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Military needs more of everything, especially money – oh, and integration, too

July 29, 2010

The independent review panel’s presented its review of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) today, as Josh Rogin writes at The Cable. The group, which includes prominent defense experts,

explicitly warns about the “growing gap” between what the military is able to do and what it may be called on to do in the future. It advocates an expansion of the Navy and continued increases in an annual defense budget that has more than doubled since 2001. (Rogin)

The panel says the Pentagon’s a little preoccupied with the two wars currently under way and not looking and planning ahead enough for what’s to come (China, anyone?). As Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee put it, “we cannot do that [fight two wars] at the expense of preparing for the future, and there I am concerned that the QDR came up a bit short.”

I especially appreciate this passage:

The report writers recommended lawmakers should combine appropriations for defense, foreign operations, and intelligence into one big committee. (Rogin)

Sounds familiar. Integrating the national security structure of the U.S. seems to be on the horizon, but it’s a very complex endeavour. Or, as I wrote in an earlier article, “Need to unify national security policy apparent, but steps to getting there are not

It seems the panel’s report makes some suggestions for achieving that end, such as establishing an interagency assignment exchange program or encouraging universities to develop and teach a shared national security curriculum.

Download the panel’s full report here (pdf).

Inspiration for the post via @dangerroom and Adam Weinstein’s hilarious weekly national security roundup.

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