Guam – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo took Pentagon officials to task at an armed services panel hearing over internal “discord” she claims has hurt Pacific Force realignment and the Guam build-up.
Bordallo took aim at the Pentagon, criticized in the recent CSIS Pacific force posture study, for a “disconnect” between Secretary Leon Panetta’s office and the Pacific command on planning and strategic direction.
HEAR Matt Kaye’s report HERE>>>08-02 bordallovsdod.mp3
Bordallo charged DoD is not speaking with “one-voice” or executing major programs in the pacific with “a coordinated focus.”
Bordallo: “We’ve been working on this military move to Guam, and now, to other areas, for nearly ten-years, ten long-years. And why is there so much discord? We are moving to U.S. Territories. We’re trying to enhance the bases, there. We’re moving into something that belongs to us.”
Bordallo says the Senate is partly to blame for the hold-ups, requiring report after report, including a ‘lay-down’ plan DoD still hasn’t provided, but she demanded of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for plans, Robert Scher how DoD will resolve internal discord.
Scher wasn’t biting.
Scher: “We don’t see the same level of disagreement between Pacific Command and the Department of Defense in Washington. I think, certainly, we are still working through many of these issues, in terms of implementing. The Defense strategic guidance came out in the beginning of this year, that was then translated into various guidance documents that guide the Department of Defense. This, as you know, is a very large organization.”
But Scher, who recently visited PACOM says the fruits of the effort will be realized in 2014 DoD budget submissions and campaign plans by combatant commanders.
Scher says he’s very confident that DoD and all of the services are now “committed” to the current realignment plan and to making sure it works
Scher: “We have commitments from all of the service components that this is the plan that they approved, from the Pacific Commander. And I think that within the Administration, there is no doubt that this is the appropriate approach. And that we should begin implementing as soon as possible, assuming that we are given the appropriate funds to do so.”
CSIS officials meantime, urged that the Guam build-up, especially infrastructure, should not be sacrificed to automatic Defense cuts that could start next year unless Congress finds an alternative. They warned very little would be saved, but a lot of military capability, lost.