The presence of a technologically superior defense industrial base has been a foundation of U.S. strategy since 1945. While the implementation of the budget cuts in the Budget Control Act of 2011 has caused concerns for the industrial base, the resulting debate has been lacking in empirical analysis. The purpose of this research is to measure the impact of the current defense drawdown across all the tiers of the industrial base. The technical approach analyzes prime and subprime DoD contract data to measures the impacts of the drawdown by sector to better understand how prime and subprime contractors have responded to this external market shock. Download Report Here > Rhys McCormick is a research associate with the Defense-Industrial ... Read more
Performance-based logistics (PBL) contracts, which have been used by private industry for decades, (particularly in the airline industry as a way to manage complex fleets) have only relatively recently begun to be used in the public sector worldwide. Research on PBL application indicates that PBLs can be successful in lowering costs and improving performance in both government and private contracting. In both cases, PBL contracts depend on the ability of the customer to properly structure and implement contract incentives to promote vendor behavior that reduces costs and improves performance while delivering the customer’s desired outcomes. This report examines how such incentives are used in PBL contracting and looks further towards how incentives can best be utilized in a PBL contracting ... Read more
Contracts relying on crisis funds (including emergency funds) may bypass many safeguards built into normal spending processes. This study examines the literature on how these contracts are fulfilled for both civilian and defense crisis funds, primarily focusing on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), disaster funds, and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds, beginning with contracts awarded in 2012 and using publicly available data. This paper discusses the challenges and contradictions that make identifying OCO-funded contracts difficult and then presents a methodology for classifying them. The paper then analyzes trends in contracting from the post-Iraq withdrawal period. This analysis focuses on three areas where the literature review showed that crisis contracting diverges from conventional contracting: noncompetitive awards, undefinitized contract actions, ... Read more
This report is the second in an annual series examining trends in what the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is buying, how DoD is buying it, and from whom DoD is buying.
President-elect Donald Trump, upon taking office, will be confronted immediately with a profoundly complex and rapidly changing global security environment. Under his leadership the United States will face conventional, and also decidedly unconventional, national security challenges. Both conventional and unconventional challenges will emanate from nation-state competitors and non-government actors alike. Just as Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS have already done, these challengers will continue to leverage an increasingly global and commercial innovation environment in order to generate new capabilities that undermine or overcome U.S. warfighting advantages. Competitive Advantage DoD has historically provided as much as 100 percent of the investment capital needed to develop the systems that meet its specialized needs. However, in return for this generosity, it sharply ... Read more
The administration, Senate, and House all agree that ensuring U.S. technological superiority is a major priority and that some change to DoD’s current organization would likely be beneficial in achieving this objective.
The acquisition system needs to reevaluate the way major defense acquisition programs are acquired and move throughout the acquisition process.
Management of defense acquisition programs has historically followed a well-defined structure.
Report Summary This report is part of "Defense Outlook: A CSIS Series on Strategy, Budget, Forces, and Acquisition," a new International Security Program initiative examining the dynamics and interlinkages of strategy, budget, forces, and acquisition on the current and future state of the U.S. Armed Forces. This inaugural report in the Defense Outlook Series looks back at what happened in 2015, specifically with respect to strategy and the security environment, the debate in congress over the defense budget and force structure, and changes in the acquisition system, and looks ahead to what these developments may mean in 2016 and beyond. Three overarching themes emerged from this analysis on defense strategy, budget, forces, and acquisition. The first is ... Read more
Report Summary This report is part of "Defense Outlook: A CSIS Series on Strategy, Budget, Forces, and Acquisition," a new International Security Program initiative examining the dynamics and interlinkages of strategy, budget, forces, and acquisition on the current and future state of the U.S. Armed Forces. This report, Defense Acquisition Trends 2015: Acquisition in an Era of Budgetary Uncertainty, is the first in an annual series of reports titled “Defense Outlook, a CSIS Series on Strategy, Budgets, Forces, and Acquisition.” It builds upon previous CSIS reports on defense contract trends by identifying and discussing broader policy trends in acquisition and providing close analysis to these trends using information derived from contract data. This year’s report looks in great depth ... Read more