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The Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies report, Toward a More Effective Defense, also recommended a combined program-budget review:
The programming and budgeting phases of PPBS should be merged into a single process that retains a program and mission orientation, but simultaneously establishes relevant budget inputs. (page 40)
G. EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
This section evaluates the specific options for improving the PPB system that were set forth in Section F. No effort will be made here to compare these options with each other or to identify the most promising options for legislative action. Rather, this section seeks to set forth in the most objective way possible the pros and cons of each alternative solution. The options will be identified by the same number and letter combination used in the preceding section. 1. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF INEFFECTIVE STRA
TEGIC PLANNING o Option 1A diminish OSD's focus on resource programs by
lessening the role of OSD resource managers Among the options presented in Chapter 3 for correcting OSD problem areas, there are two sets of options that would indirectly result in a diminished OSD focus on resources. The three options (Options 1A, 1B, and 1C) that propose creation of mission-oriented offices and the two options (Options 2A and 2B) that would streamline OSD would produce a less resource-oriented focus. Given that OSD has failed to fulfill its responsibilities in many important areas—like strategic planning—and that it engages in some degree of micro-management of Service resource programs, there appear to be no disadvantages to this option.
Using the Armed Forces Policy Council or an executive committee of the Defense Resources Board (DRB) to make strategic planning decisions seems to have merit. Using the full DRB to formulate plans and policy results in too much emphasis on programming and budgeting considerations. The DRB was not intended to be a strategic planning forum. The Defense Resource Management Study, which recommended establishment of the DRB, proposed only that it review program and budget issues.
The Armed Forces Policy Council includes the principal officials of DoD from whose interaction major strategic planning decisions should emerge. This council is the most appropriate DoD forum for making strategic planning decisions. If three mission-oriented under secretaries and an Under Secretary (Readiness, Sustainability, and Support) were established, they should be included on the Armed Forces Policy Council (as is currently required by section 171(a) of title 10, United States Code). Even if these four under secretaries were added, the Armed Forces Policy Council would continue to have a strong Service orientation and limited joint military representation. Seven council members—the Service Secretaries and Chiefs-would provide the Service perspective, but only the JCS Chairman would provide the joint military view.
It might be preferable to establish an executive committee of the DRB to make strategic planning decisions. The composition of this executive committee could be the following 12 officials:
Deputy Secretary of Defense ---Chairman
Under Secretary of Defense (Regional Defense and Force Projection)
Secretary of the Army
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Strategic Planning) This committee would have a substantial mission orientation, balanced between civilian and military perspectives. In addition, it would provide a balance between single Service and joint military views. On the whole, an executive committee of the DRB-organized roughly along the above lines—appears to be a more appropriate forum for strategic planning decisions than the Armed Forces Policy Council. o Option 1B-lessen congressional interest in program details
and increase congressional interest in major planning and
policy issues Evaluation of this option is presented in the chapter of this study dealing with congressional review and oversight. o Option 1C-appoint senior OSD officials with strong strategic
planning interests and skills There are really no disadvantages to this option, for it clearly would be desirable to appoint OSD officials with the highest possible level of strategic planning abilities. There is, however, little that can be done about this by direct legislation. Other points of evaluation are the same as for Option 3A of Chapter 3 which would require that OSD political appointees have strong defense management credentials. o Option 1D-reorient war colleges and military academies to
strengthen the study of strategy and military history Further consideration of this option is beyond the scope of this study.
o Option 1E-create an OSD strategic planning office,
If this option were implemented in conjunction with either Option 1B (mission-oriented under secretaries) or Option 1C (mission-function matrix) presented in Chapter 3, the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy would be abolished, and the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Strategic Planning) would be created and would report directly to the Secretary of Defense. If the current Under Secretary (Policy) were retained or the position of Under Secretary (Policy and Program Integration) were created, this separate strategic planning office would report to either official.
Much like the Policy Planning Staff in the Department of State, any such office in OSD, to be entitled Office of the Assistant Secretary (Strategic Planning), would likely be effective only to the degree that the Secretary of Defense had great confidence in the official who headed it and paid close attention to the output and the management agenda of the office. The general belief in the Department of State has been that the Policy Planning Staff has had little real influence under most Secretaries of State; the exact reasons for this lack of influence are not clear. An OSD strategic planning office would clearly have the potential to improve planning and to help shape more coherent policies, but its potential might rarely or never be realized.
It appears that the role of this office must be clearly established and understood if it is to enhance the quality of OSD strategic planning. The planning office should not do strategic planning by itself. If it attempted to do so, its contributions would be minimal. Instead, it should assume responsibility for designing and maintaining an effective strategic planning process. It should serve as a catalyst to activate appropriate organizations in OSD, the Services, and OJCS to have them systematically and comprehensively address and interact on fundamental planning and policy issues. The focus of this office should be on the process and not on plans or policy.
Divorced from the day-to-day responsibilities that currently dominate the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, a separate planning staff should be able to strengthen the strategic planning process. Furthermore, because this office would have major responsibilities for ensuring interaction between line management organizations, it would be useful to create it as a separate staff organization without quasi-line management responsibilities as is the case with the current Office of the Under Secretary for Policy.
One could question the need for an assistant secretary position, as in Options 1B and 1C of Chapter 3, to fulfill these planning process responsibilities. This question can be put aside by the recognition of the importance and current weaknesses of strategic planning in an organization as complex as DoD. o Option 1F-create a Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for
Strategic Planning The addition of a Deputy Under Secretary for Strategic Planning might strengthen the hand of the Under Secretary for Policy, enabling him to more effectively carry out his mandate. On the other hand, a Deputy Under Secretary ultimately could have no more effect on the policy planning process than is commensurate with the Under Secretary's own level of effectiveness, authority, and access to the Secretary of Defense. In instances where the Under Secretary is a strong individual with considerable influence with the Secretary of Defense, the addition of a Deputy Under Secretary might indeed have a positive effect on strategic planning; in instances where the Under Secretary for Policy himself does not wield a great deal of influence, the Deputy Under Secretary would be but another body and desk added to the process. o Option 16-reestablish the Joint Strategic Survey Committee
or create a Joint Military Advisory Council While this committee or council could improve strategic planning in OJCS, it would not appear to solve planning weaknesses in OSD. Without an improved OSD planning process, the full benefits of strengthened OJCS inputs may not be realized.
This does raise the issue of which and how many DoD organizations should have strategic planning as one of its principal responsibilities. Apparently, the view that only the OJCS should have this responsibility has been widely held. Hammond in Organizing for Defense argues that when a proposal has been put forth to improve OSD's capabilities to formulate general policies, “it has been rejected because it challenged the prerogatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the determiners of the military ends for which the military establishment exists.” (page 315)
The failure of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct effective strategic planning is widely recognized. As a result of this deficiency, strategic planning in DoD is dominated (although poorly performed) by civilian agencies. As Samuel P. Huntington has noted:
In many countries strategic planning is effectively dominated, if not totally monopolized, by the military acting through a central military staff. What is often lacking is an effective civilian counterweight to the strategic advice the military provides the government. In the United States, the situation is almost the reverse. Over the course of several decades, civilian agencies and groups have moved to shape strategy. (“Defense
Organization and Military Strategy”, page 26) The loss of influence and a meaningful role for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in strategic planning is the result of the institutional deficiencies of the JCS system.
Efforts to strengthen strategic planning should not focus exclusively on OSD or OJCS. Both have an important role to play in their areas of expertise. Moreover, these two organizations should serve as a counterbalance to the strategic advice of the other. In essence, there is a need for civilian-military collaboration in strategic planning. As General Meyer has said, effective military planning requires “much greater interplay between the joint military and civilian leadership." ("The JCS-How Much Reform is Needed?”, Armed Forces Journal International 119 (April 1982),
For these reasons, evaluation of options to strengthen the strategic planning capabilities of the JCS system will be presented in the chapter dealing with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. o Option 1H-insulate strategic planners from excessive outside
demands on their time Although this is clearly a desirable option, it is not at all clear how it could be achieved except by having senior officials set aside and protect the time of their strategic planning subordinates. The creation of a separate strategic planning staff (Option 1E) may help. o Option 11-strengthen the mission orientation of organizations
that contribute to the strategic planning process The most important part of strategic planning is the formulation of an integrated plan of action to achieve the central strategic goals of DoD. In the absence of organizations focused specifically on these strategic goals, effective planning would be more difficult. It is the effective process of interaction of important points of view, functional, mission-oriented, Service —that creates high quality strategic planning. One could argue that the current Offices of International Security Policy and International Security Affairs do focus on these strategic goals. On the other hand, it can be asserted that the focus of these offices is too narrow because it does not have the breadth of a multi-functional, mission orientation. What is missing from the current process is the mission point of view which also includes a multi-functional perspective. o Option 1J-expand the use of net assessments, particularly by
OJCS Better net assessments would clearly be of use to strategic planning decision-makers; the real problem is in assuring that the best and most objective analyses reach them and that they are able to apply the conclusions in actual decisions. That may be less a matter of organization, than of people. Strengthening the net assessment capabilities of OJCS would have to be designed to improve the overall work of the Joint Staff and ought not to be conceived as an alternative source of net assessment to that now performed by the Office of Net Assessment in OSD. There is no reason for this particular function to be needlessly duplicated in various offices. 2. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF AN INSUFFICIENT
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRATEGIC PLANNING AND FISCAL CON
o Option 2A-require that the Joint Strategic Planning Docu
ment (JSPD) reflect the most likely fiscal constraints Weaknesses in strategic planning were identified as being reflected in the PPB system, not caused by it. Therefore, while it is possible that the quality of PPBS products could be improved as the result of organizational changes within OJCS or OSD, such changes should not be recommended exclusively for the benefit of PPBS. The PPBS is a process designed to support DoD's organization, not the reverse.
PPBS and other management support processes, however, should be expected to respond to the needs of the organization. Weaknesses in strategic planning may indeed require structural changes in the DoD organization, but the primary relationship of this problem to PPBS lies in the absence of any meaningful connection between fiscally unconstrained planning and resource-constrained programming and budgeting. JCS planning documents will not be taken seriously in the PPBS process until they are resource-constrained.