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.
The Navy budget is due to increase as they seek to achieve a 355 ship Navy. However, it is unwise to counterbalance those cost by reactivating the decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. Authors John Cole and Thomas Ulmer address the challenges and explain why the long-term cost outweigh the short-term savings.
Like a zombie in a low-budget horror film, a bad idea that keeps coming back to life is the proposal to scale back the military housing allowance. In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate version of the bill included a provision that would have limited the housing allowance to only what service…
The first ten months of 2017 have posed daunting challenges for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific with the deaths of 17 sailors and multiple serious mishaps. Some lawmakers have pointed to these tragedies as evidence of a “readiness crisis,” resulting in part from insufficient funding from Congress. This paper analyzes the Navy’s readiness funding for maintenance and training within the Navy’s operation and maintenance (O&M) budget relative to historical norms and normalized for the size of the fleet.
The Department of Defense (DOD) faces a strategic choice: whether to focus on modernization for high-tech conflicts with China and Russia or expand forces and improve readiness to meet a superpower’s commitments for ongoing conflicts and crisis response. In their FY 2018 budgets, the services all complain that they are too small for the demands being put on them and hedge toward expanding forces and readiness. In the new DOD strategy being developed for 2019 and beyond, the services hope to pursue all three goals—expand forces, improve readiness, and increase modernization—but the fiscal future is highly uncertain, and they will likely have to make difficult trade-offs.
Before putting special operators in harm’s way, the makers of policy and strategy must give great thought to the factors that determine tactical and strategic outcomes. With the demand for special operations forces exceeding the supply, the new administration must determine where scarce special operations personnel can best be employed, and where other U.S. and allied capabilities can most profitably shoulder the burden.
The nomination of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense brings a level of controversy. Though General Mattis is highly regarded he is ineligible to be Secretary of Defense within seven years of his retirement unless Congress provides him a waiver. This article provides a list of questions the Congress should consider proposing to General Mattis on his January 12, hearing.