Addition by Subtraction: Reviewing and Reducing Requirements to Increase Readiness

The opportunity is ripe for a “less is more” mandate with a business-minded President-elect Trump and bureaucratic-averse Defense Secretary nominee who can reduce or eliminate burdensome administrative and training requirements that have been levied upon the services, units, and service members. Viewed individually, most of these types of requirements (e.g. Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, Human Trafficking Prevention, and everyone’s favorite—Cyber Awareness) are relatively innocuous and have merit. However, placed in the context of all of the other routine requirements—often uncoordinated, duplicative, and from multiple different departments and entities—there are simply not enough hours in the day or months in the year to meaningfully accomplish all of them. There may be more attention and concern related to the literal bandwidth of our IT systems than the figurative bandwidth of our operators and commanders.

Time is the only resource that cannot be added to the “topline”; it can’t be created, only thoughtfully and forcibly taken back.

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Micah Murphy

Former Military Fellow, International Security Program