USA — Efficiency Initiative Has Broad Support, Cartwright Says

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2010 — The effi­cien­cy ini­tia­tives Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates announced yes­ter­day are just part of a dri­ve that has been mov­ing since the sec­re­tary took office, the vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Left to right, Chris­tine H. Fox, the Defense Department’s direc­tor of cost assess­ment and pro­gram eval­u­a­tion; Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Pen­ta­gon Comp­trol­ler Robert F. Hale answer ques­tions from reporters fol­low­ing Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ announce­ment of effi­cien­cy ini­tia­tives at the Pen­ta­gon, Aug. 9, 2010.
DoD pho­to by Cherie Cullen
Click to enlarge

Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright said the effort to find effi­cien­cies in the depart­ment and to apply the sav­ings to more deserv­ing projects is not a “one-off” activ­i­ty, but rather will continue. 

“We start­ed back in ’08 and ’09 with culling out pro­grams that were not per­form­ing and were not con­tribut­ing to the capa­bil­i­ties that we thought we had to have, either because they were fail­ing on their own or they did­n’t match up,” Cartwright said fol­low­ing the secretary’s announce­ment. “That activ­i­ty has con­tin­ued inside the depart­ment to ensure that we stay rel­e­vant to the wars that we’re in, and that we also start to address the uncer­tain­ties and the unfore­cast activ­i­ties that may occur in the wars … we will face in the future.” 

Much of the dis­cus­sion has cen­tered on how to change the cul­ture of the mas­sive defense bureau­cra­cy and how such a large orga­ni­za­tion can stay com­pet­i­tive. The dis­cus­sions also looked at iden­ti­fy­ing tech­nolo­gies and capa­bil­i­ties that will be need­ed in the future. 

The Defense Depart­ment “requires a cul­ture that is agile, has the capa­bil­i­ties to remain agile and remain com­pet­i­tive,” the gen­er­al said. 

Cartwright spoke along­side Defense Depart­ment Comp­trol­ler Robert F. Hale and Chris­tine H. Fox, direc­tor of the Pentagon’s cost assess­ment and pro­gram eval­u­a­tion office, and all said they sup­port the secretary’s ini­tia­tive aimed at reform­ing the Pen­ta­gon and elim­i­nat­ing unnec­es­sary duplica­tive costs. 

Cartwright acknowl­edged that guess­ing what capa­bil­i­ties are need­ed to fight the next war is dif­fi­cult, if not impos­si­ble, and that build­ing a force around those guess­es is a recipe for fail­ure. But stress­ing the need for intel­li­gent and agile-mind­ed per­son­nel will serve the mil­i­tary and the nation, he added. 

“I have all too many expe­ri­ences, from the ’70s for­ward, of hav­ing capa­bil­i­ties that we thought were right for the last war and real­ly turned out not to be what we need­ed for the next war,” he said. “There is no crys­tal ball, but there is an under­stand­ing that through your peo­ple and through the capa­bil­i­ties that you field, you can have the Depart­ment of Defense and the nation­al secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus rel­e­vant for the next con­flicts. That’s our objec­tive here.” 

Cartwright said the mem­bers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff intu­itive­ly under­stand this, and see the secretary’s ini­tia­tives as hav­ing pos­i­tive effects on the force. 

“Mak­ing sure that we keep this orga­ni­za­tion rel­e­vant, com­pet­i­tive, agile for the next-gen­er­a­tion con­flicts is at the core of this activ­i­ty,” he said. “Hav­ing the resources in the wrong place does­n’t serve any of us well.” 

The gen­er­al acknowl­edged the deci­sions are hard and will affect peo­ple – most notably those in U.S. Joint Forces Com­mand, the office of the assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for net­work inte­gra­tion and the Busi­ness Trans­for­ma­tion Agency, which Gates will close. “This is a rebal­anc­ing to ensure this depart­ment remains ready both for today’s con­flicts and for the unknowns and ‘unan­tic­i­pat­eds’ of the future con­flict,” Cartwright said. 

Those who think this effort will fiz­zle out are in for a sur­prise, the gen­er­al said. 

“Please don’t mis­read; this is some­thing that we believe is No. 1 on our list,” he said. “This is some­thing that we are going to go after.” 

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

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 →