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  3. The IA&E Aspects of the New DoDD 5000.01 (The Defense Acquisition System)

The IA&E Aspects of the New DoDD 5000.01 (The Defense Acquisition System)

One of the final DoD 5000 series issuances associated with the new DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF) -- the ‘new’ DoDD 5000.01 on “The Defense Acquisition System” (DAS) – was finally approved…

The IA&E Aspects of the New DoDD 5000.01 (The Defense Acquisition System)


  1. Home
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  3. The IA&E Aspects of the New DoDD 5000.01 (The Defense Acquisition System)
Frank Kenlon (Prof of Int'l Acq, DAU/DSMC-Int'l)
One of the final DoD 5000 series issuances associated with the new DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF) -- the ‘new’ DoDD 5000.01 on “The Defense Acquisition System” (DAS) – was finally approved by the DepSecDef and published on September 9, 2020. It cancels and replaces the ‘old’ DoDD 5000.01 published in May 2003 in its entirety.

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

Like its predecessor version, the ‘new’ DoDD 5000.01 establishes overall DoD acquisition policy and establishes responsibilities for managing DoD acquisition programs by assigning primary and supporting responsibilities to UnderSecDef (Acquisition & Sustainment), USD (Research & Engineering), six (6) other supporting USDs and Office of SecDef (OSD) Direct Reports, the DoD Components (focusing on those which have acquisition responsibilities) and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Unlike its predecessor, however, the new DoDI 5000.01 bases future DoD acquisition policy on the DoD AAF approach coupled with extensive delegation of most acquisition program/project oversight and management responsibilities to the DoD Components implemented in accordance with a comprehensive set of specific ‘a. through y.’ policy revisions (with ‘z.’ perhaps being reserved for future growth).

IA&E Policy

The policy area that is directly related to DoD International Acquisition and Exportability (IA&E) and U.S. Government/DoD Security Cooperation activities concerns efforts to “Plan for Coalition Partners” in paragraph 1.2.t.:

The DAS will plan for coalition partners “to enable allies and partners to enhance U.S. military capability, collaboration opportunities, potential partnerships, and international acquisition and exportability features and limitations will be considered in the early design and development phase of acquisition programs.”

Comparative Analysis

The new version DoDD 5000.01 is a major change from the 2003 version DoDD 5000.01 which emphasized the importance of the following IA&E areas from an overall DoD acquisition policy perspective:

  • Establishing and implementing International Cooperative Program (ICP) acquisition program partnerships with allied and friendly nations. (Encl. 1, para E.1.1.1.)
  • Design for interoperability in a joint DoD and coalition partner environment. (Encl 1, E.1.1.13.)
  • DoD Component use of the following program new start prioritization: a) procurement or modification of commercial available defense systems/equipment; b) production/modification of existing U.S. or allied systems; c) ICP programs with allies; d) U.S. Government (USG) or joint programs; and, e) DoD Component-unique programs. (Encl. 1, E.1.1.18.)

IA&E Trend Analysis

When you analyze the new DoDD 5000.01 “Plan for Coalition Partners” guidance in the context of this Administration’s National Security and Defense strategies, its USG Conventional Arms Transfer policy emphasis areas, the other recent DoD 5000 series AAF policy issuances, and ongoing IA&E activities, the USG and DoD appear to be emphasizing and deemphasizing the following areas at the individual DoD acquisition program and project level:

Trending Up

  1. Defense exportability program-level planning and implementation that “builds exportability” into new and modified DoD systems/equipment.
  2. Program-level planning and implementation of defense investment, sales, and transfers across all IA&E transaction types -- Foreign Military Sales (FMS), International Cooperative Programs (ICP)s, Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), Building Partner Capacity (BPC) transfers -- to allied and friendly nations.

Trending Steady

  1. Coalition interoperability design, development, and testing and evaluation activities (see DoDD 5000.02, para 1.2.q.).
  2. Adapting and using domestic and international commercial technology in defense systems/equipment.

Trending Down

  1. International Cooperative Program (ICP) new start development identification and implementation.
  2. Acquiring new non-developmental systems/equipment from domestic and foreign sources.

Broader Considerations

Since DoD IA&E is a ‘dependent variable’ to overall DoD acquisition policy, it’s also worth exploring a few of the other DoDD 5000.01 ‘a. through y.’ policy areas that will likely have a substantial impact on DoD program/project level IA&E efforts implemented through the AAF policy issuances published so far in 2020.

  • Emphasize Competition (para 1.2.e.): As a result of the many Reciprocal Defense Procurement (RDP) international agreements put in place over the years by the OUSD(A&S)/Director Pricing and Contracting (DPC) International Contracting organization, PMs, Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), and DoD prime contractors and major suppliers are well positioned to take advantage of innovative and affordable defense and dual use technology products and solutions through international contracting with a wide variety of global sources.
  • Manage Effectively and Efficiently (para 1.2.h.): As a result of DoD’s broad delegation of acquisition program Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) responsibility to the DoD Components – and further re-delegation of MDA responsibility by the DoD Components within their acquisition establishments – many more MDAs will be responsible for making ‘building in exportability’ and ‘planning for coalition partner’ choices in the programs they oversee. Decisions in these key IA&E policy areas at the program level often require complex tradeoff analyses which can pose difficult challenges to PEOs, PMs, and IPTs. DoD Component International Program Organizations (IPOs) and International Acquisition Career Path (IACP) experts will need to step up and help provide IA&E decision support in these areas.
  • Focus on Affordability (para 1.2.i.): Efforts to build in defense exportability require up front resources. However, thoughtful and prudent investment in this area – coupled with early IA&E planning for future allied/friendly nation partnership and sales opportunities at the program level – can result in substantial program-level affordability benefits in production and sustainment. DoD Component IPOs and IACP experts have the knowledge and skills to assist in this area as well.
  • Plan for Product Support and Implement Life-Cycle Management (paras 1.2.l.&m.): IA&E investment in program-level product improvement and logistics & sustainment partnerships -- typically accomplished through ICP and FMS arrangements with allied/friendly nations -- provide a steady stream of innovation and investment in mature and aging DoD programs.


Learning institutions – including DAU – sometimes use ‘true – false’ test questions to assess knowledge. Consider the following T/F questions:

  1. Internet content is always accurate.
  2. You should always believe what you read.
  3. It never rains on a golf course.
  4. The DoD acquisition workforce always follows DoD 5000 series policies.

There are also apocryphal quotes like the following attributed to German WW II and Soviet Cold War military sources – "a serious problem in planning against American doctrine is that the Americans do not read their manuals, nor do they feel any obligation to follow their doctrine."

My own observation is that the 2003 DoDD 5000.01 hierarchy of new start prioritization – ICPs favored over DoD Component-unique programs – did not influence actual DoD Component behavior. Most new Joint Service and allied ICP efforts during the 00’s and 10’s had to be ‘top down’ driven by OSD while the lion’s share of program new starts during that era were DoD Component-unique.

Here’s hoping that the new DoDD 5000.01 “Plan for Coalition Partners” policy guidance resonates with the DoD Component acquisition leaders, PEOs, and PMs responsible for leading and managing DoD’s acquisition programs in the next decade.

Until next time, Prof K