Defense

October 24, 2012

Army, DOD must adjust to budget, force structure changes

The Army will continue to customize its mission objectives based on budget and force structure changes, a senior defense official said in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22 during the 2012 Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

Todd Harvey, director of force development for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said a defense strategy drafted in January to meet severe spending cuts over the next decade reflected DOD’s analysis of the preceding decade.

“We saw a transformation of a number of operations and activities that we had been engaged in over the past 10 years, [leading] us to believe we could begin shifting our focus to broader vistas,” he said.

In addition to drawing down operations in Iraq, DOD steadily fostered the Afghan security lead transition as the fracturing of al Qaeda’s central control and leadership of terrorist operations persisted, Harvey said.

Although the potential to examine future challenges emerged, Harvey said, the partial list of what was to come was “daunting.”

“The variety, complexity and types of challenges we expected to face were remaining at least constant, and in some cases, even increasing,” he said.

Harvey cited upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East and the “volatile” standoff with Iran, in which economic sanctions created an increasingly unpredictable situation, as examples. He also explained that a “shrouded leadership transition” in North Korea created its own dynamic of potential unpredictability, while al Qaeda local franchises mushroomed throughout the world.

Harvey also noted China’s increasing devotion to economic and military resources as the nation continued determining how it will interact among its closest neighbors and with the United States.

This changing geopolitical landscape and the rise of asymmetric capabilities such as weapons of mass destruction and cyber issues are not entirely new, but their concurrence has potential to create particularly volatile situations for the United States, he said. Meanwhile, he added, Middle Eastern and North African upheavals continue to provide opportunities for local radicals to establish a foothold.

“As government-controlled stockpiles of sensitive technologies and capabilities began to decline, those systems become available to radicals and other disruptive forces,” Harvey said.

With such potentially pendulous swings and a high degree of unpredictability, the Army and the Defense Department must adjust their strategies to best prime for future missions, Harvey added.

But what to cut isn’t always cut and dried, officials discovered in determining how to absorb the spending cuts, Harvey said. “There really wasn’t anything that we had been doing that we felt secure enough to risk at adequate levels … to throw something overboard,” he explained. Even in the realm of humanitarian assistance, he added, a senior leader might struggle with the decision to cut such a mission, opting instead to preserve the option to react to earthquakes, floods and other disasters.

Harvey noted that Pentagon officials have discovered no “free lunch” in functional missions or regional engagement.

“The force needs to be agile, versatile and ready to perform a range of missions,” he said.

These demands pose unique challenges for each of the services, Harvey added, particularly the Army, in light of force structure constraints.

“The challenges are as broad as they’ve ever been,” he said, adding that the Army will continue to seek the right balance among investments in force structure, readiness and modernization.

“We’re trying to stretch a shrinking force across as least as much mission as we’ve had to date,” he said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>