Inside the Sped-Up QDR

The newly issued 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review is very different from previous QDRs, said Christine Wormuth, deputy undersecretary of defense for strategy, plans, and force development, on Monday. “We had about half the time we normally have to do the review,” she said in a March 10 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. This was due to the Pentagon’s continuous cycle of evaluation and planning of late to deal with so much fiscal uncertainty, she said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel felt strongly the QDR was an opportunity to re-examine the global security environment and reassess the strategy laid out in the Obama Administration’s 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, said Wormuth. Between the QDR and the Pentagon’s budget-review process, Wormuth said 26 Deputy Secretary Management Action Group meetings took place in just three months, and three Senior Leader Councils were held with briefings on the QDR. The Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman chair SLCs, which include the participation of the service Secretaries and Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and additional senior leaders. “Not everyone was happy with where we wound up,” said Wormuth, but all parts of the Defense Department had a voice in the process.