CHIEF OF STAFF
UNITED STATES ARMY
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). QDR is a strategic opportunity to fundamentally reshape the Armed Forces of the United States for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. The QDR, however, is unlikely to define completely the desired end state and the route we should follow. It should be viewed as a waypoint on our journey to the Armed Forces of 2020 and beyond.
Our journey did not start with the QDR. It started with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Army -- like our sister Services -- has made great progress in the past eight years to transform itself from the world's best Cold War army to the world's best army of the 21st Century. Much of our progress is due, in large measure, to former Secretaries of Defense Cheney, Aspin, and Perry; former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Crowe and Powell; and former Congressional leaders such as Senator Nunn and Congressman Montgomery.
Collectively, their leadership has resulted in much visible change within the Army since the late 1980s.
There has also been many less visible changes in the Army:
While the change in the Total Army, to date, has been dramatic, there will always be those individuals who challenge the size and cost of our Armed Forces. It may be useful to put the Department of Defense budget in perspective.
As the richest nation in the world, we can afford to maintain a first-class Armed Forces. More than that, we have a responsibility to do so. As a global leader, and as parents and grandparents, we have an obligation to do what we can to make the next century safer and better than the one we are about to complete.
The fall of the Berlin Wall fundamentally changed the geostrategic environment, much as the development and employment of nuclear weapons did over fifty years ago. The end of the Cold War signaled a strategic shift in the international security environment, away from the predictability and familiarity of bipolar competition. The post-Cold War environment requires a broader range of military capabilities, and places a premium on ready ground forces, capable of operating successfully across the full spectrum of operations. Consequently, the readiness and resource allocation paradigms that we employed in the Cold War are less relevant and less effective in the post-Cold War environment, and must be appropriately realigned to match our national strategy.
We should view the end of the Cold War as a victory for the people of the world. There were no losers. While some countries of the former Soviet Union or those that lay within the Soviet sphere of influence still have an arduous and uncertain road ahead, their future certainly holds more promise than during the Cold War.
With eight years of post-Cold War experience, we have a much clearer vision of the future geostrategic environment and the changing role of the U. S. military. In that regard, we have an advantage over both the Base Force Study and the Bottom Up Review.
Near-term threats to national survival (from global nuclear war) are significantly reduced, but threats to our national interests continue. Such threats are, in fact, more numerous, more complex, and less predictable. In this environment, we must continue to be vigilant and ready.
A "walk around the world" reveals just how challenging and dangerous the world still is.
Each of these regions, while significantly different in character, is making demands for more -- not less -- U. S. ground forces. We should view the current commitment of land forces as the "floor," not the "ceiling" for our overseas engagement.
President Harry S. Truman spoke to a similar set of circumstances about 50 years ago when he stated that, "We must be prepared to pay the price for peace, or assuredly we will pay the price of war."
Our defense strategy addresses the challenges and opportunities of the strategic shift we have witnessed in the geostrategic environment. The three tenets of our new strategy are shaping, responding, and preparing.
Shaping requires engagement, and it requires us to be involved, face to face, with our friends and allies around the world, sharing the hardships and risks. The ultimate objective of such engagement is an enhancement of mutual understanding, trust, and confidence, all of which will lessen, or perhaps even obviate, the requirement for nations and groups to resort to the use of force to resolve their differences. We have a unique opportunity to shape the future geostrategic environment, consistent with our national interests and values. We must not forego this opportunity.
We must also be able to respond rapidly to crises wherever they occur, and we must respond with trained and ready forces -- credible and relevant forces.
At the same time, we must prepare for the uncertainties of the future. The geostrategic environment of the future is increasingly urbanized, requiring forces that can discriminate between combatants and non-combatants, and which can apply appropriate combinations of non-lethal and lethal force to accomplish their missions. Our forces in the future will have to deal effectively with asymmetric challenges, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, information warfare, special operations or clandestine forces, attempts to deny us regional access, urban warfare, and an adversary's use of civilians and refugees as shields against U. S. stand-off precision-guided munitions. The force we are designing today -- via our Force XXI and Army After Next initiatives -- is exactly this type of force.
This is the life insurance policy described earlier. Through essential investments, we are attempting to break the historical trend of having to pay the price of our unpreparedness in the blood of our young soldiers.
Simply put, we have a window of opportunity to reshape the Armed Forces for the early decades of the 21st Century, not just balance the books for the next couple of years.
The geostrategic environment is dramatically different from the Cold War, and our challenges and opportunities are different. To be successful, we will require the same strategic vision that General George C. Marshall provided 50 years ago when he laid the foundation for the reconstruction of Europe -- later to be known as the Marshall Plan.
We have a new defense strategy in place -- one that addresses not only our requirement to fight and win the nation's wars, but just as importantly, to shape our future and prepare for its uncertainties.
The question at hand is, "how do we get to the future?
Our solution to understand how to get to the future is to sit on a rock in 2020 and look back to today. From the vantage point of the future, we can identify the possible and likely challenges to our national security interests, as well as the opportunities for action on our part and in concert with our friends and allies.
Understanding the challenges and opportunities of the future assists in building the right set of capabilities and the right types of military forces. It also helps us to chart our course to the future. It is sort of a virtual, strategic reconnaissance, where we have marked our route as we have made our way back to today.
We do not yet know exactly what the Army of 2020 will look like, but we are actively exploring it through our Army After Next initiative. We already have identified some of its characteristics:
The redesign of the Army of 2020 and beyond is being accomplished through rigorous and detailed experimentation. The task is too important to do otherwise. We must get it right the first time, with no wasted motion or resources.
Throughout our transition to the leap-ahead Army of 2020 and beyond, we must continue to meet our day-to-day obligations. How successful we are at shaping and responding to near-term events will, to a large measure, dictate how rapidly we are able to prepare for the distant future.
The future force will be much more than just new and exciting technologies. It will continue to be a combination of people, doctrine, organizations, training, modernization, and leadership. It will take strength and success in each of these areas to realize our vision.
To jump start the journey, we have identified three vectors of change within the Department of Defense: joint experimentation and integration, a Defense modernization strategy, and the Revolution in Business Affairs.
Today, several of the Services and elements within Office of the Secretary of Defense are looking well into the future. Much is being learned through the efforts of battle labs and advanced warfighting experiments. However, much of what is being learned does not easily migrate among the Services and the Defense agencies. What is needed is a mechanism that facilitates the cross-fertilization of ideas and understanding, without constraining the energy and innovation of the individual Services.
We can start this initiative by linking the Service training and experimentation centers in the Southwest United States. They included the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California; the Marine Corps' training center at Twenty-nine Palms, California; the Navy's facilities at China Lake and Coronado, California; and Nellis Air Force Base at Las Vegas, Nevada. This linkage would permit the Services to not only rapidly share information, but also to link their training and experimentation in real time. The result would be well designed joint forces, with less redundancy between Service capabilities and contributions.
To serve as a vehicle for experimentation and innovation, we should also stand up a Joint Task Force (JTF) for experimentation and integration. We envision this Experimental JTF will help us to more rapidly conceptualize and develop truly joint forces for the future.
Each of the Services and U. S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has its own modernization plan, which, when combined, could take better advantage of the current window of opportunity to allow them to become more synchronized and innovative.
An overall Defense modernization strategy would encourage and reward innovation, and assist in prioritizing and synchronizing the modernization requirements and programs of the Services and USSOCOM.
The new Defense modernization strategy should start with an acknowledgment that our current capabilities, with some focused enhancements, are adequate between now and at least 2010. That assessment permits, if not mandates, us to break away from the incremental improvements that characterized Defense modernization programs during the Cold War. What we are after are "leap-ahead" joint capabilities, not "creep ahead" Service capabilities. The direction and pace of change should be guided by our joint experimentation efforts.
If we are ever to achieve a true Revolution in Military Affairs, it must be preceded by a Revolution in Business Affairs. American industry, large and small, leads the world in innovation and productivity. We must bring that level of innovation and efficiency to the Department of Defense. We also want to bring corporate America's ability to rapidly adjust to changes in the market place -- in our case, changes in the geostrategic environment. We must learn from and leverage the world's best.
Our path to the future will not be a lonely one. The Administration, Congress, and American industry must all be full-time and active participants in the journey, each providing their own innovation and energy, and each leading the way when on familiar ground.
The results of the QDR will begin to be seen in the fiscal year 1998 budget, our revised National Military Strategy, and other documents internal to the Department that shape Service programs and priorities. We anticipate the National Defense Panel (NDP) will carry the torch even further into the future.
The Department of Defense has a window of opportunity for dramatic change. We intend to take full advantage of that opportunity. We intend to be bold and innovative, and will consequently break many Cold War paradigms along the way. Neither the QDR nor the work of the NDP should be viewed as discrete events. They are merely waypoints on our journey to reshape the Armed Forces for the 21st Century.