ARLINGTON, Va. — The Defense Department will look at how it is organized to meet the needs of troops in the fight, officials said Thursday.

The “Roles and Missions Review” is expected to be completed in November and will look at how the Defense Department is meeting seven key missions from a materiel, training, logistics and doctrine perspective, officials said at a briefing with reporters.

“We’re really trying to look at it from a perspective of what do we need capability-wise to deliver to the warfighter in order to be able to execute the missions that are laid out, again, all the way back to the strategic documents that are in the National Military [and] National Defense Strategy,” a senior military said.

The congressionally mandated review will look at the issue “holistically” from a materiel, training, logistics and doctrine perspective, the senior military official said.

But a Defense expert said such reviews are more about service rivalries, bureaucratic turf wars and ways to cut costs rather than helping the warfighter.

Hopefully, this review will not have much of an impact on troops at war, said Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan think-tank in Washington.

“What people try to find is the cheapest most efficient posture and what they end up with is something that is over-centralized, too small and too inflexible to meet combat needs,” Cordesman said.

A senior defense official said the review will look at seven broad areas that were chosen by senior leadership:

Unnecessary duplication of capabilities and effort across the Defense Department.Unmanned aircraft and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.Intratheater lift, including joint cargo aircraft.Cyberwarfare.Irregular warfare.Internal Defense Department governance roles and responsibilities.Supporting interagency roles, missions and capabilities.“If something isn’t broken, then we’re not interested in looking to try to fix it,” the senior Defense official said. “We’re just trying to look at areas ... we feel still need work.”

Exactly how much of the report is delivered to Congress will be determined after the election, a senior defense official said.

“We felt it was best to look at it as an opportunity to continue some of the things we’ve learned ... as far as organization and construct and things that could perhaps be of value to the next administration,” he said.

The Defense Department has “picked the right missions” to look into, said Loren Thompson, an expert at the Lexington Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Arlington, Va.

For example the Defense Department needs to decide who handles cyberwarfare and airlift missions, Thompson said.

But another expert said he thinks it is silly for the Defense Department to look at reducing duplication of capabilities.

It is the “nature of the beast” that the Pentagon has more than one component doing the same function, said Benjamin Friedman, of the Cato Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington.

“If you want to have something done well, you might want to have two people doing it. One might do it better than the other,” Friedman said, “That’s certainly how markets work.”

And the review of interagency roles will not address issues such as al-Qaida’s presence in Pakistan, he said.

“The United States has to get into the habit of saying there are some problems we can’t solve,” Friedman said.

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