Funding fears surround military review
- By George I. Seffers
- Aug 11, 2000
Military leaders have two closely related concerns about next year's sweeping
strategy and force structure review, which, among other things, will investigate
technology's impact on military forces.
"We have two problems. They are both resource-related," said Lt. Gen. Kevin
Byrnes, the assistant vice chief of staff of the Army, at an Association
of the U.S. Army breakfast Thursday.
The congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which officially
begins next year, is a sweeping assessment of military strategy and force
structure and will result in a military plan for the next 20 years. Congress
ordered the Pentagon to address 13 issues in its defense review, including
technology's influence on the military, and to establish a defense program
for the next 20 years.
Byrnes expressed concern that:
* The upcoming QDR might be a repeat of the 1997 QDR, which was broadly
criticized for being a budget-driven exercise forcing the Pentagon to make
critical strategy, force structure and materiel decisions based on available
funding rather than the world situation.
* If the Pentagon makes decisions based on the world situation, spending
caps placed on the Pentagon budget will not be enough to adequately meet
Byrnes made his comments the day after President Clinton signed the $288
billion spending bill for 2001. The budget includes the first increase in
years, but Byrnes pointed out that the Pentagon's actual purchasing power
continues to decline, and military spending as part of the gross national
product continues to shrink.