meetings with members of several teams including the strategy and force
planning team, the capabilities and systems team, the forces team, and the
infrastructure team, and we obtained and analyzed briefings and other
documentation that supported these teams* presentations to the senior-
level review group. After reviewing this material, we met with study team
members to discuss in more detail their analytical work, including methods
and sources of information they relied on, the key assumptions they made,
and the range of alternatives they considered. For example, to assess
DOD*s analysis to determine the force best suited to implement the
national security strategy, we obtained and analyzed documentation on the
scenarios and the time frames that DOD used to evaluate force structure
alternatives, the key assumptions made about warning times and other
factors, the methods used for estimating the numbers and types of forces
required to conduct various types of military operations that could occur
in the future, the number of alternative force structures evaluated, and
the extent to which DOD used analytical tools such as computer warfighting
models to assess the operational risks associated with alternative force
structures. We also received and Appendix I: Scope and Methodology

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Page 34 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

analyzed briefings and documentation on the methodology the Joint Staff
used to develop the chairman*s operational risk assessment. Finally, we
obtained documentation identifying the study issues that DOD determined
would require follow- on studies. To evaluate DOD*s reporting on QDR
issues, we compared the QDR report with legislative reporting requirements
to assess the extent of information DOD provided for Congress on each
requirement.

Although we obtained a significant amount of documentation on the analysis
that study teams conducted after the terms of reference were issued on
June 22, 2001, DOD would not provide access to analyses conducted by the
Joint Staff and the services prior to that time or to the analyses
conducted by the strategic review teams. DOD*s rationale was that these
analyses were not part of the formal QDR process. As a result, we were not
able to assess the extent to which preparatory work by the services and
the Joint Staff, or the analyses conducted as part of the strategic
reviews, were considered by the study teams or were used to reach
conclusions in the QDR report.

To identify options for changing the timing, scope, and oversight of the
QDR, we examined a wide variety of studies and articles that discussed the
strengths and weaknesses of past reviews and assessed whether similar
issues were likely to affect the 2001 QDR. Specifically, we reviewed
studies on the QDR and other planning processes from the Rand Corporation,
the National Defense University, the Army War College, the Naval War
College, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the U. S.
Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, and our report on the
1997 QDR. To obtain expert opinions and develop options for changing the
timing and scope of the QDR, we interviewed OSD officials who led the 2001
QDR and at least one high- ranking officer from each of the services. We
also met with 10 non- DOD defense analysts, who had served in various
positions within and outside DOD, including the 1997 National Defense
Panel, the 1997 or 2001 QDR, and the U. S. Commission on National Security
in the 21st Century. Based on this information, we developed a matrix
summarizing these individuals* concerns regarding the QDR requirements and
their views on the options to address them.

We conducted our review from November 2001 through August 2002 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Appendix II: Quadrennial Defense Review Legislation in Effect as of
September 30, 2001

Page 35 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

TITLE 10 U. S. C. Sec. 118. Quadrennial Defense Review (a) Review
Required. - The Secretary of Defense shall every four years, during a year
following a year evenly divisible by four, conduct a comprehensive
examination (to be known as a ** quadrennial defense review**) of the
national defense strategy, force structure, force modernization plans,
infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program and
policies of the United States with a view toward determining and
expressing the defense strategy of the United States and establishing a
defense program for the next 20 years. Each such quadrennial defense
review shall be conducted in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.

(b) Conduct of Review. - Each quadrennial defense review shall be
conducted so as *

(1) To delineate a national defense strategy consistent with the most
recent National Security Strategy prescribed by the President pursuant to
section 108 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U. S. C. 404a);

(2) To define sufficient force structure, force modernization plans,
infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program of
the United States associated with that national defense strategy that
would be required to execute successfully the full range of missions
called for in that national defense strategy; and

(3) To identify (A) the budget plan that would be required to provide
sufficient resources to execute successfully the full range of missions
called for in that national defense strategy at a low- to- moderate level
of risk, and (B) any additional resources (beyond those programmed in the
current future- years defense program) required to achieve such a level of
risk.

(c) Assessment of Risk. - The assessment of risk for the purposes of
subsection (b) shall be undertaken by the Secretary of Defense in
consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That
assessment shall define the nature and magnitude of the political,
strategic, and military risks associated with executing the missions
called for under the national defense strategy.

(d) Submission of QDR to Congressional Committees. * The Secretary shall
submit a report on each quadrennial defense review to the Committees on
Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Appendix II: Quadrennial
Defense Review

Legislation in Effect as of September 30, 2001

Appendix II: Quadrennial Defense Review Legislation in Effect as of
September 30, 2001

Page 36 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Representatives. The report shall be submitted not later than September 30
of the year in which the review is conducted. The report shall include the
following:

(1) The results of the review, including a comprehensive discussion of the
national defense strategy of the United States and the force structure
best suited to implement that strategy at a low- to- moderate level of
risk.

(2) The assumed or defined national security interests of the United
States that inform the national defense strategy defined in the review.

(3) The threats to the assumed or defined national security interests of
the United States that were examined for the purposes of the review and
the scenarios developed in the examination of those threats.

(4) The assumptions used in the review, including assumptions relating to
- (A) the status of readiness of United States forces; (B) the cooperation
of allies, mission- sharing and additional benefits to and burdens on
United States forces resulting from coalition operations; (C) warning
times; (D) levels of engagement in operations other than war and smaller-
scale contingencies and withdrawal from such operations and contingencies;
and (E) the intensity, duration, and military and political end- states of
conflicts and smaller- scale contingencies.

(5) The effect on the force structure and on readiness for high- intensity
combat of preparations for and participation in operations other than war
and smaller- scale contingencies.

(6) The manpower and sustainment policies required under the national
defense strategy to support engagement in conflicts lasting longer than
120 days.

(7) The anticipated roles and missions of the reserve components in the
national defense strategy and the strength, capabilities, and equipment
necessary to assure that the reserve components can capably discharge
those roles and missions.

(8) The appropriate ratio of combat forces to support forces (commonly
referred to as the ** tooth- to- tail** ratio) under the national defense
strategy, including, in particular, the appropriate number and size of
headquarters units and Defense Agencies for that purpose.

Appendix II: Quadrennial Defense Review Legislation in Effect as of
September 30, 2001

Page 37 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

(9) The strategic and tactical air- lift, sea- lift, and ground
transportation capabilities required to support the national defense
strategy.

(10) The forward presence, pre- positioning, and other anticipatory
deployments necessary under the national defense strategy for conflict
deterrence and adequate military response to anticipated conflicts.

(11) The extent to which resources must be shifted among two or more
theaters under the national defense strategy in the event of conflict in
such theaters.

(12) The advisability of revisions to the Unified Command Plan as a result
of the national defense strategy.

(13) The effect on force structure of the use by the armed forces of
technologies anticipated to be available for the ensuing 20 years.

(14) Any other matter the Secretary considers appropriate. (e) CJCS
Review. - Upon the completion of each review under subsection (a), the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall prepare and submit to the
Secretary of Defense the Chairman*s assessment of the review, including
the Chairman*s assessment of risk. The Chairman*s assessment shall be
submitted to the Secretary in time for the inclusion of the assessment in
the report. The Secretary shall include the Chairman*s assessment,
together with the Secretary*s comments, in the report in its entirety.

Appendix III: QDR Follow- On Studies, Plans, Reviews, and Concept
Development Taskings

Page 38 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

The 2001 QDR report identified more than 30 issues that DOD planned to
focus on in follow- on studies, plans, reviews and other taskings.
Although not all of the studies correlate directly to specific QDR
legislative taskings, a number of them do. DOD provided us with the
following list.

 DOD will institutionalize definitions of homeland security, homeland
defense, and civil support and address command relationships and
responsibilities within the Department.

 DOD will review the establishment of a new unified combatant commander
to help address complex inter- agency issues and provide a single military
commander to focus military support.

 DOD will undertake a comprehensive review of the active and reserve mix,
organization, priority missions, and associate resources.

 The Secretary of the Army will explore options for enhancing ground
force capabilities in the Arabian Gulf.

 The Secretary of the Navy will explore options for homeporting an
additional three to four surface combatants and guided cruise missile
submarines (SSGNs) in that area.

 The Secretary of the Air Force will develop plans to increase
contingency basing in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the
Arabian Gulf.

 The Secretary of the Navy will develop new concepts of maritime
prepositioning, high- speed sealift, and new amphibious capabilities for
the Marine Corps.

 The Secretary of the Navy will develop options to shift some of the
Marine Corps* afloat prepositioned equipment from the Mediterranean toward
the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf to be more responsive to contingencies
in the Middle East.

 The Secretary of the Navy, in consultation with U. S. allies and
friends, will explore the feasibility of conducting Marine Corps training
for littoral warfare in the Western Pacific.

 To support the transformation effort and to foster innovation and
experimentation, the DOD will establish a new office reporting directly to
the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. The Director, Force
Transformation will evaluate the transformation efforts of the military
departments and promote synergy by recommending steps to integrate ongoing
transformation activities.

 To facilitate transformation, the military departments and defense
agencies will develop transformation roadmaps that specify timelines to
develop Service- unique capabilities necessary to meet the DOD*s six
operational goals.

 To strengthen joint operations, DOD will develop over the next several
months proposals to establish a prototype for Standing Joint Task Force
(SJTF) Headquarters. Appendix III: QDR Follow- On Studies, Plans,

Reviews, and Concept Development Taskings

Appendix III: QDR Follow- On Studies, Plans, Reviews, and Concept
Development Taskings

Page 39 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

 In addition, the Department will examine options for establishing
Standing Joint Task Forces (SJTFs)... that will seek to develop new
concepts to exploit U. S. asymmetric military advantages and joint force
synergies.

 DOD will establish a joint presence policy to strengthen the Secretary
of Defense*s management of the allocation of joint deterrent and
warfighting assets from all military departments.

 To ensure effective sustainment, DOD will conduct industrial
vulnerability assessments and develop sustainment plans for the most
critical weapons systems and preferred munitions.

 DOD will explore the need to establish a joint and interoperability
training capability, including a Joint National Training Center as well as
opportunities to build on existing capabilities at Service training
centers and ranges to enable joint transformation field exercises and
experiments and to inform the Services* exercises and experiments.

 Combatant Commanders (CINCs) should develop a plan to rotate assigned
forces through a joint training event for regular exercises and
evaluations.

 To support the CINCs effort [to rotate assigned forces through a joint
training event, DOD will consider the establishment of a Joint Opposing
Force and increasing the Joint Forces Command exercise budget.

 DOD is committed to identifying efficiencies and reductions in less
relevant capabilities that can free resources to be reinvested to
accelerate DOD*s transformation efforts. In support of this goal, the
military departments and defense agencies will identify significant,
auditable savings to be reinvested in high- priority transformation
initiatives.

 DOD will develop a strategic human resources plan for military and
civilian personnel. The plan will identify the tools necessary to size and
shape the military and civilian force to provide adequate numbers of
highquality, skilled and professionally developed people.

 DOD will review existing quality of life services and policies to
guarantee that they have kept pace with modem requirements.

 DOD has initiated a comprehensive review of all defense and service
health agencies, management activities, and programs.

 DOD will develop recommendations to eliminate redundancy among functions
of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the services, and the Joint
Staff.

 The military departments also are evaluating changes in their
headquarters structures to improve their ability to perform executive
functions at lower staffing levels.

 DOD will explore options to fully redesign the way it plans, programs,
and budgets.

 DOD will assess all its functions to separate core and non- core
function.

Appendix III: QDR Follow- On Studies, Plans, Reviews, and Concept
Development Taskings

Page 40 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

 DOD will create a small team to develop alternatives to the agency or
field activity model that permits DOD to produce cross- DOD outputs at a
significantly lower cost.

 To improve the business practices of the defense agencies, DOD will
begin a review of the agencies to seek efficiencies.

 DOD will develop a plan for improving the effectiveness of the Defense
Working Capital Fund.

 DOD will create a department- wide blueprint (enterprise architecture)
that will prescribe how DOD*s financial and non- financial feeder systems
and management processes will interact.

 The mix of new threats and missions that DOD will consider in the near-
to mid- term requires that the Department reevaluate and adjust the
recommendations of its Mobility Requirements Study completed in FY 2000.

Appendix IV: Comments from the Department of Defense

Page 41 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense

Appendix IV: Comments from the Department of Defense

Appendix IV: Comments from the Department of Defense

Page 42 GAO- 03- 13 Quadrennial Defense (350043)

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