- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2001

The Pentagon has decided to dump the two-war readiness requirement that has shaped the armed forces in the post-Soviet 1990s, senior officials said yesterday.
President Bush visited the Pentagon yesterday for an update on the progress of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
"They talked about the Quadrennial Defense Review," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, referring to the major force structure and strategy review. "It was a private meeting."
Pentagon officials said Rumsfeld aides are working at a furious pace to finish the QDRs most important component: the global war-fighting requirement that dictates the size of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Aides have wrestled with at least six versions of a new requirement. Drafts state that the military should be able to fight one war and manage various smaller missions.
"The two-war requirement is dead," a senior official said. "The real question is one plus what?"
Officials said Mr. Rumsfeld may settle on a new guiding principle by this week or next.
Mandated by Congress, the QDR is due for completion in September. Mr. Bush campaigned on transforming the military to prepare it for 21st-century threats. Five months into his administration, the Pentagon has yet to produce a new strategy or its first budget to reflect the new thinking.
A Pentagon official who has seen several versions of language designed to replace the two-war scenario says the options center on readiness to fight one war while holding an enemys advances in another part of the world. The language would be further augmented by stating an ability to carry out smaller contingencies and homeland defense, which would include missile defense and anti-terrorism.
One holdup is that some White House officials are suggesting words that are not typical military jargon, and planners are searching for replacement language.
The readiness requirement ultimately will dictate the size of the force. The 1997 QDR and its two-war capability set force structure at 1.36 million active-duty troops. The study put Army strength at 10 active divisions, the Navy at 12 aircraft carrier battle groups, the Air Force at 12 active fighter wings and the Marine Corps at three expeditionary forces.
A shift from two wars to "one-plus" would not necessarily result in a major reduction in force structure, officials said, because the force still would have to be able to hold the enemy in another region and be ready for other contingencies, such as a Kosovo-style bombing campaign.
The 1997 QDR was written with North Korea and Iraq in mind. Planners want the military able to nearly simultaneously fight an invasion of South Korea and Saddam Husseins forces threatening a Persian Gulf oil-producing nation.
A win-hold plan would envision the military, for example, keeping Saddams army in a box while defeating North Korea.
Once Mr. Rumsfeld settles on a new requirement, other parts of the QDR start to fall into place and budgeters can start programming dollars for the fiscal 2003 spending plan this fall. That budget will be presented to Congress next winter.
Mr. Rumsfeld has hinted in media interviews that he plans to change the two-war capability.
He told reporters earlier this month, "There are those who might say [the two-war requirement] has become a reason for continuing doing reasonably precisely what you are doing, rather than looking at how the world has changed, and capabilities have changed, and therefore what kind of capabilities we might best have."
With the president talking about leaping a generation in weapons technology, widespread speculation has been that the QDR would result in cancellations of major systems. But study panels appointed by Mr. Rumsfeld endorsed as transformational most big-ticket items, such as the Air Force F-22 stealth fighter and the multi-service Joint Strike Fighter.

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