Pentagon review could conflict with base closing panel

Members of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission Wednesday expressed concern that decisions made during a separate Pentagon review of the military's force structure, plans and capabilities could render their base-closing work obsolete.

The Defense Department is working on the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review, which it will send to Congress next February along with the fiscal 2007 defense budget request. But the commission must submit its list of recommended base closings to the White House in September, long before the Pentagon completes its work on the quadrennial review.

Commissioner Samuel Skinner, a former Transportation secretary, said the schedule "seems to be a little like the tail wagging the dog." And Commission Chairman Anthony Principi asked top Pentagon officials whether the QDR ultimately will supersede the commission's findings.

To prevent a disconnect between the two reviews, Principi called on the Pentagon to keep the commission updated on key decisions made over the course of the sweeping quadrennial review and to respond promptly to all information requests. The Defense Department was slow to reply to previous BRAC commissions' requests for background material and other information during base-closing rounds in the 1990s, Principi said.

Ryan Henry, the Pentagon's undersecretary for defense policy, assured commissioners that he would keep them updated on the QDR findings over the next several months by holding periodic classified hearings. He also noted that the QDR team will take the BRAC commission's findings into account as they compile the massive review.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon's Global Posture Review, a look at the military's presence overseas, will also help to inform the QDR and BRAC processes. All three reviews, which are under way simultaneously, are designed to be complementary to one another.

Wednesday's hearing was the third in two days for the commission, which officially got to work during a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is expected to send his list of base closing and realignment recommendations to lawmakers sometime next week. The commission then will analyze the department's findings before submitting its own list to President Bush Sept. 8.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.