Thursday, July 26, 2012

CSIS Releases Classified DoD Study

Several months ago, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was asked by the Department of Defense to do an independent assessment of the US defense posture in the Pacific Command area.

The CSIS study was under the joint direction of David Berteau, Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS, and Michael Green, Senior Advisor and Japan Chair at CSIS.

Here is what the DoD said on July 24, 2012 about the CSIS report:

Today the Department of Defense transmitted to Congress the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) independent assessment of the United States defense posture in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility. This report was commissioned as a requirement of section 346 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012 (P.L. 112-81). The department also transmitted to Congress Secretary Panetta’s comments on the report.
The secretary appreciates the hard work of the CSIS team and the extensive analysis they have undertaken, and he values their insights.
U.S. policy calls for rebalancing defense, diplomatic, and economic resources toward the Asia-Pacific region. Essential to this strategy is the effort to strengthen alliances and partnerships in the region and to advance a common security vision through those relationships.
The CSIS assessment is consistent with the major elements of the department’s defense strategy. The report supports the department’s approach to enhancing the U.S. defense posture in the Asia-Pacific and highlights some of key steps that will need to be taken in the future to achieve that goal.
In the coming days, department leaders will meet with members of Congress to discuss the report’s findings. We look forward to consulting with the Congress, whose support is essential to ensuring that we can fulfill our nation’s defense needs in the Asia-Pacific region.
Parts of the study reportedly are classified, and a CSIS spokesman has said that it is up to the Pentagon to decide what can be made public.

The House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness will hold a hearing on the findings on August 1, 2012.  Testifying will be David Bereau and Michael Green, along with Robert Scher, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans, and David Helvey, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is the Chairman of that Subcommittee, and Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) is the Ranking Democrat on that Subcommittee.  Here is Rep. Bordallo's statement on the CSIS release.

Here is a statement by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (D-AZ), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

Unclassified portions of the 100+ page report can be read here.