The Department of Defense (DOD) is facing the complex challenge of simultaneously supporting continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and preparing its military forces to meet emerging threats of the new security environment. Congress appropriated $626 billion for DOD's fiscal year 2010 budget and to support current operations. As we have emphasized in previous reports, the federal government is facing serious long-term fiscal challenges, and DOD may confront increased competition over the next decade for federal discretionary funds. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the fourth since 1997 and the second since the start of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, articulates DOD's strategic plan to rebalance capabilities in order to prevail in current operations and develop capabilities to meet future threats. The QDR acknowledged that the country faces fiscal challenges and that DOD must make difficult trade-offs where warranted. Also, the QDR results are intended to guide the services in making resource allocation decisions when developing future budgets. This letter provides our assessment of the degree to which DOD addressed each of these items in its 2010 report on the QDR and the supplemental information provided to the defense committees.
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