The Center for American Progress (CAP) has released a new report entitled “Restoring America’s Military Power: A Progressive Quadrennial Defense Review” this week. It represents a preemptive critique of the official Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which DOD will release on February 7th. On the subject of homeland defense, the CAP report provides the following homeland defense-related recommendations:
- Establish a “Homeland Security Corps” and make the Army National Guard the primary protector of the homeland. Shift its composition to units suited for homeland defense missions (ie. combat support, military police).
- Prohibit first responders from serving in the Selected Reserve.
- Have DOD work more closely with DHS and other agencies to build synergies between the homeland security and homeland defense missions.
- Double homeland defense spending to $20 billion.
- Increase DOD capabilities to support civil authorities in response to CBRNE attacks.
- Establish two regional commands within the National Guard to enhance homeland defense and disaster response planning.
- Enhance Northcom recovery capabilities for catastrophic disasters. Train two active-duty Army divisions in domestic consequence management as a reserve force for the homeland defense mission to the Army National Guard.
Many of the policy recommendations above are sensible, and a lot of them are consistent with the official DOD Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support released in June 2005. The biggest question mark for me in these recommendations is the idea of doubling homeland defense spending. Without a better of idea of what this new spending would deliver, I’m initially skeptical. And from my vantage point, I see a number of mission areas within DHS that have more pressing funding needs than DOD’s homeland defense activities.
It will be very interesting to see what the real QDR says about homeland defense. I’ve been looking doggedly for advance information about this part of the report, but there’s very little info out there as of yet. You’ll definitely see analysis of it here on Feb. 7th.