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.
On September 8, President Trump signed into law H.R. 601, the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017.” The bill addresses several timely concerns, providing $15.25 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief, temporarily suspending the federal debt ceiling, and funding the federal government with a continuing resolution (CR) that runs through December 8. Todd Harrison and Seamus Daniels address critical questions about the continuing resolution and what it means for defense spending in the 2018 fiscal year.
CSIS hosted a roundtable discussion on the prospects for rationalizing the Department of Defense’s real property assets in a strategic context. These experts from across the political spectrum and with widely divergent views on national security nevertheless agreed that some process for base closure and realignment was needed. They also discussed how any future base closure and realignment process needed to learn from the past, to be fair to the local communities, and to accommodate congressional concerns.
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.
At current, the U.S. Army is at risk of losing its tactical advantage if its modernization strategy does not change. This report identifies the challenge for Army modernization and provides recommendations for the Army to maximize the effectiveness of its modernization budget.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration plans to release its first budget request to Congress, which will include a detailed budget proposal for defense. This will be the first chance to see the specific priorities of the new administration and gauge whether campaign rhetoric about growing the military will become administration policy.
While the implementation of budget cuts from the Budget Control Act of 2011 has caused concerns for the industrial base, the resulting debate lacks empirical analysis. This research measures the impact of the defense drawdown across all the tiers of the industrial base. The technical approach analyzes prime and subprime DoD contract data to measure the drawdown’s impacts by sector to better understand how contractors have responded to this external market shock.
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 environment. This report is structured in three parts: a review of the available literature on the use of incentives in PBL contracting, a data analysis of where and how PBL contracts are used in the DoD, and a summary of initial findings from the experts CSIS has interviewed on the subject.
This study examines the literature on how 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. Utilizing publicly available data, the study provides a methodology for classifying the contracts and analyzes the data based on noncompetitive awards, undefinitized contract actions, and reachback contracts.