American Forces Press Service

Rumsfeld Calls 2003 Budget Key to Transformation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2002 -- In addition to providing funds for the war on terror, President Bush's fiscal 2003 DoD budget request starts the military transformation process, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Feb. 4.

Rumsfeld said the budget request of $379.3 billion reflects the six transformation goals set down in the Quadrennial Defense Review. These are: protect the U.S. homeland and critical bases of operation; deny enemies sanctuary; project and sustain power in access-denied areas; leverage information technology; improve and protect information operations; and enhance space operations.

He said the decisions made in the budget request capitalize on work done since the Bush administration took office. He said the changes in defense strategy mandated by the QDR helped shape the budget request as did other initiatives such as the Nuclear Posture Review and the reorganization of space capabilities and commands.

DoD also reorganized and revitalized the missile defense program and reiterated the importance of homeland defense. He said all this went on against the early backdrop of a new administration taking over and, since Sept. 11, the war on terrorism.

He said the 2003 budget also tries to balance the different types of risk the United States faces. "We've all heard for years of war risks and requirements to keep those war risks at a moderate level," Rumsfeld said to reporters. "In this (budget) process we have done our best to try to balance war risks against the risks of not properly taking care of (our) people and not properly funding infrastructure."

The budget also considered the risks of not modernizing and not properly transforming the force.

Rumsfeld said he believes many people think that "transformation is a weapon system or transformation is firing some person who is not transformational."

He said people in his office tried to quantify the "transformation monies" in the DoD budget request. By one definition and calculation the result was $20 billion and by another it was $50 billion. "I said that would be as misleading as it would be useful, for people to think of it in dollars," Rumsfeld said.

Transformation can be new weapons, but it can also be connectivity and interoperability and "in taking things -- every single one of which exists presently -- and managing them, using them, arraying them in a way that has a result that is transformational."

People are transformational. He said the appointment of the next six to 12 senior four-star officers would be the most important driving force behind transformation.

Senior military and civilian officials are working together to change the culture of the military. He said the way these senior officials worked together on the budget "suggests the department is capable of change and the people here have a good appreciation of the need of this institution to look to the future and see that we're arranged so that we can defend the American people, our friends and allies and our deployed forces against the threats that we are likely to face."

He said it is important "that we do not return to the old way of thinking of things and the old way of doing things, because they are not appropriate for the future."

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