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Navy May Play Lead Transformation Role, DoD Official Says

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 1, 2004 – Naval services have the opportunity to play leading roles in the transformation of the U.S. military, the Defense Department's director of force transformation said here March 31.

Transformation, retired Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski said at the Annapolis Naval History Symposium, is "new values, new attitudes and new beliefs" and how those are expressed in human behavior and institutional behavior.

"While we have made very significant progress, there are clear indications that these are only the first steps," he added. "Much more must be done, and the pace is not ours to set."

The war in Iraq, the war on terrorism and globalization are compelling not only the pace and the intensity of transformation, but also its character, said Cebrowski.

He spoke of the president's vision for America's national security that "embraces the solemn duty that confronts us today to not only lift the dark threat of terrorism, but to build a safer, better world that favors human freedom, democracy and free enterprise."

America's view of strategic response has been changed, said Cebrowski. Instead of being prepared to act in the wake of an attack being reactive -- the United States must be preventive, he said, a stance that indicates the need for a change in intelligence capabilities.

"Clearly, we have to know more sooner," he said. "We must acquire the capability to better identify and understand potential adversaries. This calls for different organizations, different systems and different ways of sharing intelligence. We need the ability to look, to understand and to operate deeply within the fault lines of societies where, increasingly, we find the frontiers of national security."

The most significant shift in force planning, he continued, is the rise of deductive thinking and capabilities-based planning, which "provides a framework for understanding some of the persistent and emerging challenges before us."

Naval force planning, said Cebrowski, always has been difficult because of two driving beliefs: Navies take a long time to build, and navies last a very long time. "Now, we realize that neither of these need be true," he added. "Rather, they are choices we can make or discard. We must challenge old assumptions and old metrics."

Organizations that can readily adapt and retain flexibility within their operating domains whether in business or war likely will survive in rapidly changing times, he said.

Cebrowski outlined four new metrics that will drive future force planning: the ability to create and preserve options, to develop high transaction rates, to develop high learning rates and to achieve overmatching complexity at scale.

Also, said the transformation director, the United States must accelerate and expand its work in nonlethal weapons, directed and redirected energy and biomedical response.

"Lastly, we need a new business model for space," said Cebrowski. "With the sharp increase in the capability per pound on orbit, now is the opportunity for the Navy to re-enter the space market."

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Transformation Director Arthur K. Cebrowski

Related Sites:
DoD Transformation
Office of Force Transformation

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