RETHINKING DEFENSE. A Congressionally-chartered National Defense Panel (NDP) said in a report released 1 December, that the longstanding Pentagon policy of preparing to fight two major regional wars at the same time will soon be outdated and has become an excuse for maintaining existing force structure. The panel, consisting of private-sector experts, said the Pentagon should be moving faster to prepare for the likely threats to national security in the 21st century. Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Charles Robb (D-VA), who sponsored the 1996 legislation calling for the panel's review, praised the report. Following are selected highlights (not a summary) of the NDP report. Complete report can be found at the following web site: http://www.dtic.mil/ndp/ OVERALL * Put more emphasis on experimentation with weapons and military concepts. * Permit more base closings. * Services should share facilities. * Concentrate less on preparing for large-scale warfare overseas. * Focus more on protecting the U.S. from unconventional attacks by hostile forces with access to weapons of mass destruction. FORCE CAPABILITIES * Under no circumstances should we reduce the quality or training of our people. * Reserve and Guard units must be prepared and resourced for use in a variety of ongoing worldwide operations. * Shared operational and training experiences, common educational opportunities, and frequent exchange of leaders among active and reserve components, the different services, coalition partners, and national and international agencies will serve to deepen mutual respect and reinforce a common ethic. INSTITUTIONALIZING CHANGE * Create a Joint Battle Lab for experimentation and joint exercises. * Establish a Joint National Training Center. * Establish a Joint Urban Warfare Center. * Establish a Joint Concept Development Center. * Integrate existing service battle labs and facilities. UNIFIED COMMAND PLAN * Maintain Strategic Command and Special Operations Command. * Create Joint Forces Command to provide combat ready forces for joint and combine operations. * Eliminate U.S. Atlantic Command. * Create Logistics Command to provide global logistics, transportation, and asset visibility operations. * Add the information support mission to the responsibilities of Space Command. * Create Americas Command; subordinate Southern Command. * Realign European, Central, and Pacific Commands. ALL FORCES * Shift funds from upgrade of legacy systems to new systems focused on meeting the challenges of 2010-2020. * Place more emphasis on directed energy, electromagnetic energy, and cyber-weapons. * Enable greater speed, and penetration capability for Special Operations Forces to preempt or resolve terrorist activity or weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat. * Provide more near-zero miss, long-range stealthy cruise missiles, brilliant munitions, and submunitions in lieu of dumb weapons. * Integrate ballistic and cruise missile defense to protect forces (both point and area targets), theaters, and regions; harmonize land- and sea-based missile defenses (i.e., ballistic and air breathers) in an effort to eliminate duplicative systems. * Establish a distributed user-friendly global information system that includes a broadcast architecture. * Create a "distributed," in-theater logistics structure in lieu of "iron mountains" (large stockpiles). * Provide the ability to project significant power from forward deployed areas, as well as the United States, within hours or days rather than months. * Explore new air and sealift concepts emerging in the commercial world. * Accelerate network-centric operations linking sensors and weapons. * Replace individual service component-unique systems with integrated, joint command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. * Structure less manpower-intensive forces. * Create highly networked forces able to see the battlespace in near real time and to dynamically task and control forces. LAND FORCES * Become more expeditionary: fast, shock-exploiting forces, with greater urban operations capability. * Reduce systems that are difficult to move and support; shift to lighter, more agile automated systems. * Evolve to lighter, greater range, more lethal fire-support systems. * Develop the twenty-first century tank to be a unique vehicle relying on speed, agility, and hyper-velocity gun technology for operational effectiveness (the Panel's view is that 30-35 tons is the appropriate weight range). * Move beyond Force XXI to incorporate the concepts embodied in Army After Next. * Restructure above-the-line units, which evolve to smaller operational elements with equivalent (or greater) lethality. * Move toward advanced vertical lift systems versus service-life extensions of current rotary-wing aircraft. SEA FORCES * Move toward small-signature ships capable of providing sustained long-range, precision firepower. * Design ship production to allow rapid incorporation of latest technology. * Provide greater quantities of small unmanned underwater vehicles to augment and extend the reach of submarines. * Construct follow-on carriers to capitalize on short take-off, vertical landing; unmanned aerial vehicle; and unmanned combat aerial vehicle aircraft characteristics with attendant reduction in size and personnel. * Consider sea-based mobile off-shore bases to provide access in situations where forward bases are unavailable or at risk to pre-positioned forces. * Provide insertion vehicles incorporating the latest technologies to extend the reach of the maneuver component of the naval power projection forces. AEROSPACE FORCES * Ensure a proper mix of short- and long-range aerospace forces to enable optimal strike operations. * Move toward fewer numbers of short-range aircraft providing increased delivery capacity with smaller, but more accurate weapons. * Explore new approaches to long-range, precision delivery vehicles. * More distributed satellite systems to provide redundancy and survivability of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. * Short-take-off-vertical-landing aircraft on wide array of airfields, ships, and sea-based platforms. * Increase ground surveillance capability. HOMELAND DEFENSE * Develop integrated active and passive defense measures against the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). * Develop and retain the option to deploy a missile defense system capable of defeating limited attacks. * Incorporate all levels of government into managing the consequences of a WMD-type attack. * Prepare reserve components to support consequence management activities. * Support the recommendations of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. * Use Department of Defense assets to advise and assist law enforcement in combating terrorist activities. INDUSTRIAL BASE * Achieve and maintain technological superiority through time-based competition. * Pursue commercial-off-the-shelf opportunities. * Exploit dual-use technologies. * Identify and protect military-unique technologies. * Encourage new enterprises (as well as established firms) to develop innovative ideas-and penalize pedestrian efforts. * Develop new rules and procedures that emphasize technology development and de-emphasize large production quantities. * Review mobilization policy for balance, timeliness, relevance, and synchronization. INFRASTRUCTURE * Reduce or eliminate Cold War infrastructure without delay. * Develop financial systems that give commanders cost visibility. * Change the budgeting process to create incentives to foster savings initiatives. * Pass legislation to allow flexibility in resource reallocation. * Revamp PPBS to facilitate innovation and change. * Compete all commercial-oriented activities. * Consider the "New Base Concept." * Accelerate and expand the scope of BRAC 2001/2005. * Develop a Department of Defense Installation Master Plan.
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