Levin, Inhofe announce SASC choices for QDR independent panel

WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the panel’s ranking Republican, today announced their appointments to the Quadrennial Defense Review’s independent panel, which will provide outside analysis as the Defense Department prepares the 2014 QDR.

Levin announced the appointment of retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who retired as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2011; and Michele Flournoy, who served until last year as undersecretary of defense for policy. Inhofe’s appointments are retired Air Force Gen. Gregory Martin, former commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“General Cartwright and Michele Flournoy enjoy exceptionally high respect throughout U.S. and international security policy communities for their life-long experience, deep understanding, and commitment to keeping America strong and safe,” Levin said. “Their contributions to the independent panel’s assessment of the Defense Department’s strategic review will help ensure that the entire process provides Congress and the nation with the best possible security analysis and recommendations as we continue to anticipate and adapt to these challenging times.”

“The many years of military service, defense policy experience, and deep understanding of national security issues General Martin and Lieutenant General Maples bring will be invaluable to the panel as it evaluates the department’s review of the strategic environment and makes its recommendations to adapt policies, programs and strategy for the challenges our national defense needs to address in the years ahead,” Inhofe said.

In requiring the QDR, Congress called for establishment of an independent panel of civilian experts to review the Defense Department’s work. The independent panel is required to review the department’s force structure and resource recommendations and, within three months of the QDR’s completion, to submit an assessment of the QDR to the congressional defense committees.

The 10-member independent panel is to include two appointees each from the chair and ranking members of the Senate and House defense committees, and a chairman and vice chairman appointed by the secretary of defense.

The QDR is a congressionally mandated, once-every-four years review of national defense strategy, force structure, modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plans and other elements defense policy. The 2014 QDR will be the fifth since Congress established the requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.