A Strategy-Based Framework for Accommodating Reductions in the Defense Budget

A Strategy-Based Framework for Accommodating Reductions in the Defense Budget

Stuart E. Johnson
Irv Blickstein
David C. Gompert
Charles Nemfakos
Harry J. Thie
Michael J. McNerney
Duncan Long
Brian McInnis
Amy Potter
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 62
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  • Book Info
    A Strategy-Based Framework for Accommodating Reductions in the Defense Budget
    Book Description:

    RAND analysts posit that the ongoing pressure to reduce the federal budget deficit may result in further reductions in the Defense Department budget and suggest starting from a strategy basis in determining the reductions, prioritizing challenges, and identifying where to accept more risk. The report demonstrates this approach using three illustrative strategic directions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7975-6
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xii)

    In January 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a new strategic guidance.² It captures the results of a strategy review to accommodate $487 billion in reductions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to make over the next decade. The current report addresses the question of how the department could accommodate deeper cuts if it should be directed to do so. The June 2011 Budget Control Act calls for sequestration of $1.2 trillion from the discretionary accounts of the federal budget beginning in January 2013 if Congress does not agree on...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach to achieving deep cuts in the U.S. defense budget, if required. While $487 billion in cuts are envisioned in conjunction with Secretary Leon Panetta’s strategic guidance issued in January 2012, deeper reductions are possible, even likely.¹ Because deeper cuts importantly constrain the set of missions achievable, the authors suggest a strategy-based approach to achieving cuts, illustrating it with different strategic directions that might be taken.

    There is broad agreement across the political spectrum that the federal budget deficit has become unsustainable. National leaders have warned that the present scale of...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Alternative Directions for U.S. Defense Strategy
    (pp. 7-24)

    U.S. defense strategy over the past decade has been largely an accumulation of initiatives and adjustments since 9/11—and largely because of 9/11—superimposed on a pre-existing requirement to be able to wage two more-or-less simultaneous major theater wars. Its premise was that the United States must take direct action, unilaterally if necessary, to protect itself and its interests from violent extremism in and from the Middle East and South Asia, while not neglecting potential threats in those and other regions. Its thrust, consistent with the premise, was that the United States is required to insert large forces for prolonged...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Assessing the Advantages and Risks of Alternative Strategic Directions
    (pp. 25-32)

    Although the purpose of this paper is to illustrate a strategy-driven approach for identifying savings in funding requirements for national defense beyond the $487 billion identified by DoD in January 2012, Alternative Strategic Directions that might allow such savings cannot be evaluated by that criterion alone. This chapter examines and compares the alternative strategic directions by their advantages and risks, where only one of the considerations is savings, i.e., the defense contribution to fiscal integrity. The chapter concludes with a table that summarizes the risk inherent in following one or another of the strategic directions. The risk is expressed in...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Force Reductions Linked to Alternative Strategic Directions
    (pp. 33-42)

    The alternative strategic directions outlined in the preceding chapter provide three candidate frameworks within which reductions in defense spending beyond the planned $487 billion reductions can be accommodated. This chapter provides an illustration of the form and magnitude those reductions might take. In some cases, a shift of resources from one program area to another that is more critical to the strategic direction under consideration is indicated. Again, the resource adjustments shown here are descriptive rather than prescriptive. They indicate the order of magnitude of force reductions implied by deep reductions in the DoD’s budget authority.

    The reductions presented here...

  12. APPENDIX Summary Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Strategic Directions
    (pp. 43-44)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 45-46)