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New Report on the Defense Acquisition System

Encourage defense acquisition workforce professionals to take a look at a recently released RAND Report of interest entitled “Is the Defense Acquisition System Postured to Solve National Defense…

New Report on the Defense Acquisition System

New Report on the Defense Acquisition System
Bill Kobren
Encourage defense acquisition workforce professionals to take a look at a recently released RAND Report of interest entitled “Is the Defense Acquisition System Postured to Solve National Defense Strategy Operational Problems?".

According to the report’s authors, “...the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD's) acquisition system has undergone significant reform. The authors of this report propose that DoD leaders manage the defense acquisition system (DAS) according to its ability to develop and produce capabilities that solve operational problems outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), discuss why this perspective is warranted, and suggest steps that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD [A&S]) could take if it wishes to pursue this approach. The authors recommend that OUSD (A&S) engage DoD's force planning and development apparatus, develop and institutionalize a mechanism to inform OUSD (A&S) leadership and staff on emerging operational and solution concepts, and conduct an experiment to understand the opportunities and limitations of this new approach.”

There were also two key findings identified in the report:
  • “The DAS should be able to cost-effectively develop and produce systems that support capabilities that overcome the operational problems outlined in the National Defense Strategy (NDS).
  • The DAS should prioritize a set of discrete operational problems; survey and select from the joint community a set of operational concepts that could solve the problems; identify enabling programs for the selected operational concepts; identify, monitor, and manage the risks for the selected programs; and assess the overall health of the DAS by its ability to deliver the capabilities to solve the operational problems.”

For those who may not be familiar with the issuers of this report, the RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. Inclusion of a link to this report here is for defense acquisition workforce informational and professional development purposes, and does not imply DAU or DoD endorsement of any particular organization, document, findings or recommendations.