WASHINGTON — The Pentagon pushed back against Capitol Hill critics saying a major military strategy review is not delayed, but proceeding on its original time line.
The services completed their recommendations for the Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) on May 31 as originally outlined in Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s March 15 memo chartering the exercise, Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Tuesday.
Hagel will factor the recommendations into the Pentagon’s 2015 budget guidance.
The Pentagon was reacting to statements Monday from a senior House Armed Services Committee aide, who said DoD was “still gathering data” for the SCMR.
“I think they’re still trying to figure out what to cut [and] then aligning that to the [coming] strategy,” the aide said, noting he “wouldn’t expect anything for a few more weeks.”
Throughout the SCMR process, DoD official have been vague about the actual end product of the review other than to say it will inform the 2015 budget and be the foundation for the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. These officials have said the inputs will give them options for areas to cuts under a range of budget scenarios.
The SCMR is looking at how budget cuts at three levels —$100 billion, $300 billion and $500 billion — over a decade-long period will impact DoD’s ability to carry out its military strategy.
Pentagon sources have said they had no plans to formally roll out the service’s SCMR inputs, however, further details about how long-term budget cuts would impact DoD are likely to emerge over the next month.
Hagel was in Singapore over the weekend as a key participant at the Shangri-La Dialog — a major defense minister’s conference — and now is at a NATO summit in Brussels.