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achieve feasible and desirable levels of military equipment commonality. Weak management of, and general resistance to joint programs is the third problem area. The last problem area is the lack of effective departmental coordination of acquisition.
In each of these problem areas, the causes are domination of the requirements formulation process and acquisition system by the Military Departments and insufficient coordination, review, and integration by other elements of DoD, primarily OSD and OJCS. This theme will recur in the discussion of each of the four problems, but its central importance indicates clearly that solutions to the problems require the enhancement of the coordination and integration role of elements of DoD other than the Military Departments. 1. INSUFFICIENT ASSURED CONNECTION BETWEEN NATIONAL MILI
TARY STRATEGY AND FORMULATION OF MILITARY REQUIREMENTS The process of determining what types of weapon systems and other defense equipment the United States buys is highly complex. As noted earlier, the process usually begins with a threat assessment of the military capabilities of potential adversaries. It is of critical importance to understand the capability of individual systems of potential adversaries, as well as the aggregate military capability of various types of adversary forces.
This threat is then considered in the context of U.S. national security commitments, and policy and planning objectives for U.S. military force capabilities are set. This should be followed by formulation of a national military strategy. Such a strategy would consider possible scenarios that might arise in different parts of the world and would plan for the use of military force, as appropriate, to deal with such scenarios. Part of this strategy would be the structure of forces to counter the threat. A key component of the force structure is the type of equipment available to United States forces.
Thus, a critical element in defense planning is the establishment of requirements for new military equipment. Such requirements should evolve from an assessment of the threat, existing United States military capabilities, and the national military strategy (which should reflect national commitments).
Consider, for example, the case of a new attack submarine, which is, in fact, currently being planned by the Navy. In the development of the requirement for the submarine, the Navy would consider the missions of such a platform and the relative capability of potential adversaries, in this instance the Soviet Union. Since one mission of an attack submarine is anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the Navy would regard the relative noise level of Soviet submarines as an important factor in determining how quiet American submarines would have to be in order to effectively perform the ASW role. In terms of offensive capabilities, the military requirement would have to reflect the anticipated use of submarines in the national military strategy. To what extent would submarines be based forward to attack enemy naval vessels in time of war? To what extent would submarines be responsible for keeping sea lines of communication open? What role, if any, would attack submarines have in the support of strategic missions? The answers to these questions should flow from the national military strate
type of platform that is built should reflect that strategy and the intended employment of attack submarines in various scenarios.
The concern, then, which is the first problem in the acquisition process portion of this study, is that there is not an assured connection between the national military strategy and the formulation of military requirements. The reason that the term “assured connection" is used is because it would be an verstatement to say that there is no connection. In many cases weapon systems that are developed fit well with the national strategy. Such a fit may exist more through chance than as a result of a careful planning process that assures such a fit.
This is not to say that the Services are procuring equipment which serves no military purpose. The issue is whether the platforms and weapons that are identified as new requirements are the most appropriate platforms and weapons to execute an integrated, unified military approach, not the approach of a single Service. For example, if the Air Force designs a new fighter, that fighter should ideally reflect the view of how four Services on a unified basis will fight in certain scenarios. There may be a difference, however, between the Air Force's view of its role in these scenarios and the views of the OJCS and unified commands of the Air Force role. If the Air Force defines requirements to reflect its own view of its role, then, though the aircraft procured will obviously have military value, it may not be the optimal aircraft to perform all of the unified missions required of it.
This problem may arise even more dramatically in the case of the failure of a Service to develop a capability to perform a particular mission at all, if its own plans and strategy do not reflect national military strategy. Consider, for example, a scenario in which hostilities might arise approximately 1,000 miles inland, and the successful rapid insertion of heavy land forces in sufficient numbers to be effective is considered unlikely. The American response to such a scenario would probably rely, at least initially, exclusively on air power. Does the process for developing military requirements assure that one of the Services will have developed aircraft capable of performing this mission? There is a concern that the process does not do that, particularly if the Service involved conceives its mission priorities differently than they are envisioned in the national military strategy.
The task of developing military requirements is essentially a Military Department function. The process by which this is done is different in each of the three departments. In the Navy, for example, requirements are established by the Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare, Surface Warfare, and Air Warfare. These vice admirals and their staffs are part of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and generally decide on new requirements for ships, aircraft, and weapons. There is, of course, input from the fleet and from the naval laboratories.
In the Air Force, the process of formulating requirements is somewhat more decentralized. The requirements formulators are predominantly the headquarters of the operating commands - the Strategic Air Command, the Military Airlift Command, and the Tactical Air Command. Proposals for requirements are then considered by the Air Staff (the staff of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force).
The Army system is somewhat similar to that of the Air Force, in that the three major combat arms (infantry, armor, and artillery) and their supporting elements formulate requirements, which are then considered by the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Recommendations regarding new requirements are then transmitted for review to the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Ft. Monroe, Virginia, and finally to the Army Staff.
Through these processes, the Services exercise primary responsibility for the development of requirements for new military equipment. The OJCS has a limited role, as do the unified and specified commands. The staff of the USDR&E is also chartered to be involved in the process of requirements formulation, but that office has far fewer resources than do the individual Services.
Because of Service dominance of the process by which military requirements are formulated, there is, as discussed earlier, a reasonable concern about whether these requirements fully reflect and support national military strategy. As noted, a particular Service may envision its role in various operational scenarios differently than the role contemplated for the Service in the overall national military strategy. Similarly, where a Service role is predominantly in support of another Service, there may be insufficient coordination between the two Services to assure that equipment developed for the supporting role is the optimal type of equipment. For example, in theory, if the Air Force were developing a multi-purpose air platform to perform combined missions, such as a general air-toground mission as well as a close air support mission, the Air Force might prefer a platform that would emphasize the general air-toground role (which would be an independent Air Force mission) as opposed to the close air support role. The Army, on the other hand, might prefer a platform with greater close air support capabilities. In either case, it is unclear that any neutral mediator -either OSD or the OJCS --could effectively direct a balance between mission capabilities in the platform based upon an understanding of national military strategy and priorities. 2. FAILURE TO ACHIEVE FEASIBLE AND DESIRABLE LEVELS OF MILI
TARY EQUIPMENT COMMONALITY Though each Service obviously buys a number of weapon systems that are uniquely required for the missions of that Service, there are also systems and subsystems for which the general need is common among two or more of the Services. The opportunities for commonality vary depending upon the particular situation. In some cases, such as an air-launched missile, the same munition might theoretically be appropriate for all of the Services. In other cases, such as that of aircraft, it might be possible for one Service to make some modifications to the aircraft of another Service, rather than developing an entirely new aircraft. In addition, there are inevitably types of subsystems —such as radars, computers, and electronic countermeasure units —that might be commonly used in weapon platforms of more than one Service.
The Marine Corps, for example, relies almost completely on equipment procured for other Services to meet its needs. Much Marine Corps ground equipment is Army equipment, and the Marine Corps has for some time used carrier-capable aircraft procured by the Navy. The example of the Marine Corps is relatively clear evidence that there are substantial opportunities for common utilization of military equipment or the incorporation of common elements into various weapon systems.
For many of the same reasons that explain the insufficient assured connection between national military strategy and the formulation of military requirements, the amount of commonality in military equipment appears to be far less than might be desirable. Since the Services are responsible for the development of military requirements, the tendency is for each Service to develop a system uniquely tailored to the needs and mission which that Service seeks to perform. There is nothing necessarily sinister about this tendency; it is a natural desire of professional military officers to have equipment which best suits the specific needs and mission of their Service. There is always the concern that an emphasis on common utilization may force a compromise in capability in order to accommodate the needs of two or more Services. There is also the belief that lack of commonality confounds the enemy and complicates its task of responding to United States forces.
Nevertheless, given the very high cost of major weapon systems today and budgetary pressures faced by the country, every opportunity to achieve procurement economies by the common utilization of systems or subsystems ought to be explored. The structure of the Department of Defense as it now exists does not appear to be ideally suited to promote such exploration. 3. WEAK MANAGEMENT OF, AND GENERAL RESISTANCE TO JOINT PRO
GRAMS A joint program is one in which two or more Services are participating in the development and acquisition of a weapon system. In such a program, the Services may ultimately buy the same item or variants of an item to reflect Service-specific needs, missions, and requirements. It appears that historically there have been significant management problems with such programs. The difficulties with managing joint programs generally flow from the difficulty in getting agreement on joint requirements. As noted in the discussion of problem area #2, the Services are reluctant to compromise on specifications or equipment capabilities. There are legitimate differences in the doctrine, tactics, and technical needs of various Services. Moreover, one Service may be willing to commit a greater amount of resources to satisfying a particular military requirement, because it is relatively more important to that service than another Service.
If a joint requirement can be established, however, there are also problems in achieving effective joint program administration and management. Presently, when a joint program is to be undertaken, OSD appoints a lead Service which then appoints the program manager. Though the program manager has primary responsibility for staffing the program office, the participating Services in the joint program also assign representatives to the program office. Often, these representatives will not be co-located. In some cases, such as the Joint Cruise Missile Project, co-location of all of the joint program participants was directed.
The joint program office, however, seems to have many of the conflict of interest problems that the Joint Staff does (which are discussed in detail in Chapter 4). These are briefly summarized in work conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO) on this subject:
Representatives appointed to the joint program have divided loyalty to their continuing Service affiliation, and to the ad hoc joint program. They are in the program first and foremost to protect their Service's interest. Promotions and reassignments are done by the parent Service. Several sources told us that officer careers have been blighted due to loyalty conflict when the parent Services were cool toward the joint program. ("Joint Major System Acquisition by the Military Services: An
Elusive Strategy," December 23, 1983, page 25) Exceedingly difficult demands are placed upon a joint program manager. He is responsible for obtaining funds from participating Services, negotiating requirements disputes, keeping all the necessary components of the project under contract, dealing with different chains of command, and trying to maintain the program on schedule. There are numerous review ladders in a single Service project; there are even more in a joint program.
Some of the problems associated with joint programs should be relieved by the establishment of the Joint Requirements and Management Board. This is an instrument of the JCS which has been charged with examining potential joint military requirements; identifying, evaluating, and selecting candidates for joint development and acquisition programs; chartering study groups to identify concept definitions, joint requirements, and joint management issues; providing oversight of cross-Service requirements and management issues; and resolving Service issues that arise after a joint program has been initiated. The board consists of the Vice Chiefs of Staff of each Service and the Director of the Joint Staff. Also, the Services have demonstrated an awareness of and concern about this problem. For example, the Joint Logistics Commanders issued a thoughtful study in July 1984 on joint programs, in which the management weaknesses discussed here were recognized. 4. LACK OF EFFECTIVE DEPARTMENTAL COORDINATION OF ACQUISI
TION A simple review of the organization of procurement in the Defense Department should make it clear why there exists a lack of complete coordination in the acquisition process. As has already been noted, the Services control the process. Though there are officials in OSD who are charged with setting procurement policy or otherwise monitoring aspects of the acquisition process, those officials have no direct line management responsibility over the Service buying commands.
Thus, though OSD procurement policy officials control department-wide regulations, further regulatory direction comes from the Services, the buying commands within the Services, and even the