Cong. Marshall: QDR's process is a problem

Thursday - 7/23/2009, 2:25pm EDT

Jim Marshall

Defense Review process called flawed more than six months before release.

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Identifying threats to America is the task of the upcoming 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. From the types of conflicts America should be ready to fight at a moment's notice, "today's conflicts and tomorrow's threats", the QDR is a good start, but doesn't go far enough, according to Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA).

Marshall tells FederalNewsRadio, the QDR is "required by Congress that this be done by DoD and my personal take on this, on the whole process, is that it's flawed given the nature of the threats that we face."

Marshall, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said Thursday on the Federal Drive that threats today "go beyond conventional military threats and into the realm of things as remote from the DoD as pandemics, economic disruptions... climate change... population growth. There are lots of different sources of threats and we need a whole-government approach."

For example, says Marshall, "to her great credit, Secretary Clinton has directed that there be a similar quadrennial review done in State. We really need one for the entire government because we can expect that, in the future, effective security is going to require a whole-government approach."

According to Defense, the QDR will be "informed" by similar reviews being conducted by DHS, the Director of National Intelligence, and will "incorporate guidance from relevant National Security Council reviews."

While that's a fine start, Marshall points to recent cyber attacks as an example of why the review should cover the entire federal structure.

Obviously, we are, as we develop, becomming more and more dependent upon technology to communicate, to keep track of data, to execute those sorts of things. With attacks that we've seen recently, it's pretty clear that cybersecurity is terribly important.

The next Quadrennial Defense Review is scheduled to be released in February, 2010.

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On the Web:

Defense - 2010 QDR Terms of Reference Fact Sheet (pdf)

Jim Marshall - house.gov/marshall

FederalNewsRadio - Intel chief: Computer attacker still a mystery

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