Cleansing the Poisoned Chalice?
April 21, 2009
The United States faces a crisis in defense strategy, planning, programming, and budgeting almost as severe as the crisis it faces in its domestic economy. Its system for formulating defense strategy, planning, programming and budget documents has failed both within the Department of Defense and at the interagency level--problems documented in previous reports by the Burke Chair.
- U.S. Strategy, Force Plans, and the FY2010 Defense Budget: The Questions Still to Be Answered
- The Obama Administration and US Strategy: The First 100 Days
These reports, however, only begin to address the problems documented in a new report that shows the scale of the problems in each major aspect of the U.S. defense program and makes it clear that Secretary Gates’s statements describing his FY2010 defense budget request raise at least as many questions as they answer.
Part of the reason for these shortfalls may lie in the need to rush decisions out in time to meet budget deadliness, and before the Secretary had time to develop all of the necessary supporting plans and analysis. The secretary said during his briefing that his “proposed changes are interconnected and cannot be properly communicated or understood in isolation from one another. Collectively, they represent a budget crafted to reshape the priorities of America’s defense establishment. If approved, these recommendations will profoundly reform how this department does business.”