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Decisions on Air Power Programs and
Priorities Require Comprehensive Joint
Assessments

officials told us the JWCA teams have not developed proposals to shift funding among programs to reflect higher priorities from a joint perspective.

In assessing the impact of the JROC and the JWCA process on combat air
power, we examined two important ultimate outputs of the process—the
Chairman's Program Assessment and Program Recommendations to the
Secretary of Defense. Under its broadened mandate, the JROC has been
made a focal point for addressing joint warfighting needs. It is expected to
support the Chairman in advising the Secretary by making specific
programmatic recommendations that will, among other things, lead to
increased joint warfighting capability and reduce unnecessary
redundancies and marginally effective systems, within existing budget
levels. However, in reviewing the Chairman's 1994 and 1995 program
assessments and 1995 program recommendations, we found little to
suggest that this type of advice is being provided. The documents did not
offer specific substantive proposals to reduce or eliminate duplication
among existing service systems or otherwise aid in addressing the problem
of funding recapitalization. In fact, the Chairman's 1995 Program
Assessment indicates an inability on the Chairman's part, at least at that
point, to propose changes in service programs and budgets. While the
Chairman expressed serious concerns in his assessment about the need
for and cost of recapitalizing warfighting capabilities and said that the
power of joint operations allows for the identification of programs to be
canceled or reduced, his advice was to defer to the services to make such
choices.

DOD Must Overcome
Certain Obstacles to
Achieve a Stronger
Joint Orientation

DOD must overcome several obstacles that have inhibited JWCA teams and others that try to assess joint mission requirements and the services' aggregate capabilities to fulfill combat missions. In addition to scarce information on joint mission requirements and aggregate service capabilities discussed in chapter 4, impediments include (1) weak analytical tools and databases to assist in-depth joint mission area analyses, (2) weaknesses in DOD's decision making support processes, and (3) the services' resistance to changes affecting their programs.

Better Analytical Tools and
Data Are Needed to
Improve Joint Assessments

DOD officials acknowledge that current analytical tools, such as computer models and war games used in warfighting analyses, should be improved if they are to be effectively used to analyze joint warfighting. They told us these tools often do not accurately represent all aspects of a truly joint

Decisions on Air Power Programs and
Priorities Require Comprehensive Joint
Assessments

force, frequently focus on either land or naval aspects, and often do not consider the contribution of surveillance and reconnaissance and command and control assets to the warfighter. Some models are grounded in Cold War theory and must be augmented with other evaluations to minimize their inherent deficiencies.

DOD representatives and analysts from the military operations research community also observe that there are serious limitations in the data to support analyses of joint capabilities and requirements. Presently, anytime DOD wants to study joint requirements, a database must be developed. Concerns then arise over whether the databases developed and used are consistent, valid, and accurate. Efforts have been made in the past to collect joint data and develop appropriate models for analyzing joint warfare. These efforts, however, fell short, as there was not a consistent, compelling need across enough of the analytic community to do the job adequately.

A current major initiative aimed at improving analytical support is the design and development of a new model-JWARS—that will simulate joint warfare. JWARS will seek to overcome past shortcomings and will include the contributions of surveillance and reconnaissance and command, control, and communication assets to the warfighter. This initiative was developed as part of DOD's joint analytic model improvement program because of the Secretary of Defense's concern that current models used for warfare analysis are no longer adequate to deal with the complex issues confronting senior decisionmakers. Under this program, DOD will upgrade and refine current warfighting models to keep them usable until a new generation of models to address joint warfare issues can be developed. The new models are intended to help decisionmakers assess the value of various force structure mixes. As part of this broad initiative, DOD also intends to develop a central database for use in mission area studies and analyses.

In addition to problems with models and data, the Roles and Missions Commission identified a need to improve analytical capabilities in both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff. Commission staff said that there has been too much reliance on the services for analytical support and that the Joint Staff should improve its abilities to look broadly across systems and services in conducting analyses. Recognizing the need for more information and analytical support, the Joint Staff has contracted for studies to support the JWCA assessments. According to Joint Staff data,

Decisions on Air Power Programs and
Priorities Require Comprehensive Joint
Assessments

by the end of fiscal year 1996, DOD will have awarded about $24 million in contracts to support the teams.

Decision-making Support
Process Limitations Create
Problems

In its May 1995 report, the Roles and Missions Commission faulted the decision support processes DOD uses to develop requirements and make resource allocation decisions. It cited a need for the JROC and OSD staff to have a greater ability to address DOD needs in the aggregate. The Commission also presented ideas and recommendations to improve DOD's decision-making processes to enable management to better develop requirements from a joint perspective. These included (1) changes to the information support network that would enable DOD to assess forces and capabilities by mission area and (2) changes to the weapons acquisition process that would enable joint warfighting concerns to be considered when requirements for new weapons are first being established. These and many other Commission proposals were still under assessment within DOD at the completion of our review.

DOD, in its comments on a draft of our report, indicated that it believes the
OSD and Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff oversight of service
programs and budgets is quite rigorous. Several oss program analysts we
interviewed did not share this view. They described the oversight as very
limited and the JWCA process as contributing very little to programming
and budgeting decisions. Roles and Missions Commission staff also
stressed to us that, based on their years of experience in OSD, the Secretary
needs stronger independent advisory support from the OSD staff.

Desire to Have Consensus
Can Inhibit Needed
Changes

DOD has reduced its force structure and terminated some weapon programs to reflect changes in the National Military Strategy and reduced defense budgets. But further attempts to cancel weapon programs and reduce unnecessary overlaps and duplications among forces are likely to generate considerable debate and resistance within DOD. Because such initiatives can threaten service plans and budgets, the tendency has been to avoid debates involving tradeoffs among the services' systems. The potential effects of program reductions or cancellations on careers, the distribution of funds to localities, jobs, and the industrial base also serve as disincentives for comprehensive assessments and dialogue on program alternatives.

The Chairman's 1995 Program Assessment indicates the difficulty the
Chairman has had in identifying programs and capabilities to cancel or

Decisions on Air Power Programs and
Priorities Require Comprehensive Joint
Assessments

reduce. While the Chairman recognized that the increasing jointness of military operations should permit additional program cancellations or reductions, he noted that the Joint Chiefs—despite the added support of the JROC and the JWCA process—had been unable to define with sufficient detail what should not be funded. The Chairman recommended that the Secretary of Defense look to the military services to identify programs that can be slowed or terminated. He said for this to happen, however, the services would have to be provided incentives. The Chairman recommended that the Secretary return to the services any savings they identify for application toward priority recapitalization or readiness and personnel programs.

Joint Staff officials indicated that the Chairman's reluctance to propose changes to major service programs may be attributable to the need for the Chairman to be a team builder and not be at odds with the service chiefs over their modernization programs. Adoption of the Chairman's proposal could lead the services to reduce or eliminate programs and otherwise more efficiently operate their agencies, including reducing infrastructure costs. However, it is difficult to appreciate how these unilateral decisions by the services will provide for the most efficient and effective use of defense resources to meet the needs of the combatant commanders. It should be remembered that studies and hearings leading up to the Goldwater-Nichols legislation observed that the need for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to reach consensus before making decisions clearly inhibited decisions that could integrate service capabilities along mission lines. The need to address this problem was one of the primary motivations behind Goldwater-Nichols.

Conclusions

While DOD acknowledges the need to consider joint requirements and the services' aggregate capabilities in defense planning, programming, and budgeting, its decision support systems have not yielded the information needed from a joint perspective to help the Secretary make some very difficult decisions. Measures intended to improve the advice provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have met with limited success. The Secretary does not have enough comprehensive information on joint mission requirements and aggregate capabilities to help him establish recapitalization priorities and reduce duplications and overlaps in existing capabilities without unacceptable effects on force capabilities. The Chairman would be in a better position to provide such advice if joint warfighting assessments examined such issues.

Decisions on Air Power Programs and
Priorities Require Comprehensive Joint
Assessments

Efforts are underway that could provide the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other decisionmakers with improved information to make the difficult force structure and modernization choices needed. However, the desire to reach consensus with the service chiefs

or in the case of the JROC the practice of reaching consensus among its members could present a formidable obstacle to efforts by DOD officials to make significant changes to major modernization programs and to identify and eliminate unnecessary or overly redundant capabilities. The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff need to be more willing to take decisive actions on modernization programs that do not provide a clearly substantial payoff in force capability.

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