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New Director of PA&E Outlines Roles and Missions

Presenters: Victoria Clarke, ASD PA
July 19, 2002 3:30 PM EDT

(Briefing on the role and missions of the office of Programs Analysis and Evaluation. Also participating was Stephen Cambone, director, Program Analysis and Evaluation and Rear Admiral Stanley Szemborski, deputy director, Program Analysis and Evaluation.)

Clarke: All right. Let's get started here, folks.

We are very pleased this afternoon to have the director and deputy director of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, informally known as PA&E, here to provide an overview of their roles and responsibilities as we move forward to turn our defense strategy into programs and a budget for fiscal year '04 and beyond.

As Secretary Rumsfeld said on the 1st of July, Dr. Cambone has guided the department through the development of our new defense strategy, and he is well-suited now to take the lead in translating our policies into budgets that will truly transform the way the Defense Department operates. As most of you know, Dr. Cambone served as principal undersecretary of Defense for Policy prior to being asked by the secretary to assume this position.

And today we are also pleased to officially announce Admiral Szemborski's appointment to serve as the deputy director of PA&E. He left his post as deputy director for Resources and Requirements on the Joint Staff. His broad experience will help evaluate our programs in a strategic context and from a joint perspective.

With that, gentlemen, it's all yours. (Pause.) Come on.

Cambone: Okay. (Soft laughter.)

Hi. I'm pleased that y'all took some time this afternoon to come down to give us a chance to talk with you about what is going to unfold during the course of the next three, four, five months as we go to the budget.

But let me start with a little bit of background on what we're trying to do here, and acknowledging that the newspapers have already decided what we're going to do. This was today's early bird. And I think Defense News has had a couple of things, and elsewhere. We don't have any decisions made.

What the secretary asked me to do and I've asked Stan to help me to do is to create the connective tissue between what we have done over the last year in defining strategy, guidance for the services, their components, for the department as a whole, and connect that to programs. Programs, of course, then get translated into budget. The budget is developed by the comptroller. But we will provide, along with the comptroller, advice to the secretary, to the deputy secretary, the chairman, the vice chairman, the chiefs, service secretaries, a range of choices that they could make in trying to provide the capabilities that we are going to need for the coming decades.

The clear mission that I have been given is to make sure that we have, in fact, a close tie in this process between the OSD staff, the joint staff, the service staff and their leadership to assure that when we get to the point where decisions will be rendered, everyone has had their -- the opportunity to go through the various programmatic issues, to give their views on the strategic implications of the choices we're going to make, and lend their advice to the secretary so that he, in turn, can give the best advice he can to the president in submitting the budget.

Three things that we're going to focus on. The first is capabilities. As you know, the Quadrennial Defense Review and the defense planning guidance has stressed again and again and again the need for a capabilities-based approach to our force capabilities. Secondly, we're going to stress jointness, joint operations. We are looking to focus first and foremost on the contribution that any given program or platform is going to make to joint operations.

And thirdly, we are going to try to, as I've said, pose strategic choices for the leadership of the department and try to avoid what is the typical approach, which is a decision made program by program, platform by platform, without any relationship made between those choices or between what we need to meet our near-term needs, particularly the ongoing war, and what we need to do to prepare for the future.

Second, in terms of that preparation for that future, what we're trying to do, Stan and I along with a number of our colleagues in the services and on the Joint Staff, is to project ourselves our to about 2015 and think through the question, "What would you like to have in 2015? Are the capabilities that may have been conceived or originally designed in the early '80s or the early '90s, and by then will be anywhere from 20 to 30 years old, are they the kind of systems that you're going to want to have moving into the next 20 or 30 years, or do we need to think about another way to go?"

Hard question, and not one that has an obvious answer. But it's important to think our way through it because what we decide to build over the next few years are going to be with us probably for as many as 50 years looking down the road. So, you can imagine in 2050 having in the inventory things that we decide to buy in the next little bit.

What are we going to balance that against? We've talked here, I've talked with you before, about the operational goals. I think you probably know them as well as I do, from securing the bases of operations here and abroad to projecting and sustaining forces, denying sanctuary and so forth. It's all been in the QDR. Those will be the matrices against which we will try to go through the evaluation of these various programs as they relate to joint operations and to the capabilities that they'll provide to meet the kind of environment we're moving into.

So, that's kind of the approach we'll take. I'll say a word about timeline, and then we can have a few questions.

We will work with our colleagues over the next month to try to get a framework sketched which will talk about the relationship of the programs in that strategic context, in the joint context and the capabilities context. We will then undoubtedly spend the month of September discussing at the senior level in here in the department the range of choices and how many different ways one can approach acquiring the type of capability that we would prefer to have. It would then be some time in October when folks will begin at the senior level of the department to make up their minds finally on their choices, which will then, at that point, roll into the development of the budget, which is done by the comptroller. And then, that budget, in turn, needs to be completed sometime in the early December timeframe in order then to go over to OMB as the secretary's recommendation to the president.

So, that's, you know, sort of in big chunks, in 30-day chunks, about how the summer will unfold and the fall will unfold. And again, until we get there, you know, decisions are not going to be final by any means. So, fair warning on that.

All right. Questions? And you may have some for the admiral as well. Yeah?

Q: How does the approach that you're adopting, how do you figure that's different from the approach that has been used here before?

Cambone: We've been fairly oriented on program-by-program, budget year-on-budget year. And so, you tend to have seen in the past a decision taken on some program on the question maybe of affordability, on whether it's properly programmed in the budget, but without a whole lot of relationship to the other offsetting or complementary capabilities that one might bring to bear. We've never done it, as far as I know, as far as I'm told -- I mean, I've not done this for a long period of time; 18 days -- it's never been done in a relational sense, that is comparing across platforms in, say, the strike area or in the intelligence area or in mobility or sustainment. I mean, you want to try to cut across these areas to see how the programs are complementary first, then go back and say what might be the best way to look at their affordability and whether they've been budgeted properly, whether they arrive in the right timeframe, whether the technology is there, and so forth.

Yeah?

Q: What are your highest priorities as you start to look at these? What areas in strategic focus, strike, mobility, that kind of thing, will you tackle first?

Cambone: Well, we're going to do them in the context of the six operational goals. So we'll look at defending bases of operations, we'll look at projecting forces, we'll look at denying sanctuary, we'll look at information assurance. All right? So we'll take those category by category and ask how well does a given proposed program or platform or capability, munition, how does it stack up against those kinds of criteria. And try to do it, as I say, across areas.

So strike is strike, you know. Delivering munitions through the air from one point to the next is a function that can be performed in a lot of ways, and so we have a lot of choices about how do we do it, but what's the one that we think is best? What do we think -- not we, but what does the department think will best suit its purposes as we go through the next 20 years?

Q: What is the mechanism by means of which PA&E will use to take action, either pro or con, a particular program in light of what you learn in that analysis? In other words, do you go to the JROC and say, "Don't approve these guys for the next set of plans" --

Cambone: No.

Q: -- "unless they fix this, that and the other"?

Cambone: No, in each cycle we'll use some variation of the Defense Resources Board, which is the senior leadership of the department. And the secretary may -- and the deputy who is overseeing this activity day to day, he and the vice chairman will sort of take the analysis that we have done and use that as the basis for then, in turn, sort of presenting alternatives to the Defense Resources Board or the Senior Leadership Review Group, one or the other.

So PA&E isn't making any decisions. Our job is to get the options crafted and put them on the table.

Now, the more interesting question is how do we get there? And getting to the options is going to be an exercise in which we will have representatives from each of the services working with us. I've already this week been to see a number of the service secretaries and a few of the chiefs. And we'll keep that process going. And they, in turn, have individuals who are assigned the responsibility for getting their programs put together. So the admiral and I have spent already this week a good deal of time with those folks. And so we'll do it in as collegial a fashion as we can.

Q: When do the services have to put their '04 budgets together? Is that the 22nd of August?

Cambone: Technically, it's the 22nd of August.

Q: Now would you give them guidance at that point? Will you stand over their shoulder and say --

Cambone: They already have it.

Q: I'm sorry?

Cambone: They already have the Guidance. The Defense Planning Guidance was given to them in May. And there are then another series of sort of follow-on questions that we have put to them. And so when they come in on the 22nd, the very first thing that will be done is to say, "All right. How did we do with respect to the Guidance in -- the Defense Planning Guidance?" And then you do the next step, which is in addition, "How did you do with respect to these questions that we wanted to ask for a given program?" And then you sort of roll all that up. And that's what you begin to then use as the input for this framework I was describing.

So you can do the -- I mean, we have a broad idea of where the POMs are going. The services have all been quite generous in coming in this week to sit down with us and say, "Look, here are the broad outlines of where we're going. We think we've done a lot of this, not as much as this." All right? So that helps us, in turn, to put that framework together so that we can move in parallel.

Q: Do you anticipate any amendments to the DPG at all?

Cambone: No. I mean, from this point on, it's a matter of implementation, and the senior leadership of the department will amend as they please.

Tim, how you doing?

Q: Good, thanks.

You're reviewing I guess at least one major legacy program in all the services. Do you envision making decisions on all those for the 2004 timeframe?

Cambone: Those are all there.

Q: Do you see it as being a long-term, several-year program?

Cambone: There are any variety of ways -- I mean, the leadership of the department can take as few or as many of those as it wants. And it has, you know, any number of ways that it can go about rendering a decision. I mean, they can do nothing. They can decide that they want to do more of something. They can do less of something. They can do it quicker. They can do it slower. I mean, they've got a lot of choices in how they do it. So it's a matter of matching resources to capabilities over time. All right? And then we get back to how do you evaluate that risk? Right? We've had that conversation here, too. What's the near-term risk over the far-term? How does it affect my management of my forces? And they'll balance those between and among them.

Q: Do you desire to make a lot of the big decisions before 2004? Or do you -- (inaudible)?

Cambone: Well, that's a fair question. Let me take a minute on that. The -- this budget has accompanying it the '04-'09 program. And that program essentially brings us into the next decade. I mean, yes, it's '09, but as we lay it down, it's going to set the course for the better part of the decade to come. And so, as you get into the '07, '08, '09 years, '10, a lot of the programs that had begun in the '80s and some of those programs which we initiated last year go into procurement at that -- or reach their high point. They either begin procurement or reach the point that their procurement costs peak. And it totals a lot of money. And so, part of what's going on this fall is to sift through what of those things that we now have on our plate or that we would like to put on our plate do we care to lend priority to. Because when you get to '09 and 2010, you've got to be able to pay for it. So, you've got to make some choices, and that's kind of where we are.

Q: (Off mike) -- a major decision in the '04 budget, you say?

Cambone: Well, these decisions -- you'll judge major. I mean, I -- there'll be -- every year, there are decisions. I mean, we took them last year. We didn't continue the DD-21. We did the B-1. We did the SSGN's. I mean, there were serious ones made last year, as well.

Q: (Off mike) -- capabilities and joint operations and posing strategic choices. Which one of those do you think would be the most challenging while you're doing this review?

Cambone: Clearly getting the choices properly framed. I mean, it's -- for the senior leadership of the department, in light of what I just said -- I mean, they're taking decisions that affect them less and their successors far more. So, this is a question of kind of, you know, the stewardship of the nation's security. I mean, it's not just the in-year decision that you're taking; you're sitting here thinking about where do you want the country to be in 10 or 15 to 20 years time. And so, getting the framework right and the relations down correctly and the strategic choices properly framed is by far the -- both the most important and the most difficult thing to do.

Yeah?

Q: It sounds like you're setting up an even more acrimonious system than -- or process than what already exists. It used to be they just fought for dollars. Now they're going to be fighting for not only -- the services, I mean -- fighting not only amongst themselves for dollars but also for missions, competing for the strike mission, competing for this. Do you anticipate that, a higher level of acrimony --

Cambone: Actually, no, and that may be a question of how, you know, relative -- of higher.

The answer is no, and I'll tell you why. Since before the -- before we went through this last year, starting maybe in August or September of last year -- I can't remember now -- the Air Force and the Navy, for example, had already begun the process of thinking through their complementary support for the strike mission. The Army and the Air Force had spent a lot of time thinking about the air-to- ground operation. Secretary Roche was down at Eglin Air Force Base and down with the troops and trying to figure out how to make that thing work very early on. Tankers, the multi-mission aircraft for sensors -- I mean, all of that has been generated by the services -- I mean, they, among themselves, sort of working together, trying to figure out how to do these jobs.

Q: Well --

Cambone: So I think they're -- my personal view is that the leadership in the services is far beyond struggling over that issue and are very much interested in getting to the -- how best to do it.

Q: So where do you see your office in that whole debate? I mean, would you think that your recommendations would carry more weight if it -- than a service secretary's if it contradicts what the service secretary is saying, or --

Cambone: No. We are there to provide for the secretary and for the other leaders in the department sort of a -- you know, a synthetic appreciation of what's there and to give another view on how to approach a problem. So it is nothing more than that. And those decisions will be taken -- the decisions that need to be taken are not going to be taken, again, by the people in PA&E; they'll be taken by the leadership of the department.

Q: Since you folks have already done away with the force sizing framework, the two MTWs, can we assume that force structure will be part of your study and --

Cambone: (Pauses.) I'm not sure that that will come up or not. I have not culled it out as a particular issue. The question of end strength as opposed to force structure may; that is to say, how many total people are in a given service at a given time, as opposed to how many divisions or whatever. But I don't know. I mean, we're just going to have to let that unfold. I mean, as many of you probably know, force structure -- that is, the people and the equipment and so on and so forth -- makes up the lion's share of a fraction of the department's budget. It's not taken up in procurement, it's in people and equipment and stuff.

So the services are the ones who will take the first cut at this. I mean, they're the ones who will come back and say, "Over time, I can do this with fewer people," or, "For reasons having to do with housing or something else, I want to make these adjustments in my end strength."

Q: What kind of specific guidance, if any, has been given?

Cambone: On that subject, this time around, as I recall, we didn't give any specific guidance on force structure. So they're free to --

Q: (Off mike) -- any guidance on that from --

Cambone: I've not asked for any; the secretary's not directed any. That's where we are.

Anything else? Okay. I suspect that we'll be back and forth during the course of the fall.

(?): Many times.

Cambone: (Laughs.) So I appreciate it. And talk to you again.