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JCS Chief Dempsey Taps Schmidle to Lead QDR Update

Oct. 18, 2011 - 03:45AM   |  
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The Pentagon has stood up a team that will rapidly update the document that serves as the foundation of the U.S. military's strategy and priorities, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has tapped Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, the deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command, to lead the so-called Strategic Choices Working Group, according to Col. David Lapan, Dempsey's spokesman.

The panel will update the 2010 QDR, a document that sets long-term Pentagon goals and assesses national security threats. The intent of the QDR is to prepare the military for future conflicts. Traditionally, the QDR is updated every four years.

Schmidle played a key role in the Marine Corps contribution to the 2006 QDR and served as the Marine Corps lead to the 2010 QDR.

The group will update the QDR in 30 days, according to sources.

The Office of Secretary of Defense, which is overseeing the Strategic Choices Working Group, did not respond to requests for additional information about the panel.

Asked about the QDR review last week, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff, said, "I think part of it that you want a strategy-driven review where the Joint Chiefs work together to come up with a joint force that will be able to meet the needs of the future. So what we will work through is what are the priorities within the strategy and how does that translate into end-strength modernization and readiness."

At the same time, the Pentagon is working on a comprehensive review of missions and capabilities that will inform a $450 billion reduction in planned defense spending over the next decade.

The comprehensive review is being led by Dempsey, Michèle Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy and Christine Fox, director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation.

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