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.


 
 

 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 
 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge

Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use

Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge Dr. Gregory Burnett, middle, and Andres Calvo, right, analyze a graphic representation of movement trackers, as 2nd Lt. Krystin Shanklin tests Google Glass at Wright-Patterson Air Force ...
 




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>