Revising Strategy Documents
Assessing Defense Reform Series
August 31, 2016There is widespread dissatisfaction with the existing strategy formulation process and resulting documents because of their perceived lack of prioritization and the disconnect between goals and resources, as well as the burden the processes place on staff and decisionmakers. As a result, both congressional chambers made proposals for reform. These proposals complement each other in some places and conflict in others. Common themes are more centralization to allow a unified vision and less susceptibility to staff-level consensus, more classification to allow increased candor in the documents without risking criticism by outside groups, and simplification of statutory requirements to allow focus on the key issues and reduce staff burden. FY 2017 is not the final opportunity for reform. The Congress can make further changes in the future as insights are gained from the outcome of these reforms and from the next set of strategic reviews.
Photo credit: CAPT. BROOK DEWALT/U.S. Navy