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2008 National Defense Strategy

Reading - Military
August 04 2008

DoD Capabilities and Means

Implementation of any strategy is predicated on developing, maintaining and, where possible, expanding the means required to execute its objectives within budget constraints. Without the tools, we cannot do the job. The Department is well equipped for its primary missions, but it always seeks to improve and refine capabilities and effectiveness. The challenges before us will require resourcefulness and an integrated approach that wisely balances risks and assets, and that recognizes where we must improve, and where others are better suited to help implement aspects of the strategy.

The Department will continue to emphasize the areas identified in the 2006 QDR, specifically improvements in capabilities for defeating terrorist networks, defending the homeland in depth, shaping the choices of countries at strategic crossroads, and preventing adversaries’ acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction. Although these capabilities are not sufficient to address all the missions of the Department, they require particular attention.

The Department’s greatest asset is the people who dedicate themselves to the mission. The Total Force distributes and balances skills across each of its constituent elements: the Active Component, the Reserve Component, the civilian workforce, and the private sector and contractor base. Each element relies on the other to accomplish the mission; none can act independently of the other to accomplish the mission. The force has been severely tasked between operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fulfilling other missions and assignments. Although we are already committed to strengthening our forces, we also should seek to find more ways to retain and tap into the unique skills and experience of the thousands of veterans and others who have served and who can provide valuable contributions to national security. We will continue to pursue the improvements in the total force identified in the 2006 QDR and elsewhere, including the expansion of special operations forces and ground forces and developing modular, adaptable joint forces.

Strategic communications will play an increasingly important role in a unified approach to national security. DoD, in partnership with the Department of State, has begun to make strides in this area, and will continue to do so. However, we should recognize that this is a weakness across the U.S. Government, and that a coordinated effort must be made to improve the joint planning and implementation of strategic communications.

Intelligence and information sharing have always been a vital component of national security. Reliable information and analysis, quickly available, is an enduring challenge. As noted in the 2006 QDR, DoD is pursuing improved intelligence capabilities across the spectrum, such as defense human intelligence focused on identifying and penetrating terrorist networks and measurement and signature intelligence to identify WMD and delivery systems.

Technology and equipment are the tools of the Total Force, and we must give our people what they need, and the best resources, to get the job done. First-class technology means investing in the right kinds of technology at the right time. Just as our adversaries adapt and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures, we too must be nimble and creative. One area of particular focus is developing the means to locate, tag and track WMD components. We also must continue to improve our acquisition and contracting regulations, procedures, and oversight to ensure agile and timely procurement of critical equipment and materials for our forces.

Organization also is a key to the DoD’s success, especially as it brings together disparate capabilities and skills to wield as a unified and overpowering force. Concepts such as “net-centricity” can help guide DoD, linking components of the Department together and connecting organizations with complementary core competencies, forging the Total Force into more than the sum of its parts. The goal is to break down barriers and transform industrial-era organizational structures into an information and knowledge-based enterprise. These concepts are not a panacea, and will require investments in people as much as in technology to realize the full potential of these initiatives.

Strengthening our burgeoning system of alliances and partnerships is essential to implementing our strategy. We have become more integrated with our allies and partners on the battlefield and elsewhere. Whether formal alliances such as NATO or newer partnerships such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, they have proved their resiliency and adaptability. These relationships continue to evolve, ensuring their relevance as new challenges emerge. Our partners provide resources, knowledge, skills, and capabilities we cannot duplicate.

Building these partnerships takes resources. DoD has worked with its interagency partners and Congress to expand the portfolio of security cooperation and partnership capacity building tools over the last seven years and will continue to do so. These tools are essential to successful implementation of the strategy. We will also work with Congress and other stakeholders to address our significant concern with growing legal and regulatory restrictions that impede, and threaten to undermine, our military readiness.

DoD will continue to implement global defense posture realignment, transforming from legacy base structures and forward-garrisoned forces to an expeditionary force, providing greater flexibility to contend with uncertainty in a changing strategic environment.



Last Updated ( August 04 2008 )
 

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