USA — Defense Officials Testify On Cost-saving Measures

WASHINGTON — Senior Defense Depart­ment offi­cials here today detailed the department’s efforts to redi­rect $100 bil­lion in defense spend­ing over the next five years.

“This effort is not just about the bud­get, it is also about oper­a­tional agili­ty,” Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III said. “We need to ensure the depart­ment is oper­at­ing as effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly as pos­si­ble.”

Lynn, along with Ash­ton B. Carter, under­sec­re­tary of defense for acqui­si­tion, tech­nol­o­gy and logis­tics, and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tes­ti­fied before the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee on the effi­cien­cies ini­tia­tives out­lined Sept. 14.

The guid­ance expand­ed cost-sav­ing mea­sures Gates man­dat­ed June 28, and out­lined 23 prin­ci­pal actions orga­nized in five major areas:

— Tar­get afford­abil­i­ty and con­trol cost growth;
— Incen­tivize pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and inno­va­tion in indus­try;
— Pro­mote real com­pe­ti­tion;
— Improve trade­craft in ser­vices acqui­si­tion;
— Reduce non­pro­duc­tive process­es and bureau­cra­cy.
As the depart­ment projects low­er future bud­get increas­es than those over the past decade, it must fun­da­men­tal­ly change the way it does busi­ness, Lynn said.

“To sus­tain the cur­rent mil­i­tary force struc­ture, which we must do giv­en the secu­ri­ty chal­lenges this coun­try faces, requires the equiv­a­lent of real bud­get growth of 2 to 3 per­cent,” Lynn said. “The over­all defense bud­get, how­ev­er, is pro­ject­ed to rise in real terms by about 1 per­cent.”

Bridg­ing the gap, he said, requires reduc­ing the “tail” of mas­sive over­head costs and struc­tures, and redi­rect­ing those dol­lars to the “tooth” of fight­ing forces and mod­ern­iza­tion accounts.

The depart­ment will achieve that resource shift, Lynn said, by reduc­ing exec­u­tive and flag offi­cer bil­lets and their staffs, shed­ding over­lap­ping com­mands and orga­ni­za­tions, and trim­ming the role and cost of sup­port con­trac­tors.

In a four-track approach, Lynn said, Gates direct­ed that the ser­vices iden­ti­fy $100 bil­lion in sav­ings over five years to invest in high-pri­or­i­ty needs, that the depart­ment seek sug­ges­tions for effi­cien­cies from experts, think tanks and oth­er sources out­side nor­mal chan­nels, that it review its orga­ni­za­tion and oper­a­tions to effect sys­temic improve­ments, and to take spe­cif­ic actions to reduce over­head.

“With regard to track four,” he said, “the sec­re­tary announced August ninth spe­cif­ic areas where the depart­ment can take action now to reduce inef­fi­cien­cy and over­head.”

Gates’ Aug. 9 announce­ment includ­ed his pro­pos­al to close Joint Forces Com­mand based in Nor­folk, Va.

Dur­ing his open­ing state­ment today, Cartwright said Jfcom had accom­plished its pri­ma­ry mis­sion to estab­lish “joint­ness” through­out the mil­i­tary.

“It is our goal to reduce unin­tend­ed redun­dan­cies and lay­er­ing,” Cartwright said, “to more clear­ly align oper­a­tional respon­si­bil­i­ties with ser­vice, train and equip func­tions.”

Mean­while, future mil­i­tary func­tions would “move toward a con­struct of com­bined, joint, inter­a­gency task force orga­ni­za­tions or cen­ters,” the gen­er­al said.

Dur­ing his tes­ti­mo­ny, Carter said the department’s reduc­tion tar­gets were very rea­son­able.

“We rec­og­nize the change in our busi­ness prac­tices will take time, and require the close con­tri­bu­tion of our indus­try part­ners,” he said.

Carter said the alter­na­tive would be bro­ken or can­celled sys­tems, uncer­tain­ty for indus­try, ero­sion of tax­pay­er con­fi­dence and “lost capa­bil­i­ty for the warfight­er in a dan­ger­ous world.”

“Not only can we suc­ceed in this endeav­or, but we real­ly have to,” he said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →