The NDS issues an urgent call to action to a community—the National Security Innovation Base—that has never been called out so explicitly before. The strategy calls upon the National Security Innovation Base to gear up for a “long-term strategic competition” to maintain DoD’s technological advantage. Significantly, the strategy states that the accelerating pace and increasingly commercial nature of technological advancement will require the National Security Innovation Base to adopt “changes to industry culture, investment sources, and protection.”
The strategy of ‘deal-making’ is a hallmark of the political approach employed by the Trump administration and some in Congress. But a deal-making approach is a simple-minded strategy for public policy that disregards crucial implications and complexities that are inherent in politics, that can have negative implications for national security interests.
Emphasis on accountability, although valuable and necessary, can impede the defense acquisition process rather than alleviate problems. Acquisition reform must look beyond placing blame and create an environment that values collaboration and risk-taking as it seeks to improve the challenges in the acquisition process.
On August 1, DoD submitted a report to Congress outlining its plans to split the responsibilities of the current Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics (AT&L) into two new positions. Rhys McCormick and Andrew Hunter answer the critical questions surrounding the reorganization of the defense acquisition system.
By the end of June, we should have an idea of what the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will look like, and acquisition reform is sure to be on the agenda. Andrew Hunter explains why we should avoid the standard cynicism surrounding acquisition reform efforts and analyzes HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry’s latest bill.