US Defense Department releases Roles, Missions Review

By Sara Moore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2009 –

Defense Department officials released a report to Congress today detailing its core competencies and missions and establishing a framework for similar reviews every four years.

The 2009 Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review Report also reviews recent efforts across the force to improve joint operations in several evolving mission areas, officials said.

The report identifies the department’s core missions as homeland defense and civilian support; deterrence operations; major combat operations; irregular warfare; military support to stabilization, security, transition and reconstruction operations; and military contribution to cooperative security. These are “missions for which [the Defense Department] is uniquely responsible, provides the preponderance of capabilities, or is the U.S. government lead as established by national policy,” the report says.

The report found that the Defense Department has achieved “some success” institutionalizing irregular warfare in recent years. The department’s vision for the future is to equip the joint force with the capabilities, doctrine, organization, training, leadership and operating concepts needed to make it as proficient in irregular warfare as it is in conventional warfare, according to the report. Toward that end, Defense Department officials are continuing to define the role of special operations forces, balancing reserve- and active-component roles in irregular warfare, and working with interagency partners.

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