Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. On September 11, 2001, I was working in the Pentagon as part of a small team drafting the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. The 9/11 attacks were a watershed event for me personally and for the Department of Defense. The attacks immediately reduced the peacetime bureaucratic processes of the day, including the QDR, to trivialities, as the Department – and the Nation – unified in their intent to vanquish the Islamist terrorists who perpetrated the attacks and to prevent future attacks on the United States.
In my testimony today, I will outline some of the pertinent lessons to be drawn from the past decade, the security and fiscal challenges we face looking ahead, and how we might reconcile them in the years ahead.