Introduction to the Annual Report to Congress
A DEFENSE STRATEGY FOR THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD
The Dangers of the Post-Cold War World
Contrary to the hopes of many and predictions of some, the end of the Cold War
did not bring an end to international conflict. The most daunting threats to
our national security that we faced during the Cold War have gone away, but
they have been replaced with new dangers.
During the Cold War, we faced the threat of nuclear holocaust; today, we face
the dangers attendant to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue nations or terrorists are especially
dangerous because, unlike the nuclear powers during the Cold War, they might
not be deterred by the threat of retaliation.
During the Cold War, we faced the threat of Warsaw Pact forces charging
through the Fulda Gap and driving for the English Channel; today, we face the
dangers attendant to the instability in Central and Eastern Europe resulting
from the painful transition to democracy and market economies now underway
there. This instability could lead to civil wars or even the reemergence of
totalitarian regimes hostile to the West.
During the Cold War, we faced the threat of the Soviet Union using third world
nations as proxies in the Cold War confrontation; today, we face the dangers
arising from an explosion of local and regional conflicts, unrelated to Cold
War ideology, but rooted in deep-seated ethnic and religious hatreds and
frequently resulting in horrible suffering. These conflicts do not directly
threaten the survival of the United States, but they can threaten our allies
and our vital interests, particularly if the regional aggressors possess
weapons of mass destruction.
The new post-Cold War dangers make the task of protecting America's national
security different and in some ways more complex than it was during the Cold
War. Our task of planning force structure is more complex than when we had a
single, overriding threat. Previously, our force structure was planned to
deter a global war with the Soviet Union, which we considered a threat to our
very survival as a nation. All other threats, including regional threats, were
considered lesser-but-included cases. The forces we maintained to counter the
Soviet threat were assumed to be capable of dealing with any of these lesser
challenges. Today, the threat of global conflict is greatly diminished, but
the danger of regional conflict is neither lesser nor included and has
therefore required us to take this danger explicitly into account in
structuring our forces. These risks are especially worrisome because many of
the likely aggressor nations possess weapons of mass destruction.
Additionally, our defense planning must provide a hedge for the possibility of
a reemergence at some future time of the threat of global conflict.
Also, our task of building alliances and coalitions is more complex in the
absence of a global threat. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the raison d'être of NATO, for example,
had to be reconsidered from first principles in order to relate its missions to
the new dangers. Also, new coalitions and partnerships needed to be formed
with the newly emerging democratic countries. In building such international
coalitions, we understand that the United States is the only country with truly
global interests and a full range of global assets -- military, economic, and
political. Thus, we are the natural leader of the international community.
However, even the United States cannot achieve its goals without the active
assistance of other nations. No state can act unilaterally and expect to fully
address threats to its interests, particularly those that are transnational in
Thus the new post-Cold War security environment requires a significant
evolution in our strategy for managing conflict, and it requires new and
innovative defense programs and management philosophies to implement that
MANAGING POST-COLD WAR DANGERS: PREVENT, DETER, AND DEFEAT
Today, our policy for managing post-Cold War dangers to our security rests on
three basic lines of defense. The first line of defense is to prevent threats
from emerging; the second is to deter threats that do emerge; and the third, if
prevention and deterrence fail, is to defeat the threat to our security by
using military force. A renewed emphasis on the first line of defense --
preventive defense -- is appropriate in dealing with the post-Cold War dangers
and is a significant departure from our Cold War defense policies, where the
primary emphasis was on deterrence.
During World War II, all of America's defense resources were dedicated to
defeating the threat posed by Japan and Germany and their allies. That war
ended with a demonstration of the incredibly destructive power of atomic
weapons. Thus, when the Cold War began, the fundamental predicate of our
defense strategy was that fighting a nuclear war was an
unacceptable proposition -- unacceptable from a military as well as a moral
standpoint. So we formulated a strategy of deterrence -- a logical response to
the single overarching threat we faced during that era: an expansionist Soviet
Union heavily armed with nuclear and conventional weapons. This strategy meant
that the primary responsibility of previous Secretaries of Defense was making
sure that we had adequate forces -- both nuclear and conventional -- to provide
Today, we continue to deter potential adversaries by maintaining the best
military forces in the world. But in the post-Cold War era, the Secretary of
Defense and the Department also devote significant efforts to working on
preventive defense. Preventive defense seeks to keep potential dangers to our
security from becoming full-blown threats. It is perhaps our most important
tool for protecting American interests from the special dangers that
characterize the post-Cold War era. When successful, preventive defense
precludes the need to deter or fight a war.
Preventive defense is nothing new -- it has been a central idea of military
strategists for over two thousand years. Indeed, it has been an important
strand in United States defense policy that has been used before with notable
success. After World War II, the United States and its allies undertook
significant efforts to prevent a future war by holding out a hand of
reconciliation and economic assistance to our former enemies, Japan and
Germany. These efforts were an outstanding success, especially the Marshall
Plan in Europe. The economies of Japan and Western Europe rebounded, democracy
grew deep roots, and our military cooperation and strategic alliances
flourished. But Joseph Stalin turned down the Marshall Plan for the Soviet
Union and the Eastern European countries that he dominated, and our preventive
efforts with the Soviet Union failed.
Instead, the Cold War ensued, and for more than 40 years the world faced the
threat of global war and even nuclear holocaust. Having failed to prevent the
conditions for conflict, the United States concentrated on the second line of
defense -- deterrence. Over the next 40-plus years, deterrence worked, and
World War III was averted. Finally, largely as a result of fundamental flaws
in its political and economic system, the Soviet Union collapsed, and many of
the New Independent States sought to establish democratic governments and
free-market systems. The outcome of that unprecedented transformation is still
uncertain, but today the threat
of worldwide nuclear conflict has receded, former Warsaw Pact nations are
seeking to join NATO, and Russia and the United States are cooperating in both
economic and security programs.
Clearly, deterrence and warfighting capability still have to remain central to
America's post-Cold War security strategy, but they cannot be our only
approaches to dealing with the threats to our security. Instead, the dangers
facing us today point us towards a greater role for preventive defense
measures. Just as preventive defense measures helped shape our security
environment following World War II, preventive measures can help us deal with
post-Cold War dangers. Indeed, the end of the Cold War allows us to build on
the types of preventive measures successfully introduced by George Marshall in
Western Europe, and extend them to all of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to maintaining strong alliances with our traditional allies in
NATO and the Asia-Pacific region, our preventive defense approach consists of
four core activities:
· Working cooperatively with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus to
reduce the nuclear legacy of the former Soviet Union and to improve the safety
of residual weapons.
· Establishing programs to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass
· Encouraging newly independent and newly democratic nations to
restructure their defense establishments to emphasize civilian control of their
military, transparency in their defense programs, and confidence-building
measures with their neighbors.
· Establishing cooperative defense-to-defense relationships with nations
that are neither full-fledged allies nor adversaries, but who are, nonetheless,
important to our security.
Investing in these programs today, which my predecessor Les Aspin aptly dubbed
"defense by other means," saves us both blood and treasure tomorrow.
Proliferation is a prime example. The possession of nuclear or other weapons
of mass destruction by a potential aggressor not only increases the potential
lethality of any regional conflict, but the mere possession of the weapons by
the potential aggressor increases the chances of conflict arising in the first
place. In other words, it is not just that a nuclear-armed Iraq or North Korea
would be a more deadly adversary in a war -- it is that with nuclear weapons
they are likely to be harder to deter and more likely to coerce their neighbors
or start a war in the first place. The Framework Agreement with North Korea is
a prime example of our counterproliferation program at work. The dangerous
North Korean nuclear program has been frozen since October 1994, when the
Framework Agreement was signed.
Another example of preventive defense is our Cooperative Threat Reduction,
often referred to as the Nunn-Lugar Program. Under this program, we have
assisted the nuclear states of the former Soviet Union to dismantle thousands
of nuclear warheads and destroy hundreds of launchers and silos.
Reducing the nuclear threat to the United States and stopping proliferation
are only the most dramatic examples of why prevention is so important to our
security. This Annual Defense Report describes in detail the programs we have
initiated to strengthen our preventive defense, most notably the Partnership
No matter how hard we work on preventive defense, we cannot be sure that we
will always be successful in preventing new threats from developing. That is
why we must deter threats to our security, should they emerge. The risk of
global conflict today is greatly reduced from the time of the Cold War, but as
long as nuclear weapons still exist, some risk of global
conflict remains. The United States, therefore, retains a small but highly
effective nuclear force as a deterrent. These forces (as well as those of
Russia) have been reduced significantly, consistent with the START I Treaty,
and will be further reduced when Russia ratifies the START II Treaty.
Similarly, to deter regional conflict, we must maintain strong, ready,
forward-deployed, conventionally-armed forces; make their presence felt; and
demonstrate the will to use them. While the diminished threat of global
conflict has allowed us to reduce U.S. force structure accordingly, the
increased risk of regional conflict places sharp limits on how far those
reductions can go. Today, the size and composition of American military
forces, consistent with the Bottom-Up Review conducted in 1993, are based on
the need to deter and, if necessary, fight and win, in concert with regional
allies, two major regional conflicts nearly simultaneously. The guiding
principle is that the United States will fight to win, and to win decisively,
quickly, and with minimum casualties.
This principle requires us to maintain a force structure today of about 1.5
million active duty personnel and 900,000 reserve personnel. These forces are
organized into 10 active Army divisions and 15 Army National Guard enhanced
readiness brigades; 20 Air Force wings (including 7 reserve wings); 360 Navy
ships, including 12 aircraft carriers; and 4 Marine divisions (including 1
reserve division). Equally important to the size of the force is the
requirement to maintain a commanding overseas presence, including 100,000
troops in Europe and about the same number in the Pacific, all in a high state
of readiness. Our overseas presence not only deters aggression, it also
improves coalition effectiveness in the event deterrence fails, demonstrates
U.S. security commitments, provides initial crisis response capability, and
underwrites regional stability. Strong deterrence also requires us to maintain
prepositioned equipment in the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, Korea, and
Europe and carrier task forces and Marine Expeditionary Units afloat, able to
move quickly to any crisis point. And finally, it requires that we keep our
forces in the United States in a high state of readiness, and that we have the
lift capability to transport them and their equipment rapidly to distant
theaters. Having the capability to deploy forces quickly to a crisis decreases
the likelihood that they will actually have to be used and increases their
chances for success if force is necessary. Our planning involves the extensive
use of well-trained Reserve Component forces. Fifteen Army National Guard
brigades and many combat support reserve units will be maintained at a high
readiness level to allow their use at early stages in military operations. The
rest are intended to be used as follow-on forces available for later deployment
in longer-term contingencies.
Those are the requirements that go with the ability to fight and win, in
concert with regional allies, two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts.
U.S. forces today meet these requirements. While being able to fight and win
is essential, that ability alone cannot deter conflict. Deterrence stems from
military capability coupled with political will, both real and perceived;
credibility is as important to deterrence as military capability. Deterrence
of regional conflict failed, for example, in 1950 when North Korea doubted
American political will. Some
World War II veterans had to turn around and return to the Far East to reassert
that political will, at a very high price. Today, American forces in the
region serve as a visible reminder of our willingness and capability to help
defend our South Korean allies.
In 1990, deterrence of regional conflict failed again when Iraq doubted our
political will to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. We demonstrated that will
through a costly but highly successful war to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
In contrast, deterrence succeeded in October 1994 when Iraq moved forces down
to the Kuwaiti border a second time. This time, the United States demonstrated
political will by rapidly deploying additional U.S. military forces to the
Gulf. Within a few days after the Iraqi forces had moved to the Kuwaiti
border, we had deployed 200 fighter aircraft, an armored brigade, a Marine
Expeditionary Unit, and a carrier battle group to the theater. These forces
created in a few days a presence that took many weeks to assemble in 1990.
Faced with that presence and the lessons of Operation Desert Storm, Saddam
Hussein sent his brigades back to their barracks. We achieved deterrence
through the capability to rapidly build up a highly capable force, coupled with
the credible political will to use that force.
Defending U.S. Interests Through Use of Military Force
Deterrence can sometimes fail, however, particularly against an irrational or
desperate adversary, so the United States must be prepared to actually use
military force. Use of force is the method of last resort for defending our
national interests and requires a careful balancing of those interests against
the risks and costs involved. The key criteria are whether the risks at stake
are vital, important, or humanitarian.
If prevention and deterrence fail, vital U.S. interests can be at risk when
the United States or an ally is threatened by conventional military force, by
economic strangulation, or by the threat of weapons of mass destruction. These
threats to vital interests are most likely to arise in a regional conflict and,
by definition, may require military intervention.
In contrast, military intervention in ethnic conflicts or civil wars, where we
have important, but rarely vital, interests at stake, requires the balancing of
those interests against the risks and costs involved. In general, any U.S.
intervention will be undertaken only after thorough consideration of the
following critical factors: whether the intervention advances U.S. interests;
whether the intervention is likely to accomplish U.S. objectives; whether the
risks and costs are commensurate with the U.S. interests at stake; and whether
all other means of achieving U.S. objectives have been exhausted. The United
States chose not to intervene as a ground combatant in the war in Bosnia and
Herzegovina because the risks and costs were too high when weighed against our
interests. This decision was made by two successive administrations for
essentially the same reasons. However, after successful American diplomacy and
NATO military force reshaped the situation and the risks, we made the decision
to participate, not as a combatant, but in the NATO peace implementation
The bottom line is that the United States is a global power with global
interests, and as President Clinton has said, "Problems that start beyond our
borders can quickly become
problems within them." American leadership, global presence, and strong armed
forces can help keep localized problems from becoming our problems, and protect
us if they do. At the same time, there are limits to what the United States
and its forces can or must do about problems around the globe. As the
"America cannot and must not be the world's policeman. We cannot stop war for
all time, but we can stop some wars. We cannot save all women and children,
but we can save many of them. We can't do everything, but we must do what we
can. There are times and places where our leadership can mean the difference
between peace and war, and where we can defend our fundamental values as a
people and serve our most basic, strategic interests."
Finally, in some instances, the United States may act out of humanitarian
concern, even in the absence of a direct threat to U.S. national interests.
Agencies and programs other than the U.S. armed forces are generally the best
tools for addressing humanitarian crises, but military forces may be
appropriate in certain, specific situations, such as when:
· A humanitarian crisis dwarfs the ability of civilian agencies to
· The need for relief is urgent, and only the military can jump-start a
· The response requires resources unique to the military.
· The risk to American service members is minimal.
A good case in point was America's humanitarian intervention in Rwanda in the
summer of 1994 to stop the cholera epidemic, which was killing 5,000 Rwandans a
day. Only the U.S. military had the ability to rapidly initiate the
humanitarian effort to bring clean water, food, and medicine to Hutu refugees
who had fled from Rwanda in the wake of a catastrophic tribal conflict, and
U.S. forces carried out their mission successfully, at little cost, with little
risk, and then quickly withdrew.
IMPLEMENTING OUR PREVENT, DETER, AND DEFEAT STRATEGY
Implementing our defense strategy involves literally hundreds of programs.
Their details can be found in the sections which follow this introduction.
Highlighted below, however, are some of the key ways that we are implementing
our approach of prevent, deter, and defeat.
Reducing the Danger of Weapons of Mass Destruction
During the Cold War, the Soviet nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov said that
preventing a nuclear holocaust must be the "absolute priority" of mankind.
This is still true. Today, a primary means for accomplishing this goal is the
continued dismantlement of nuclear warheads, bombers, and ballistic missile
launchers. The touchstone of our preventive activities in this area is the
Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which helps expedite the START I Treaty
reductions in the states of the former Soviet Union. This program contributes
to some remarkable
accomplishments: over 4,000 nuclear warheads and more than 700 bombers and
ballistic missile launchers dismantled; a nuclear-free Kazakstan; a Ukraine and
Belarus on the way to becoming nuclear free; and successful removal of nuclear
material from Kazakstan through Project Sapphire.
It is also vitally important that we prevent potential regional conflicts from
assuming a nuclear aspect. That is why we have worked hard to help implement
the framework agreement which has frozen North Korea's dangerous nuclear
program and, when fully implemented, will eliminate the program altogether.
Efforts to reduce the nuclear threat also include sanctions on Iraq and Iran
and the indefinite extension without conditions of the historic Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. Such diplomatic measures do not stand in isolation
-- they are an integral and crucial part of the U.S. approach to preventing
Hedging Against Potential Future Threats
Despite our best efforts to reduce the danger of weapons of mass destruction,
it is still possible that America -- and our forces and allies -- could again
be threatened by these terrible weapons. That is why it is important for the
United States to maintain a small but effective nuclear force. This deterrent
hedge is not incompatible with significant reductions in American nuclear
forces, nor is it incompatible with American support for the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing. This
nuclear hedge strategy is complemented by a program to develop a ballistic
missile defense system that could be deployed to protect the continental United
States from limited attacks, should a strategic threat to our nation arise from
intercontinental ballistic missiles in the hands of hostile rogue states.
Another way we hedge against potential future threats is by maintaining
selected critical and irreplaceable elements of the defense industrial base,
such as shipyards that build nuclear submarines. With the end of the Cold War
and the defense downsizing, the need for large numbers of major new ships,
aircraft, and armored vehicles has declined significantly. Allowing these
defense-unique production facilities to shut down or disappear completely,
however, would curtail the nation's ability to modernize or prepare for new
threats down the road. Therefore, the Department will selectively procure
certain major systems -- such as the Navy's Seawolf fast-attack submarine -- in
limited quantities to keep their production capabilities warm, until we are
ready to build the next generation nuclear submarines.
Maintaining Strong Alliances and Reaching Out to Old Rivals and New States
Maintaining strong alliances with our traditional allies in Europe and the
Asia-Pacific, maintaining constructive relations with Russia and China, and
reaching out to new democracies and friends are key elements of our defense
In Europe, NATO is the foundation of our security strategy, and we continue to
play a leadership role within NATO. There are those who allege that NATO is
now obsolete. But, in fact, NATO has provided a zone of stability for Western
Europe for 40 years, and all 16 members have reaffirmed the importance of the
Alliance. Indeed, NATO has received requests from new nations wishing to join,
to be a part of this zone of stability.
NATO's Partnership for Peace (PFP) program is already extending a zone of
stability eastward across Europe and Central Asia by promoting military
cooperation among NATO countries, former members of the Warsaw Pact, and other
countries in the region. This cooperation takes place at many levels, from
frequent meetings between Defense Ministers to officer exchanges at schools and
planning headquarters. The highlight of PFP, though, is the joint exercise
program, focusing on peacekeeping training. In August 1995, the United States
hosted one of these exercises, Cooperative Nugget, at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Such exercises have had a remarkable effect on European security by building
confidence, promoting transparency, and reducing tensions among nations that
have, in many cases, been at odds for long periods of Europe's history. PFP is
also the pathway to NATO membership for those Partners that wish to join the
In fact, the positive effects of PFP resonate far beyond the security sphere.
Since political and economic reforms are a prerequisite to participation in PFP
or membership in NATO, many Partner nations have accelerated such changes. In
addition, many Partner nations are starting to see value in actual PFP
activities, irrespective of whether they lead to NATO membership. The lessons
learned and values fostered through the program are intrinsically useful.
PFP is one of the most significant institutions of the post-Cold War era.
Like the Marshall Plan in the 1940s, PFP today is creating a network of people
and institutions across all of Europe working together to preserve freedom,
promote democracy and free markets, and cooperate internationally -- all of
which are critical to expanding the zone of stability in Europe in our day.
It is critical that this zone of stability in Europe include Russia. Key to
this is Russia's active membership in PFP, NATO's development of a special
security relationship with Russia, and Russia's integral involvement in broader
European security issues, as in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Open, productive
security relations with Russia are an essential element of our approach to
advancing security in Europe and ultimately limiting the potential for
conflict. Recognizing that Russia remains a major world power with global
interests and a large nuclear arsenal, the United States seeks a pragmatic
partnership with Russia whereby we pursue areas of agreement and seek to reduce
tensions and misunderstandings in areas where we disagree. Our successful
efforts to include a Russian brigade in the U.S. sector of the NATO-led peace
implementation force in Bosnia and Herzegovina readily reflect this
In addition to cooperative threat reduction efforts, such as the Nunn-Lugar
program, we also seek to foster greater openness in the Russian defense
establishment and to encourage
Russia to participate in global nonproliferation activities and regional
confidence building measures, by participating in the U.S.-Russian Commission
on Economic and Technological Cooperation. The Commission, established by Vice
President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin in 1993, seeks to build
confidence by forging a better economic relationship between the United States
and Russia. The Defense Department is part of an interagency effort sponsored
by the Commission focused on finding, facilitating, and helping finance
investments in the region by American business enterprises, targeting a wide
range of opportunities -- from
defense conversion to space exploration to prefabricated housing. The
Commission's activities benefit Russia's attempts to achieve a market economy,
benefit American companies, and benefit American security interests -- a triple
In the Pacific, the United States and Japan have entered into a new era in our
regional relationship, as well as in our global partnership. A stronger
U.S.-Japanese alliance will continue to provide a safe environment for regional
peace and prosperity. Our alliance with South Korea not only serves to deter
war on the peninsula, but also is key to stability in the region. These
security alliances and the American military presence in the Western Pacific
preserve security in the region, and are a principal factor in dampening a
regional arms race.
We are also fully participating in multilateral security dialogues, such as
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, which help
reduce tensions and build confidence so that tough problems like the
territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea can be
Central to our efforts to prevent conflict in the Asia-Pacific region is our
policy of comprehensive engagement with China, a major power with a nuclear
capability. The United States will not ignore China's record on human rights,
political repression, or its sale and testing of dangerous weapons, but we also
will not try to isolate China over these issues. We want to see China become a
responsible, positive participant in the international arena, and the best way
to encourage this is to maintain a vigorous dialogue over a wide range of
issues -- including security issues -- so that we can pursue areas of common
interests and reduce tensions.
In South Asia, the United States has restarted a bilateral security
relationship with Pakistan and begun a new security dialogue with India. These
ongoing dialogues can help all three countries focus on areas of common
interest, such as international peacekeeping, and could in time provide the
confidence necessary to address more difficult problems, such as nuclear
proliferation and the long-simmering conflict over Kashmir.
In our own hemisphere, we are witnessing a new era of peace, stability, and
security. From Point Barrow to Tierra del Fuego, all 34 nations except Cuba
have chosen democracy, and economic and political reforms are sweeping the
region. This historic development paved the
way for the first Defense Ministerial of the Americas last summer, at which
delegations from all
34 democracies gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia, to consider ways to build
more trust, confidence, and cooperation on security issues throughout the
region. Following on the success and progress at Williamsburg, the nations of
this hemisphere already are planning for the second Defense Ministerial in
Argentina in the fall of 1996.
Like the Partnership for Peace in Europe, the Defense Ministerial of the
Americas provides an opportunity to build a zone of stability in a region once
destabilized by Cold War tensions. In the Americas, as in Europe, the tools
for building stability include joint training and education programs that
promote professional, civilian-controlled militaries as well as personal
interactions; information sharing on national military plans, policies, and
budgets; and confidence-building measures. In Europe, these activities are led
by the United States and NATO. In the Americas, they are emerging by consensus
and encouraged by the United States. But ultimately, the result is the same:
more democracy, more cooperation, more peace, and more security for the United
Regional Preventive Defense Efforts
In each of the regions discussed, the United States has military-to-military
relationships and is conducting joint exercises with a much wider range of
countries than ever before. These activities promote trust and enable forces
from different countries to operate together more effectively, which is
essential given the increasing prevalence of combined operations. In the Gulf
War, for example, some 40 countries made military contributions. Nearly three
dozen countries are participating in the peacekeeping force in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, including many non-NATO countries.
Another important part of preventive defense is our effort to promote
democratic civil-military relations. One such program, conducted jointly with
the State Department, is the International Military Education and Training
program, which has now trained half a million foreign officers in the
fundamentals of civil-military relations over the last several decades.
Similarly, recently established regional training and study centers like the
Marshall Center in Germany and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security in Hawaii
are designed to promote contacts between regional military officers and
civilian defense officials and to foster the principles of civilian control of
Protecting the Readiness of Our Forces -- Near- and Medium-Term
No security strategy is better than the forces that carry it out. Today, the
United States has forces that are well-trained, well-equipped and, most of all,
ready to fight, as their performance over the past year in the Persian Gulf,
Haiti, and Bosnia and Herzegovina illustrates. The Department has maintained
this readiness in spite of a drawdown of historic proportions. Drawdowns
create turbulence in the force, which historically has undermined readiness.
Recognizing this history, we have taken unprecedented steps to maintain
readiness while reducing our forces in the wake of the Cold War. By the end of
1996, the drawdown will be nearly complete, which means an end to the
turbulence. In the meantime, though, the
Department continues to maintain near-term readiness at historically high
levels through robust funding of the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) accounts.
This remains the Department's top budget priority. Manifesting this priority,
the Department's FY 1995 and FY 1996 budgets and the FY 1997 budget request are
at historically high levels of O&M funding (normalized to force size).
Medium-term readiness depends on attracting top quality people and retaining
them after they have developed technical and leadership skills. To do so, we
must offer not only challenging and rewarding work, but also an appropriate
quality of life, a term used to encompass the entire package of compensation
and benefits, as well as the work and living environment for military service
personnel. Protecting quality of life is not only the right thing to do for
the men and women who serve and sacrifice for their country, it is also
critical to preserving medium-term readiness.
Last year, President Clinton approved an increase in defense spending of $25
billion over six years largely aimed at improving the quality of military life.
This includes a commitment to ensure that military personnel receive the full
pay raise authorized by law through the end of the century. It is also
directed at extensive improvements in military quality of life programs,
including housing -- a key concern to service families. This past year, a
distinguished panel, led by former Army Secretary John Marsh, looked beyond
existing DoD efforts to identify quality of life problems and suggest
high-leverage, affordable solutions. The panel concentrated on three major
areas: housing, personnel tempo, and community and family services. Action on
the panel's recommendations is being incorporated into the Department's overall
effort to preserve quality of life.
Modernization -- The Key to Long-Term Readiness
To ensure military readiness in the long term requires the Department to
modernize the armed forces with new systems and upgrades to existing systems to
maintain America's technological advantage on the battlefield. For the past
five years, the Department has taken advantage of the drawdown and slowed
modernization in order to fully fund those expenditures that guarantee
near-term readiness -- spare parts, training, and maintenance. As a result,
the modernization account in FY 1997 will be the lowest it has been in many
years, about one-third of what it was in FY 1985. At the same time, the
average age of our military equipment has not increased, because as the forces
were drawn down, the older equipment was weeded out. But now that the drawdown
is nearly over, the modernization reprieve from aging is nearly over, too.
So, beginning in FY 1997, the Department is planning a modernization ramp-up,
which will be critical to the readiness of the forces in the next century. By
the year 2001, funding to procure equipment to modernize our forces will
increase to $60.1 billion in current dollars -- over 40 percent higher than
what it is in the FY 1997 budget. This five-year plan will focus on building a
ready, flexible, and responsive force for a changing security environment. The
force will continue to maintain our technological superiority on the
battlefield by seizing on the
advances in information-age technology, such as advanced sensors, computers,
and communication systems. At the same time, the modernization program will
focus on bread and butter needs, such as airlift and sealift, and the everyday
equipment ground forces need in the field, such as tactical communications
gear, trucks, and armored personnel carriers.
This five-year modernization plan is based on three assumptions. First, that
the defense budget topline will stop its decline in FY 1997 and begin to rise
again (as proposed in the President's five-year budget). Second, that the
Department will achieve significant savings from infrastructure reductions,
most importantly from base closings. The third assumption of our modernization
program is that the Department will achieve significant savings by outsourcing
many support activities and overhauling the defense acquisition system.
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
The Base Realignment and Closure process is directly linked to modernization
and long-term readiness. As we downsize the military force, we must also
reduce our Cold War infrastructure. Our efforts to manage this process have
been aimed at saving money while ensuring that troops have the training and
equipment they need to be ready in the future. While the Department has made
significant progress in base closings, many BRAC recommendations have not yet
been implemented, and an imbalance between force structure and infrastructure
Until we fully execute the BRAC process, money will be tied up in
nonperforming real estate, draining funds from our modernization efforts and
other programs. While base closing initially costs money -- the FY 1996 budget
included $4 billion allocated to base closing costs -- there will be
significant savings in the future. In the FY 1999 budget, the Department
projects $6 billion in savings from closing the bases, thus allowing a $10
billion swing in savings. These and future savings from base closing will be
devoted to modernization.
Completing the BRAC process quickly is not only key to saving money, it also
is the right thing to do for the communities involved. The Department is
helping these communities find imaginative ways to put the excess defense
property to productive use as quickly as possible. When base closure is done
right, it can leave communities better off, with a more diverse economy and
more jobs. The key is early community involvement and planning. For example,
when Louisiana's England Air Force Base was slated for closure, the Alexandria
Chamber of Commerce worked with the Air Force to develop a base reuse plan.
Months before the base did close, small business enterprises had already signed
leases, resulting today in hundreds of new jobs for Alexandria.
Acquisition Reform and Privatization
Over the past two years, the Department has undertaken the most revolutionary
changes in its acquisition system in 50 years, and is looking for ways to
further reform the system through privatization.
First, the Department discarded the system of military specifications, or
MilSpecs, which spelled out how contractors must design and produce military
systems, supplies, and services. In
its place, the Department will use commercial and performance standards. These
will call for the highest quality standards available in the commercial market
or, if there are no relevant commercial standards, will use functional
specifications which describe how the equipment is to perform -- and challenge
suppliers to meet that standard any way they want.
The second major change in the defense acquisition system began on October 1,
1995, when the new federal acquisition streamlining regulations were published.
These regulations, in effect, will allow the Defense Department to buy from the
commercial marketplace more often, and buy more like commercial firms do.
Defense acquisition reform is important not only because it will help pay for
the defense modernization program, but also because of a phenomenon called
technology pull. This phrase describes the demand for advanced technology to
give the United States battlefield superiority. Technology pull has its roots
in the U.S. military experience in Operation Desert Storm. Before Operation
Desert Storm, many U.S. military commanders and outside experts were skeptical
of advanced technology applied to combat. For example, they questioned the
concept of the Reconnaissance Strike Forces, developed in the 1970s and
deployed in the 1980s. This concept combined stealth aircraft,
precision-guided munitions, and advanced surveillance technology to offset
superior numbers of Soviet forces. But there was great concern that such
advanced technology was too delicate, or that it would not work in the fog of
war. But in Operation Desert Storm, the same Reconnaissance Strike Forces
crushed the Iraqi military force with very low U.S. losses. Skeptics became
believers. Advanced technology proved itself, and military commanders are
finding myriad uses for it -- not just smart weapons, but also smart logistics,
smart intelligence, and smart communications. Military commanders are revising
their doctrine and tactics to take advantage of this technology, and they want
to pull it faster into their war planning.
The key technology they want is information technology, and it is being
developed at a breathtaking pace, but not by the Defense Department. It is
being developed by commercial computer and telecommunications companies,
dual-use (defense-commercial) technology firms, and small high-tech businesses
and universities. The Department cannot pull this technology from these
sources without acquisition reform, because the current system limits access to
these sources either directly, by throwing up regulatory barriers, or
indirectly, by slowing the ability to purchase and employ new generations of
technology in a timely way.
The Department not only needs to do more business with commercial industry, it
also needs to act more like commercial industry.
There are numerous examples of private sector companies turning to outside
suppliers for a wide variety of specific, non-core goods and services. By
focusing on core competencies, they have reduced their costs by lowering
overhead and improved their performance.
Major opportunities exist for the Department to operate more efficiently and
effectively by turning over to the private sector many non-core activities.
For example, private sector companies are already under contract to perform
some commercial activities on bases around the world. This type of outsourcing
can be expanded.
To implement this strategy, the Department has been systematically examining
opportunities for privatizing, as well as reviewing both institutional and
statutory obstacles to its full utilization. Early in 1996, work groups engaged
in these efforts will provide reports on how privatization can be better used
to lower DoD costs while enhancing its effectiveness.
In the uncertainty that has followed the Cold War, the United States has not
only the opportunity, but also the responsibility to help ensure a safer world
for generations of Americans. President Clinton has said: "As the world's
greatest power, we have an obligation to lead and, at times when our interests
and our values are sufficiently at stake, to act."
The Department of Defense is supporting American leadership in this new era.
As the Department completes the transition to a post-Cold War military force,
it has undertaken policies and programs to prevent threats to our security from
emerging and to maintain well-trained, ready forces able to deter or respond
quickly to a range of potential threats and seize opportunities.
The world has changed dramatically over the past few years, but one thing
remains constant: a strong military force, made up of the finest American men
and women, is the nation's best insurance policy. Each element of the defense
program described in this report supports this fundamental, indisputable
William J. Perry
Full report will be available late March or early April