Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
Dr. John P. White, Deputy Secretary of Defense
American Defense Preparedness Association
Dec. 19, 1996
There couldn't be a better time to get together to talk
about our mutual goal: defense preparedness.
We're in a period
where the only constant is change ... change as far as the eye
We must prepare our defense for a tomorrow that we
cannot predict today.
And we must begin preparing now.
I don't need to tell you -- the defense industry -- about
A story in the current issue of Newsweek about Norm
Augustine and Lockheed-Martin is illustrative.
Referring to all
the consolidations and downsizing, it portrayed Norm as the lone
gorilla of the defense industry, with everybody else being
chimpanzees and marmosets.
Well, even before Newsweek arrived
in my office, this story was out of date.
Over the weekend a
new gorilla was born when Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas.
This demonstrates two things about the defense business.
the news gets old fast.
And second, change can make a monkey
out of you.
The Defense Department also faces the challenge of a
changing world, and the stakes are staggering.
We face a
strategic environment no one could have predicted even a few
years ago, and it will be different in the future.
and new are grasping for democracy, prosperity and security.
Regional dynamics are changing and power is shifting.
tensions are flaring up anew.
All of which pose potential and
sometimes unforseeable threats to our global interests.
world of change is also defined by high rates of technological
change in a global marketplace, and shifting national priorities
Meanwhile, each day there are immediate national security
crises to deal with -- from Korea to Bosnia, from Haiti to Iraq.
The very number of issues that we need to deal with at any one
time can be a major challenge.
In focusing on the immediate
crises, we risk forgetting about the long-term big picture.
we cannot afford to do that.
Because in the big picture, the
Defense Department needs to change.
The change I am talking about is institutional change.
don't think the Defense Department as a whole is changing and
adapting to the new world quickly enough.
The military forces
have changed dramatically to stay ahead of the threats.
changes are reflected in their superb operational performance.
In general, it seems to me that the Department as a whole that
supports these operations has not changed and adapted.
We also face greater pressure to be more efficient, to
do more with less.
There is a greater emphasis on making sure
that we are delivering more for the taxpayer dollar than we did
in the past.
We are already feeling the pressure from the
commitment to a balanced budget by 2002.
I welcome this
pressure -- it is absolutely appropriate.
The question is, where are we going, and how are we going to
get there? To me, the answer to the first question -- where --
ironically can be found by looking back on a 10-year-old law: the
We are determined to find the answer to
the second question -- how -- in the Quadrennial Defense Review,
Today, I want to talk about why Goldwater-Nichols and
the QDR are going to give us these answers, because the answers
certainly will mean more change for you, the defense industry.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Goldwater-Nichols
This milestone did not get a lot of headlines, but the
impact of Goldwater-Nichols on the United States military has
been quietly revolutionary.
There's just no question that
because of Goldwater-Nichols, we are stronger.
We are better at
The chain of command is more clear.
of the CINCs and the services are clearly enunciated.
President and the Secretary are better served by having the
Chairman as their principal military advisor.
The quality of the
Joint Staff is utterly remarkable.
And there is close, effective
cooperation between OSD and the Joint Staff.
We have made great
strides from where we were in the 70s, and Goldwater-Nichols is
the principal reason.
As a result, the Defense Department is
stronger and more versatile, our troops are better used, better
trained and better led, and thus our nation is more secure.
I have observed the impact of Goldwater-Nichols for many
years, from different angles.
A couple of years ago, I studied
it from my perspective as Chairman of the Commission on Roles and
Missions, the CORM.
Indeed, the CORM's central goal improving
DOD's operational effectiveness was the same as that of
The CORM's central conclusion was that,
today ... the emphasis must be on molding DOD into a cohesive
set of institutions that work toward a common purpose --
effective unified military operations. Everything else DOD
does from developing doctrine to acquiring new weapons must
support that effort.
Goldwater-Nichols has taken us far down that road.
joint military operations, a major goal of Goldwater-Nichols.
Ten years ago these were considered a major challenge.
they are the norm whenever our military is called upon to uphold
and defend American interests, whether it is in Panama, the
Arabian Gulf, Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia or an evacuation such as
The authors of Goldwater-Nichols were more visionary than
they realized, because in terms of joint operations it forced us
to start doing in the 80s what the strategic environment of the
90s and beyond absolutely demands.
Today, the range of potential
security crises we could face means that joint operations have to
be the norm.
Indeed, for almost any conflict we can imagine, the
key to victory will be the synchronized application of military
force from land, sea and air, along with coalition forces.
Thanks to Goldwater-Nichols, no one does this any better than the
But the CORM concluded Goldwater-Nichols has not reached its
Nothing I have seen as Deputy Secretary in the
last year-and-a-half has dissuaded me from this view.
quite the opposite.
We need to do much more.
The true vision of Goldwater-Nichols will not be fulfilled
until we have effective cooperation not just in operations, but
in the way we prepare for and support those operations.
means extending the philosophy that underlies Goldwater-Nichols
to virtually everything the Defense Department does to support
the warfighter, from doctrine and training, to requirements and
acquisition, to logistics and support, and even to personnel
It means turning vision statements into realistic
plans of action under real fiscal constraint.
How are we going to do these things in a systematic,
coherent and yes -- joint -- manner? How are we going to truly
fulfill the promise of Goldwater-Nichols? The vehicle is the
Quadrennial Defense Review.
Most of you have heard of the QDR,
and know it is a major review of US defense policy that will
determine what force our nation will have and how it will fight
in the 21st Century.
The QDR will be a fundamental taking stock, examining every
aspect of our defense program: what we do, why we do it, how we
do it, and how we pay for it.
It will not be a budget review,
but it will guide future budget reviews.
The QDR will take a
fresh look at our defense needs, and a fresh look at how best to
meet those needs.
But it will also look at major, fundamental
change in the way the Department operates, with the goal of
making it more flexible, more responsive, more cooperative and
All of these changes are necessary if we are to
be successful in a dynamically changing world.
Why are we doing this now? The world continues to evolve
from the one envisioned in the Bottom Up Review in 1993.
Indeed, you could look at the BUR as the very first QDR.
will build on our experience under the BUR, with the policies and
forces we built from that.
But we now have four more years of
operating in the post-Cold War world, and a lot of new challenges
In addition, the start of the new
Administration is an appropriate time to conduct a critical re-
assessment of our defenses.
And in a world that is constantly
changing and throwing at us new security challenges by the week,
let alone by the year, it is much more important to reexamine our
assumptions, programs and operations on a regular basis and more
often than we used to.
What are the principles for conducting the QDR? The bottom
line is that everything will be on the table.
We are not
holding sacrosanct any particular end strength, any particular
platform size, any particular platform structure.
We are going
to look at everything, raise impertinent questions and challenge
In addition to that, we are going to
stress innovative approaches to what it is we're doing.
going to stress joint approaches to what it is we're doing.
we are going to stress providing the Department with choices.
Choices that have clearly defined policy and
programmatic effects; choices that honestly spell out the
relative pros and cons of each course of action.
Having clear choices is particularly critical today, given
the current fiscal environment for defense.
Arthur Miller once
defined heaven as a place where you don't have to make choices.
Our budget choices will not be made in heaven.
turn there is either a rock or a hard place.
We need to be
brutally realistic about the resources available to defense.
Absent a marked deterioration in world events -- which is not on
our wish list -- I doubt that the nation will commit more
resources to national defense.
Indeed, obligations to domestic
priorities, tax cuts and deficit reduction, or even an economic
downturn, may impose topline lower than the stable $245 billion
in our plans.
We also need to be realistic about our internal budget
There are inherent tensions in resource allocation
among force readiness, quality of life and modernization.
are the natural tensions between paying for today and investing
We must resolve those tensions in ways that meet
the nation's requirements both now and in the future.
Let me say a few words about how the QDR will approach each
of these issues:
The first issue is the readiness and quality of life of our
Over the past four years, we've concentrated on keeping
the readiness of our forces at peak levels.
We've seen this
effort pay off whenever and wherever we've sent our forces.
readiness has more than one dimension.
There is a tension
between the readiness to perform the core competencies of
fighting the nation's wars, versus the readiness to meet smaller
contingencies and presence missions.
Again, it is the natural
tension between today and tomorrow.
The QDR must seek
innovative ways to resolve this tension.
In terms of the quality of life of our forces, again, we
have concentrated on improvements in this area over the past four
years, with the direct support of President Clinton.
one military asset has been the quality of our people.
attracted terrific people and invested heavily in their training
We want to retain these quality forces, and
ensure we can recruit more.
We also need to maintain our core
of quality civilians in DoD.
So a part of the QDR will be a
review of our quality of life strategies, particularly the
military and civilian personnel and compensation systems.
Beyond these day-to-day issues, the QDR will focus heavily
on developing the right choices for our military strategy and
Our forces must be versatile and flexible
enough to shape the evolving security environment and to respond
effectively to a wide range of contingencies.
We must vigorously
pursue innovative approaches to being effective on the
And we need to identify a force structure that is
large and capable enough to meet the full spectrum of challenges,
yet lean enough to allow us to have a robust modernization
Our approach to sizing forces will focus on fielding
This means refining long-term joint and
service visions, as well as conducting practical experiments to
test those visions.
And let me repeat: no force structure,
platform count or endstrength is sacrosanct.
This leads me to modernization.
We must reexamine our
programs to ensure that they are appropriate in both size and
A key element of this review should be the
incorporation of advances in information technology, sensors and
We need to translate the revolution in
military affairs from briefing slides into concrete programs and
Real progress is being made.
For example, the Army not
only has a Force 21 vision for a digitized battlefield of the
future, it is conducting practical experiments at Fort Hood using
the 4th Infantry Division, designated the Experimental Force.
In one of the experiments, they've inserted a system of digital
subsystems into the 4th ID's weapon systems -- tanks, artillery,
helicopters -- forming a system of systems, a huge integrated
network of powerful computers and high speed communications.
This system of systems will give commanders a constant, complete,
3-D picture of the battlefield.
Beyond pursuing ways to enhance readiness, quality of life
and modernization, the QDR is the perfect vehicle to vastly
improve the way the Defense Department operates as an
I said we need to be more flexible, more
responsive, more cooperative and more efficient -- all focused on
serving the warfighter faster, better and cheaper.
these attributes, I believe the Defense Department needs to do
what many of your companies have done -- undertake a revolution
in business practices.
What does a revolution in business practices mean for the
Defense Department? To begin with, it means some of the changes
we've already made in three areas:
First, we have undertaken defense management reforms,
starting with reducing our work force and facilities.
facilities side, we'll save about $50 billion between the 91 and
97 fiscal years by cutting the number of finance and data
centers, printing operations, commissaries and other support
facilities in half, from 1270 to 660.
Second, we are reexamining our infrastructure, beginning
with base-closing and realignment.
BRAC is really paying off.
Between the four rounds of BRAC between 88 and 95, we will save
$13.5 billion by the year 2001, and nearly $6 billion a year
Third and probably most significant over the long term,
we've gotten defense acquisition reform off to a great start.
The Secretary and I were talking about acquisition reform not
long ago, and he said, You know, this is the third time I've
tried this. He said, It's the first time it's really worked,
and in fact it's worked better than I thought it would three
years ago when I began pushing it. The Secretary likes to tell
the story about the JDAMs program, which turns dumb bombs into
That program alone, one of our acquisition reform
pilot programs, will save us about $3 billion.
programs prove that using commercial buying practices and
commercial technology can yield significant savings.
challenge now is to apply what we've learned in our pilot
programs to all programs, large and small.
We are counting on acquisition reform to help us modernize
The President's budget calls for a 40 percent
increase in real terms in the modernization budget over five
Much of that increase will have to come from internal
We're committed to acquisition reform to saving
billions of dollars.
Acquisition reform will also break down
the barriers to the commercial marketplace, allowing us to adopt
and adapt the advanced technology out there for military
There are other areas where we can revolutionize the Defense
Department's business practices.
One of the most immediate and
promising is outsourcing.
By outsourcing, I mean we should
contract out entire DoD non-core support functions to commercial
companies that specialize in these functions, so they can do them
more efficiently and innovatively than we can, in a free market.
The goal is to tap the power of free enterprise and competition
in the commercial market.
Acquisition reform taps the market
for the things we buy.
Outsourcing taps the market for the
things we do: our activities and operations.
It will enable us
to focus our energies and resources more on our core competency,
which is fighting and winning in combat.
It will improve
quality, responsiveness and agility of the Department.
reduce costs, helping us to save money.
Indeed, the military
departments are now implementing the first set of outsourcing
initiatives, and these alone project savings of about $5 billion
by fiscal 2003, and about $2.5 billion every year after that.
The incentive for the services to do more outsourcing is that
they get to keep these savings.
Another area where we can revolutionize our business
practices is in logistics and general support.
This summer the
Defense Science Board compared DOD logistics support with the
commercial sector and found it wanting in almost all cases.
example, distribution of in-stock items took nearly a month for
DOD -- most commercial companies do it in one to three days.
Our goal is to achieve a truly joint logistics system.
achieve this goal, we formed a Joint Staff working group to study
ways of integrating the logistics systems of all the services.
And we are looking at ways to use the tools of the information
revolution to speed integration.
For example, we are currently
developing a Global Command Support System which will become part
of the Global Command and Control System.
This will produce a
super system that will eventually permit users to get
instantaneous logistical information -- everything from spare
parts to personnel -- from any place on the globe.
In the area of general support, we are committed to
revolutionizing how we do business by incorporating modern
business practices and the latest information technology.
involves enhancing the services' core capabilities, expanding
joint support and the in-theater role of the CINCs, and relying
more heavily on the private sector, not just in outsourcing, but
in other forms of cooperation.
The bottom line in all these areas the QDR will cover -- our
defense needs, how we'll meet those needs, and how we'll meet
them more efficiently and effectively -- is the warfighter.
More explicitly, the basic question the QDR will tackle is, How
can we truly fulfill the underlying goals of the Goldwater-
Nichols Act, and employ and serve the warfighter better to
protect our national security?
Today, our warfighters are the best-trained, best-equipped,
most ready and effective in the world.
I see this first-hand
whenever and wherever I meet with our troops.
And when I meet
them, I see first-hand the reason why the Department must change.
It is for that individual soldier, sailor, airman and Marine out
there who has volunteered to put his or her life on the line
every day to serve our national security interests.
counting on us for the technology, resources and support to do
They are the ones we must keep in mind as we
prepare our defense to face the changes coming in the future.