Defense Panel Sees Flawed QDR

Washington Report

(August 5, 2014) A 10-member panel that includes retired generals, former Pentagon officials and former members of Congress says the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review describes a military underfunded for the world it faces and blames sequestration for the problem.

The National Defense Panel delivered its report on the QDR to Congress last week. Reaction broke along party lines, with Republicans claiming it proved defense spending had to be separated from the sequester and Democrats saying it was much ado about nothing.

"It will be used by people who already believe the message and everyone else will ignore it," a Democratic aide told Breaking Defense.

But Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., says it offers ammunition to an effort to protect defense spending.

"I certainly think it gives us a lot of support for positions that we have been advocating," he told the publication.

The NDP recommends an immediate end to the sequester, which cuts federal spending across the board regardless of the program. It says the legislated budget cut "caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities."

The panel says the size of the force advocated in the 2014 QDR is too small for the types and number of threats. It also rejects the idea that technical capability makes up for a loss in size.