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QDR Revolves Around Terror, Chinese Threat

File photo of China's Ming fleet.
by Pamela Hess, UPI Pentagon Correspondent
Washington (UPI) Feb 02, 2006
The Pentagon will unveil its four-year review Friday, a document that revolves largely around the war against Islamic extremism but acknowledges China as an emerging superpower, and sets out what the long-term strategy and missions ought to be for the military given those challenges.

"China is an emerging world superpower, said Ryan Henry, principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, at a presentation on the Quadrennial Defense Review in Washington Wednesday. "We want to constructively work with them to manage their growth."

Henry said the United States wants to see China develop only the military power "necessary for its own defense "and not go beyond that."

The Pentagon has noted with concern for the last decade China's steadily increasing military budgets, as well as its build up of missiles within range of Taiwan.

As China develops "the attributes of a superpower economy," the United States would also like to see it exhibiting "transparency" as it works on regional and global issues.

The discussion of China comes in the section of the QDR that deals with "shaping the choices of countries at strategic cross-roads."

Henry said the document addresses other nations "at strategic crossroads" by name as well.

The other concepts guiding the QDR is the need to continue to engage terrorists, counter weapons of mass destruction, and defend the homeland, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said Wednesday, at a meeting sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

This is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's second Quadrennial Defense Review, although when he took the reins of the Pentagon in 2001 much of the work had already been done. Just as the document was going to the printers to be published, the Pentagon was hit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The document was hastily revised, but the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review is the first that he has guided start to finish.

However, the review does not cancel major programs - the Air Force's expensive but coveted F-22 fighter is still a centerpiece of the defense budget, as is the Army's Future Combat System and the Navy's new destroyer DDX, and the $250 billion Joint Strike Fighter.

The QDR does accelerate the development of a new long-range strike capability. Exactly what it will be is unclear - whether an airplane, unmanned aerial vehicle or new class of precision missile is not stated, according to Pentagon officials.

It also significantly increases the number of special operations forces troops, and increases special forces battalions by a third, said Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The document also calls for a joint maritime coastal power projection force - that is, being able to land troops and attack into countries from the "brown water."

It also lays out requirements for a new set of deterrents against nuclear attacks.

During the Cold War, when the United States and Soviet Union were the only likely nuclear actors, the threat of massive retaliation was deemed sufficient to deter the use of a nuclear warhead. As the technology has spread to regimes and terrorists who are less cowed by a threat against their people, the Pentagon is seeking a new set of military capabilities to influence them.

"For terrorists who don't hold life dear ... we have to come up with a different set of mechanisms," said England.

The document describes nearly 150 actions the military must take and is beginning to assign those orders to the departments and agencies, according to England.

The $450 billion fiscal year 2007 budget will not be fully reflective of the QDR's decisions, despite the fact that the two have been developed concurrently.

"We wont see the full effect of the QDR until the '08 or '09 budget," said England.

Without significant program cuts, an independent defense budget analyst says the defense program, as laid out, will require an additional $20 billion a year in procurement to be achieved.

"They have three choices: add money, cut modernization or cut the size of the military," said Steve Kosiak, the director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The Pentagon will release the 2006 QDR on Feb. 3. The 2007 budget request will be delivered to Capitol Hill on Feb. 6.

Source: United Press International

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