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.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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