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GAO-09-706R: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

July 2, 2009: 

The Honorable Tim Johnson:
Chairman:
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison:
Ranking Member:
Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans' Affairs, and Related 
Agencies:
Committee on Appropriations:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Chet Edwards:
Chairman:
The Honorable Zach Wamp:
Ranking Member:
Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans' Affairs, and Related 
Agencies:
Committee on Appropriations:
House of Representatives: 

Subject: Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DOD's Ability to 
Manage, Assess, and Report on Global Defense Posture Initiatives: 

In its ongoing global realignment of U.S. forces and installations, the 
Department of Defense (DOD) plans to reduce the number of troops 
permanently stationed overseas, consolidate overseas bases, and 
establish a network of smaller forward locations with limited 
personnel. Realigning the U.S. overseas posture involves closing 
obsolete and redundant bases, constructing new facilities costing 
billions of dollars, and ensuring that other needed infrastructure is 
in place to support realigned forces and missions. These significant 
changes to force structure both in the United States and overseas are 
being implemented to enhance operational efficiencies and ensure access 
during future contingency operations. DOD requests for overseas 
military construction projects extend around the world including 
Europe, the Pacific, Southwest Asia, and Central America. For fiscal 
year 2010, DOD requested approximately $1.5 billion, or 7 percent, of 
the regular military construction request for overseas military 
construction. The Congress has supported the DOD's efforts to reassess 
and realign its overseas posture to better respond to emerging security 
challenges, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has expressed 
concerns about the department's ability to effectively manage and 
accomplish such an ambitious program as well as the fidelity of the 
global basing plan given the rapidly changing global security 
environment. 

The Senate reports accompanying the fiscal year 2008 and 2009 military 
construction appropriation bills directed DOD to prepare updated 
reports on the Global Defense Posture initiative to accompany the 
department's budget submission through fiscal year 2014.[Footnote 1] In 
October 2008, DOD transmitted a report to Congress entitled 
Strengthening U.S. Global Defense Posture responding to the Senate 
report requirement. The Senate report accompanying the fiscal year 2008 
military construction appropriation bill also directed GAO to assess 
the department's updated 2008 Report to Congress and the department's 
progress in implementing the strategy, with an emphasis on certain 
specific matters from which GAO derived the following three objectives: 
(1) determine whether the department has an integrated process for 
reassessing and adjusting its overseas presence and basing strategy; 
(2) identify the extent of DOD progress in establishing its proposed 
network of future Forward Operating Sites (FOS) and Cooperative 
Security Locations (CSL); and (3) compare how DOD's projected costs for 
implementing its overseas presence and basing strategy compare with 
initial estimates. On May 28, 2009, we provided your office with a 
briefing on the above matters (see enclosure I). This letter summarizes 
the results of that briefing, which has been modified to reflect 
discussions with DOD officials during our exit conference on June 4, 
2009. Our scope and methodology are also discussed in the attached 
briefing slides. 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2008 through July 
2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Summary of Results: 

DOD Process for Adjusting Global Posture: 

The Department of Defense has taken positive steps toward establishing 
an integrated process to assess and adjust global defense posture; 
however, we identified two shortcomings in the department's approach. 
In February 2008, DOD established the Global Posture Executive Council 
to be the first formal governance body responsible for facilitating 
posture decisions and overseeing the assessment and implementation of 
posture plans. The Executive Council and the supporting Global Posture 
Integration Team include senior and staff-level representatives, 
respectively, from OSD offices and Joint Staff directorates, the 
combatant commands, the services, and the State Department. In the past 
year, the Executive Council has contributed to DOD decisions on 
significant posture-related matters, such as the location of the U.S. 
Africa Command headquarters and global mobility infrastructure. 
Stakeholder organizations we communicated with have consistently 
characterized the Executive Council's establishment as an improvement 
over the previously informal approach. Despite these positive steps, we 
identified two weaknesses in DOD's approach. First, DOD has not 
reported on global posture matters in a comprehensive manner. DOD 
strategic planning guidance defines global defense posture in terms of 
three elements: host nation relationships, DOD's facilities and 
military presence in country, and DOD activities overseas. Stakeholders 
we contacted described global defense posture in terms of their primary 
functions, such as U.S. Southern Command's reference to conducting 
military operations in coordination with interagency partners or the 
U.S. Navy's depiction of posture in terms of where its maritime 
platforms and assets are stationed around the world. However, OSD 
Policy officials acknowledged DOD's global posture reports have 
emphasized only initiatives that have a direct impact on facility 
requirements, because the congressional direction to produce the report 
emphasized military construction costs. As a result, Congress may not 
have the full context in which to consider DOD's global posture 
requirements. Second, geographic combatant commands have not 
established a consistent approach to monitor initiative implementation, 
assess progress, and periodically report on results because DOD has not 
yet developed global posture implementation guidance. When the 
Executive Council was established, the Deputy Secretary of Defense 
required OSD Policy to develop an implementing instruction that would 
address in more detail the global defense posture process and 
components' roles. OSD Policy officials stated this guidance has not 
yet been developed because their initial focus was on establishing the 
Executive Council and the Integration Team, supporting significant DOD 
decisions on posture-related matters, and preparing the 2008 Global 
Defense Posture Report to Congress. OSD Policy officials indicated they 
plan on developing such guidance after the conclusion of the 
Quadrennial Defense Review, but did not specify by what date. 
Therefore, as combatant commands implement complex and interrelated 
initiatives, they lack guidance from OSD regarding the management of 
stakeholder concerns, the identification of potential challenges, or 
the status of mitigation strategies. 

Progress in Establishing Operating Locations: 

In the 2008 Report to Congress, the department reiterated its intent to 
establish a network of Forward Operating Sites and Cooperative Security 
Locations and summarized diplomatic efforts to date, but did not 
provide a full listing of the current number of planned locations. 
According to DOD officials who prepared the report, they focused the 
report on updating the status of initiatives contained in DOD's 
original 2004 Report to Congress, omitting new and emerging 
requirements. DOD strategic planning guidance issued in 2008 requires 
each geographic combatant command to produce a theater campaign plan 
and specific posture requirements for its given area of responsibility. 
[Footnote 2] These plans and posture requirements are to be updated 
annually, and posture requirements will continue to be modified based 
on these plans. Because of the potentially significant operating and 
support costs that future locations may entail, the services resist 
assuming management and funding responsibilities for them. We have 
previously reported that DOD lacks specific criteria or a process for 
assigning lead responsibility at future locations, and DOD has yet to 
resolve this issue.[Footnote 3] Without criteria or a process to assign 
responsibilities, management and funding for future locations may 
continue to be a contentious issue as the services face increasing 
demands for the resources they are provided. 

Global Posture Costs: 

DOD has not fully defined or reported total costs for DOD's global 
posture strategy. DOD's 2008 Report to Congress estimates the total 
cost for all global defense posture initiatives at $9 to $12 billion, 
which is essentially unchanged from the amount reported in 2004. DOD's 
cost estimate for the 2008 Report to Congress was based on the data 
used to develop the DOD fiscal year 2009 budget request. Approximately 
$3.4 billion of DOD's estimate covers funding from fiscal year 2007 
through fiscal year 2013. The remainder of the $9 to $12 billion cost 
estimate is allocated to an unspecified period beyond 2013. However, 
the DOD's cost estimate likely understates the total costs associated 
with restructuring DOD's global posture, because it does not report the 
total cost of each initiative, assumptions about host nation support, 
the full share of U.S. obligations, or sustainment costs. For example, 
regarding the relocation of Marine Corps forces from Okinawa to Guam, 
which is part of a larger effort to realign U.S. military forces in 
Japan, data supporting the 2008 Global Defense Posture Report to 
Congress identifies $2.3 billion programmed for this initiative, but 
costs could be much higher.[Footnote 4] An agreement signed in February 
2009 between the U.S. and Japan for the relocation of Marine Corps 
forces from Okinawa to Guam reaffirmed a previous estimate of the U.S. 
share of costs as over $4 billion.[Footnote 5] However, as we testified 
in May 2008, the U.S. costs are estimated to be at least $7.5 billion, 
and this estimate does not include other related costs, such as the 
costs to move and accommodate Marine Corps units from locations other 
than Okinawa to Guam, the costs associated with the development of 
training ranges and facilities on nearby islands, or the approximately 
$6.1 billion the Governor of Guam has recently testified is necessary 
for fiscal year 2010 to help fund Guam's needs in support of the 
military buildup.[Footnote 6],[Footnote 7] The Office of Management and 
Budget and professional cost analysis organizations have identified key 
characteristics of a high-quality, reliable cost estimate, which GAO 
recently summarized in a cost estimating and assessment guide.[Footnote 
8] A high-quality, reliable cost estimate should be well documented, 
comprehensive, accurate, and credible. The 2008 Report to Congress does 
not reflect these characteristics because DOD lacks a reliable process 
for developing credible global defense posture cost estimates. OSD 
initiated the cost estimate by issuing data calls to approximately 40 
service components, whereby the lack of a common definition for posture 
permitted each component to decide subjectively which elements to 
include. Furthermore, OSD did not provide specific guidance on how to 
treat assumptions regarding host nation contributions. Moreover, 
according to the officials, the congressional direction to produce the 
2008 Report to Congress required DOD to provide only the cost to date 
of implementing the military construction elements of the strategy. 

Conclusions: 

Insufficient information exists to fully evaluate DOD's progress in 
implementing the Global Posture Strategy, and Congress has not received 
a comprehensive view of the department's efforts or related total costs 
to realign its global defense posture. Additionally, global defense 
posture realignment efforts will continue to evolve as department 
objectives, priorities, and combatant command plans adapt to a dynamic 
international security environment. While the department has taken some 
positive steps to establish an approach to manage this effort, the 
weaknesses we have identified may limit its effectiveness and the 
information the department provides to Congress. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To build on the steps taken by DOD toward establishing an integrated 
process to assess and adjust global defense posture and more fully 
report on progress and costs, we are recommending that the Secretary of 
Defense take the following five actions: 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to: 

- issue guidance establishing a definition and common terms of 
reference for global defense posture; 

- develop guidance, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, requiring the geographic combatant commands to 
establish an approach to monitor initiative implementation, assess 
progress, and report on results; 

- establish criteria and a process for selecting and assigning lead 
service responsibilities for future locations; and: 

- modify the annual DOD Global Defense Posture Report to Congress to 
include the following elements:
a definition of global defense posture and how this is applied in 
identifying initiatives in the report;
a comprehensive list of all locations that fall under the definition;
the identification of lead service responsibilities to manage and fund 
each location; and,
a total cost estimate to complete each initiative, including expected 
U.S. government funding and anticipated host nation contributions. 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller to develop a 
requirement and appropriate guidance for constructing an estimate of 
total global defense posture costs, which reflects the basic 
characteristics of a credible cost estimate as discussed in GAO's Cost 
Estimating Guide. 

Agency Comments: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with our five 
recommendations, and indicated specific steps will be taken to address 
them. The department stated the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) is 
developing a definition and framework for the global defense posture in 
the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. A working definition will be 
published in the 2009 DOD Global Defense Posture Report to Congress and 
finalized with the completion of the Quadrennial Defense Review. The 
department also stated guidance will be developed to establish an 
integrated approach to monitor initiative implementation, assess 
progress, and report results. Furthermore, DOD commented that the 
Secretary of Defense will direct the Undersecretary of Defense (Policy) 
to establish a criteria and process for selecting and assigning lead 
service responsibilities, which will leverage existing business rules 
that govern the financial management arrangements between combatant 
command support agents and combatant commands. The department also 
agreed the DOD Global Defense Posture Report should be modified to 
provide a definition, a list of posture locations, and an 
identification of lead service responsibilities. However, the 
department was not clear on how it would modify the report to reflect 
the total costs to complete each initiative. Reporting these costs is 
an important component of our recommendation. The department did, 
however, agree with our fifth recommendation to develop a requirement 
and appropriate guidance for developing an estimate of global defense 
posture costs which reflects the basic characteristics of a credible 
cost estimate. The department agreed that understanding the costs 
associated with ongoing global defense posture initiatives/ 
realignments or new global defense posture initiatives is an important 
piece of the decision-making process, and stated the department's 
guidance for upcoming submission of Theater Posture Plans includes a 
requirement for combatant commands to provide credible cost estimates 
for global defense posture initiatives. If future DOD Global Defense 
Posture Reports include credible cost estimates developed through this 
process, and the department takes the other steps outlined in its 
comments, we believe these actions will address the intent of our 
recommendations. DOD's comments are reprinted in their entirety in 
enclosure II. 

We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional 
committees, the Secretary of Defense, and appropriate DOD 
organizations. In addition, this report will be available at no charge 
on our Web site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. If you or your 
staff have any questions about this report, please contact me at (404) 
679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. GAO 
staff who made major contributions to this report are listed in 
enclosure III. 

Signed by: 

John Pendleton, Director:
Defense Capabilities and Management: 

Enclosures - 3: 

[End of section] 

Enclosure I: Briefing Slides: 

Review of the Department of Defense 2008 Global Defense Posture: 
Report to Congress: 

Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DODís Ability To Manage, 
Assess, and Report on Global Defense Posture Initiatives: 

Review of DOD Global Posture Report: 

Agenda: 
* Introduction; 
* Reporting Objectives; 
* Overall Assessment; 
* Background; 
* Summary of Results; 
* Conclusions; 
* Recommendations; 
* Scope and Methodology. 

Introduction: 

FY2008 Military Construction and Veteransí Affairs and Related Agencies
Appropriation Bill; Senate Report 110-85: 

* DOD request for $1.2 billion in FY2008 for overseas military 
construction represented approximately 10 percent of total military 
construction request; 

* Concerns about: 
- ability of DOD to efficiently manage ambitious and overlapping global 
realignment and construction program; 
- fidelity of DODís basing plan given current fluidity of the global 
security environment' 

* As reported by GAO, DOD has not established a comprehensive and 
routine process to inform Congress on status of strategy implementation 
(GAO-06-852, Sept. 2006) 

FY2009 Military Construction and Veteransí Affairs and Related Agencies
Appropriation Bill; Senate Report 110-428: 

* DOD is required to submit annually updated reports with the 
administration's budget submissions each year through fiscal year 2014. 

Reporting Objectives: 

The Committee directed the Government Accountability Office to assess 
the department's October 2008 Report to Congress and the departmentís 
progress in implementing the strategy with an emphasis on certain 
specific matters from which GAO has derived the following three key 
objectives: 

1) an analysis of whether the department has an integrated process for 
reassessing and adjusting its overseas presence and basing strategy; 

2) an update on DOD's progress in establishing its network of future 
Forward Operating Sites (FOS) and Cooperative Security Locations (CSL); 
and; 

3) a comparison of how DOD's projected costs for implementing its 
overseas presence and basing strategy compare with initial estimates. 

Overall Assessment: 

Although DODís report responds to the reporting requirements set forth 
by the Senate Report language, it does not provide a comprehensive view 
of DODís global posture strategy or implementation status. We identified
challenges in each of the areas we were asked to address: 

* DOD has begun to establish an integrated process to assess and adjust 
the posture strategy, but global posture is not consistently defined, 
and combatant command mechanisms for monitoring, assessing, and 
reporting on implementation are not yet in place. 

* Operating locations are not fully identified and management and 
funding responsibilities are unclear. 

* Costs are not fully defined or reported. 

Background: 

Global Defense Posture Requirement Development Process: 

* Strategic DOD guidance, the Guidance on Employment of the Force and 
the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan, sets priorities for combatant 
command activities. 

* The Guidance on Employment of the Force is used mainly by the 
combatant commanders to guide the development of campaign and 
contingency plans. 

* The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan specifically tasks combatant 
commanders to develop campaign, contingency, and posture plans 
consistent with the Guidance on Employment of the Force. 

* Per this guidance: 

- Each of the geographic combatant commanders is required to produce a 
Theater Campaign Plan, which translates strategic objectives into 
operational and contingency plans and integrates them with normal 
routine peacetime and security cooperation activities. 

- Each geographic combatant commander (except U.S. Northern Command) is 
also required to develop Theater Posture Plans as annexes to the 
theater campaign plan. 

- Theater posture plans provide an overview of posture requirements, 
identify major ongoing and new posture initiatives, and itemize 
information on each specific location or installation, including 
current and planned military construction requirements and the status 
of relevant host nation arrangements. 

Objective 1: Process to Assess and Adjust Posture: 

Positive Steps Taken To Date: 

* Global Posture Executive Council (GPEC) and the Global Posture 
Integration Team (GPIT) established on February 28, 2008; 
- GPEC -- senior leadership body to facilitate global defense posture 
decision making and recommend courses of action; includes OSD, the 
Joint Staff, Services, Combatant Commands and Department of State; 
- GPIT -- staff-level team drawn from GPEC member organizations to 
manage day-to-day posture activities; overlap with Quadrennial Defense 
Review issue team on posture. 

* GPEC meets on a quarterly basis; recent matters addressed include: 

- Location of U.S. Africa Command Headquarters; 

- Global en route and mobility infrastructure; 

- Overall posture of U.S. Special Operations Command. 

Shortcomings Identified: 

* DOD has not reported on global defense posture matters in a 
comprehensive manner: 

- A definition in the 2004 Report to Congress states that global 
defense posture consists of five elements: relationships, activities, 
facilities, legal arrangements, and global sourcing and surge. 

- A definition in current DOD strategic planning guidance consists of 
three elements: host nation relationships, DODís facilities and 
military presence in country, and DOD activities overseas. 

- Stakeholders we contacted held differing perspectives as to what 
constitutes global defense posture; for example: 
U.S. Southern Command Ė includes coordination with interagency 
partners; 
U.S. Navy Ė afloat platforms and assets; 

* OSD Policy officials acknowledged DODís global posture reports have 
emphasized only initiatives that have a direct impact on facility 
requirements, because the congressional direction to produce the report 
emphasized military construction costs. 

* As a result, Congress may not have the full context in which to 
consider DODís global posture requirements. 

* Combatant commands have different approaches to monitoring and 
assessing initiative implementation and identifying needed adjustments. 

- U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command have no formal 
structures. 

- Officials at U.S. Southern Command indicated the command has 
established corresponding bodies to bring together key stakeholders at 
the theater level. 

- No requirement to establish an approach to monitor initiative 
implementation, assess progress, and periodically report on results 
currently exists. 

Contributing Factors: 

* DOD has not yet developed guidance that defines global posture or the 
mechanisms needed to monitor and assess initiative implementation, 
identify adjustments that are needed, and report progress. 

- The Deputy Secretary of Defense directed OSD Policy to develop an
implementing instruction that would address in more detail the global 
defense posture process and components' roles when GPEC was 
established. 

* According to OSD officials, they are developing a more comprehensive 
definition of global defense posture as part of the QDR, which will 
then be incorporated into DOD guidance, but they did not specify by 
what date. 

* According to OSD Policy officials, establishing the GPEC and GPIT, 
supporting significant DOD decisions on posture-related matters, and 
completing the 2008 Report to Congress were the first priorities. 

Objective 2: Progress in Establishing Future Locations: 

DOD provided limited information on the status of efforts to establish a
network of Forward Operating Sites and Cooperative Security Locations: 

* 2008 Report to Congress did not provide a complete list of Forward 
Operating Sites (FOS) and Cooperative Security Locations (CSL). 

* The 2008 Report to Congress summarized the status of host nation 
consultations and negotiations, but did not provide details for each 
affected location. 

* Services resist assuming responsibilities for future locations and 
enhancements to legacy locations because of the potentially significant 
operating and support costs they may entail. 

* Additional uncertainties remain regarding the establishment of the 
FOS and CSL network: 

- Theater security cooperation planning continues to evolve and will 
drive future posture requirements. 

- Geographic combatant command theater campaign plans provide the basis 
for posture requirements; however, the Secretary of Defense has only 
approved the U.S. Pacific Commandís submission. 

- One serviceís implementation plan identified details for a number of 
FOS and CSL locations under its responsibility as ďto be determinedĒ. 

Contributing Factors: 

* DOD has not established the criteria and a process for selecting and 
assigning lead service responsibilities for future locations. 

- Prior recommendation in GAO-06-852 to establish a process to 
prioritize, assign management responsibility for, and fund the network 
of operating locations has not been addressed. 

- DOD agreed with our recommendation and stated their intent to 
establish a process to prioritize, assign management responsibility 
for, and fund the network of operating locations that DOD is planning. 

- However, corrective actions taken since then did not address the
recommendation. 

- Future budget constraints may make reaching agreement with the 
services more difficult. 

Objective 3: Cost of Global Posture Initiatives: 

The costs included in the 2008 Report to Congress are essentially
unchanged from 2004: 

* Estimate for total global defense posture cost $9 to $12 billion, but 
the time period is unspecified. 

* About $3.4 billion covers funding from Fiscal Year 2007 through 
Fiscal Year 2013, with the remainder allocated to an unspecified period
beyond 2013. 

* Almost 90 percent of the estimate reflects planned military 
construction costs. 

* The 2008 Report to Congress identified 2 initiatives that may 
increase these costs: 
- Realignment in Europe; 
- Transformation in Korea. 

[Text box: Office of Management and Budget and professional cost 
analysis organizations identify the following characteristics of a high 
quality cost estimate: 
* Well documented; 
* Comprehensive; 
* Accurate; 
* Credible. End of text box] 

2008 Report to Congress Likely Underestimates Total Costs: 

* For example, regarding the relocation of Marine Corps forces from 
Okinawa to Guam, which is part of a larger effort to realign U.S. 
military forces in Japan, data supporting the 2008 Report to Congress 
identifies $2.3 billion programmed for this initiative, but costs could 
be much higher. 

* An agreement signed in February 2009 between the U.S. and Japan for 
the relocation of Marine Corps forces from Okinawa to Guam reaffirmed a 
previous estimate of the U.S. share of costs as over $4 billion. 

* In May 2008, GAO testified the Marine Corps buildup is estimated to 
cost $7.5 billion[A], not including: 

- costs to move and accommodate units from locations other than Okinawa 
to Guam; 

- costs associated with the development of training ranges and 
facilities on nearby islands; 

- costs of all other defense organizations that will be needed to 
support the additional military personnel and dependents on Guam; 

- the Governor of Guam has testified approximately $6.1 billion would 
be requested for fiscal year 2010 to help fund Guamís needs. 

[A] GAO, Defense Infrastructure: Planning Efforts for the Proposed 
Military Buildup on Guam Are in Their Initial Stages, with Many
Challenges Yet to Be Addressed, GAO-08-722T (Washington, D.C.: May 1, 
2008). 

Figure: Estimated Cost To United States To Implement The Relocation Of 
Marine Corps Forces From Okinawa To Guam ($B): 

[REfer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph] 

Data supporting the 2008 report: $2.3 billion; 
2009 U.S.-Japan agreement: $4.2 billion; 
2008 GAO testimony: $7.5 billion. 

Sources: OSD PA&E; OSD policy and GAO. 

[End of figure] 

Uncertainties over host nation contributions could increase total U.S.
costs: 

* The 2008 Report to Congress does not identify host nation 
contribution assumptions or how they are incorporated into the 
estimate. 

* Host nation contributions can be bounded by bilateral agreements; any 
cost escalations may become U.S. responsibility. 

* Service component officials in one geographic combatant command area 
of responsibility expressed skepticism about realizing over one billion 
dollars in host nation contributions for new projects through FY2015. 

* If host nation contributions are not realized or costs escalate, U.S. 
Government could become responsible for these requirements or the 
posture requirement would have to be modified, deferred, or eliminated 
with the potential risk to military capabilities. 

Contributing Factors: 

* DOD methodology focused on military construction costs in developing 
the 2008 Report to Congress estimate, which was consistent with the 
congressional direction to produce this report (Senate Report 110-85). 

* However, some of the proposed posture initiatives could include other 
costs, such as operations and maintenance or personnel, that are not 
fully captured in DODís cost estimate, and should be considered as 
global defense posture decisions are made. 

* Moreover, DOD lacks a reliable process for developing credible global 
defense posture cost estimates: 

- OSD initiated the cost estimate by issuing data calls to 
approximately 40 service components, whereby the lack of a common 
definition for posture permitted each component to make ďjudgment 
callsĒ on which elements to include. 

- OSD did not provide specific guidance on how to treat assumptions 
regarding host nation contributions. 

Conclusions: 

* Insufficient information exists to fully evaluate DODís progress in 
implementing the Global Posture Strategy and Congress has not received 
a comprehensive view of the departmentís efforts or related total costs 
to realign its global defense posture. 

* Global defense posture realignment efforts will continue to evolve as 
department objectives, priorities, and combatant command plans adapt to 
a dynamic international security environment. 

* While the department has taken some positive steps to establish an 
approach to manage this effort, the weaknesses we have identified may 
limit its effectiveness and the information the department provides to 
Congress. 

Recommendations: 

To build on the steps taken by DOD toward establishing an integrated 
process to assess and adjust global defense posture and more fully 
report on progress and costs, we are recommending that the Secretary of 
Defense take the following five actions: 

Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to: 

* issue guidance establishing a definition and common terms of 
reference for global defense posture; 

* develop guidance, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, requiring the geographic combatant commands to 
establish an approach to monitor initiative implementation, assess 
progress, and report on results; 

* establish criteria and a process for selecting and assigning lead 
service responsibilities for future locations; and; 

* modify the annual DOD Global Defense Posture Report to Congress to 
include the following elements: 
- a definition of global defense posture and how this is applied in 
identifying initiatives in the report; 
- a comprehensive list of all locations that fall under the definition;
- the identification of lead service responsibilities to manage and 
fund each location; and, 
- a total cost estimate to complete each initiative, including expected 
U.S. government funding and anticipated host nation contributions; 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller to develop a 
requirement and appropriate guidance for constructing an estimate of 
total global defense posture costs, which reflects the basic 
characteristics of a credible cost estimate as discussed in GAOís Cost 
Estimating Guide. 

Scope and Methodology: 

To assess the Department's updated 2008 Report to Congress, the
departmentís progress in implementing the strategy, and to address each 
of the three objectives, we interviewed and obtained documentation from
officials in the: 

* Office of the Secretary of Defense; 
* Joint Staff; 
* Departments of the Army, Air Force, and Navy; 
* U.S. Central Command, Army and Air Force Component Commands; 
* U.S. Pacific Command and all component commands; 
* U.S. Southern Command; 
* U.S. Special Operations Command; 
* U.S. Transportation Command; 
* Department of State, Bureau of Political Military Affairs. 

To determine whether the Department has an integrated process for 
reassessing and adjusting overseas posture, we examined relevant 
policies and procedures concerning management of global defense posture 
matters; interviewed officials about posture management issues at DOD, 
the aforementioned combatant commands, and the services; reviewed the 
minutes of GPEC quarterly meetings; and, obtained information on 
combatant command posture management approaches at U.S. Central Command,
U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command. 

To identify the extent to which DOD has achieved progress in 
establishing its proposed network of future Forward Operating Sites 
(FOS) and Cooperative Security Locations (CSL), we examined and 
analyzed the 2004 and 2008 DOD Global Defense Posture Reports to 
Congress, relevant DOD guidance to the combatant commands, combatant
command posture requirements, DOD guidance on executive agency and 
combatant command relationships, and previous GAO reporting on the 
matter. 

To compare how DOD's 2008 estimates compared with initial estimates, we 
analyzed and assessed the cost estimate data included in the 2004 and 
2008 DOD Global Defense Posture Reports to Congress; DOD, service and 
combatant command data on the cost estimates for posture initiatives; 
DOD guidance on developing cost data for posture initiatives; DODís 
cost estimating methodology for the 2008 DOD Global Defense Posture 
Report to Congress; and GAO guidance on estimating cost and the basic 
characteristics of credible cost estimates. We reviewed cost estimates 
associated with the U.S.-Japan Defense Policy Review Initiative, but we 
did not evaluate the estimates for validity. 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2008 through July 
2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Enclosure II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Under Secretary Of Defense: 
Policy: 
2000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-2000: 

June 29, 2009: 

Mr. John Pendleton: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Mr. Pendleton: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft 
report, GAO-09-706R, "Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DoD's 
Ability to Manage, Assess, and Report on Global Defense Posture 
Initiatives," dated June 10, 2009 (GAO Code 351295). DoD concurs with 
all five of the recommendations in the report. Our response is 
attached. 

Our point of contact for this action is Robert Presler, Office of the 
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Forces, (703) 
697-5401 or Robert.Presler@osd.mil. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 
Michele A. Flournoy: 

Attachment: As stated: 

[End of letter] 

GAO Draft Report - Dated June 10, 2009
GAO Code 351295 /GAO-09-706R: 

"Force Structure: Actions Needed to Improve DOD's Ability to Manage, 
Assess, and Report on Global Defense Posture Initiatives" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) to issue guidance 
establishing a definition and common terms of reference for global 
defense posture. 

DOD Response: Concur. A common definition of global defense posture 
will facilitate strong interdepartmental cooperation and improve 
coordination and implementation, The Under Secretary of Defense 
(Policy) is developing a definition and framework for global defense 
posture in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. A working definition 
will be published in the 2009 DoD Global Defense Posture Report to 
Congress and finalized with the completion of the Quadrennial Defense 
Review. 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) to develop guidance, in 
conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, requiring 
the geographic combatant commands to establish an approach to monitor 
initiative implementation, assess progress, and report on results. 

DOD Response: Concur, The Secretary of Defense will direct the Under 
Secretary of Defense (Policy) to develop guidance, in conjunction with 
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to establish an integrated 
approach to monitor initiative implementation, assess progress, and 
report on results. This approach will ensure that the geographic 
combatant commands and the Services have an understanding of and 
provide input to initiative status, progress, and responsibilities. 

Recommendation 3: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) to establish criteria 
and a process for selecting and assigning lead service responsibilities 
for future locations. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Secretary of Defense will direct the Under 
Secretary of Defense (Policy) to establish criteria and a process for 
selecting and assigning lead Service responsibilities for future 
posture locations. This process will leverage existing Financial 
Management Regulations (FMR) business rules that govern the financial 
management arrangements between Combatant Command Support Agents 
(CCSAs) and combatant commands. 

Recommendation 4: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) to modify the annual DoD 
Global Defense Posture Report to Congress to include the following 
elements: 

* a definition of global defense posture and how this is applied in 
identifying initiatives in the report; 

* a comprehensive list of all locations that fall under the definition; 

* the identification of lead service responsibilities to manage and 
fund each location; and, 

* a total cost estimate to complete each initiative, including expected 
US government funding and anticipated host nation contributions. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Department agrees that the DoD Global Defense 
Posture Report to Congress should be modified to provide a definition, 
a list of posture locations, and an identification of lead Service 
responsibilities. The report already includes identification of the 
cost to date of implementing the military construction elements of the 
strategy and updated estimates of the cost to complete the construction 
program for global posture initiatives. 

Recommendation 5: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller to develop a 
requirement and appropriate guidance for constructing an estimate of 
total global defense posture costs, which reflects the basic 
characteristics of a credible cost estimate as discussed in GAO's Cost 
Estimating Guide. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Department agrees that understanding the 
costs associated with on-going global defense posture initiatives/ 
realignments or new global defense posture initiatives is an important 
piece of the decision making process. The Department's guidance for the 
upcoming submission of the Theater Posture Plans already includes a 
requirement for the combatant commands to provide credible cost 
estimates for global defense posture initiatives, including host nation 
contributions, personnel costs, and infrastructure estimates associated 
with initiatives in their respective areas of responsibilities. 

[End of section] 

Enclosure III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgements: 

GAO Contact: 

John Pendleton, (404) 679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the person named above, Robert L. Repasky, Assistant 
Director; Shirley Min; Joanne Landesman; Greg Marchand; Terry 
Richardson and Ricardo Marquez made key contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] S. Rep. No. 110-85, at 13-14 (2007). S. Rep. No. 110-428, at 10 
(2008). 

[2] According to the Guidance on Employment of the Force and the Joint 
Strategic Capabilities Plan for FY 2008, CJCSI 3110.01G (Mar. 1, 2008), 
each of the geographic combatant commanders is now required to produce 
a Theater Campaign Plan. Furthermore, each geographic combatant 
commander (except U.S. Northern Command) is also required to develop 
Theater Posture Plans as annexes to the Theater Campaign Plan. The 
theater posture plans would provide an overview of posture 
requirements, identify major ongoing and new posture initiatives, the 
general status of efforts to develop and execute requirements, identify 
existing or emerging risks, elaborate on costs, and itemize information 
on each specific location or installation, including current and 
planned military construction requirements and the status of relevant 
host nation arrangements. Beginning in 2008, the geographic combatant 
commands would annually submit their theater posture plans to OSD 
Policy, OSD Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, and the Joint Staff 
for review. 

[3] GAO, Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy and Annual 
Reporting Are Needed to Measure Progress and Costs of DOD's Global 
Posture Restructuring, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-852] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 13, 
2006). 

[4] The $2.3 billion estimated by DOD in the 2008 Report covers funding 
from fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2013. 

[5] Agreement Between the Government of the United States and the 
Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of 
III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents from 
Okinawa to Guam, Feb. 17, 2009. 

[6] Felix P. Camacho, Governor of Guam, Military Buildup on Guam: 
Hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
Statement of Felix P. Camacho, Governor of Guam, 110th Congress, 2nd 
Session (2008). 

[7] GAO, Defense Infrastructure: Planning Efforts for the Proposed 
Military Buildup on Guam Are in Their Initial Stages, with Many 
Challenges Yet to Be Addressed, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-722T] (Washington, D.C.: May 1, 
2008). 

[8] GAO, Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide: Best Practices for 
Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-3SP] (Washington, D.C.: March 2009). 

[End of section] 

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