Hagel Directs Strategy Review

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tasked senior Pentagon leaders to examine the Defense Department’s strategic assumptions, given changes in the fiscal environment due to budget sequestration, announced Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will lead the Strategic Choices and Management Review, which has a May 31 deadline for completion, Little told reporters on March 18. The review “will define the major decisions that must be made in the decade ahead to preserve and adapt our defense strategy, our force, and our institutions under a range of future budgetary scenarios,” said Little. Senior defense officials have warned that the Obama Administration’s defense strategic guidance of January 2012 would become unachievable under the sequester, due to the steep spending cuts that the Defense Department would have to absorb. Therefore, Hagel wants the new review to re-examine the assumptions in that strategy now that sequestration has kicked in, said Little. The results of the review will help frame Hagel’s guidance for the Fiscal 2015 budget and support the next Quadrennial Defense Review, which is due to Congress in February, said Little. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)