This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-06-852 
entitled 'Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy and Annual 
Reporting Are Needed to Measure Progress and Costs of DOD's Global 
POsture Restructuring' which was released on September 13, 2006. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to the Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services, 
House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

September 2006: 

Defense Management: 

Comprehensive Strategy and Annual Reporting Are Needed to Measure 
Progress and Costs of DOD's Global Posture Restructuring: 

Defense Management: 

GAO-06-852: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-852, a report to the Subcommittee on Readiness, 
Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Department of Defenseís (DOD) Integrated Global Posture and Basing 
Strategy calls for a comprehensive restructuring of U.S. forces 
overseas. DODís planned changes will require billions of dollars to 
implement at a time when DOD is supporting operations in Iraq and 
realigning domestic bases. As requested, GAO examined (1) the extent to 
which DOD has articulated a global posture strategy that has the 
characteristics necessary to guide its efforts and to achieve desired 
results and (2) the challenges that could affect DODís implementation 
of its strategy and the mechanisms DOD has in place to inform Congress 
of its overall progress in achieving global posture goals. 

What GAO Found: 

DOD has articulated its global posture strategy in four principal 
documents, but these documents fully address only three of the six 
characteristics that GAOís prior work has identified as useful 
components of an effective strategy. Specifically, DODís strategy 
documents state the purpose, scope, and methodology for changing its 
global posture; define the problems its strategy is directed against; 
and describe how the strategy is to be integrated with related 
strategies. However, the documents do not fully address other important 
characteristics such as performance metrics to measure intended 
improvements in operational effectiveness and service membersí quality 
of life; sources of funding for implementing global restructuring 
initiatives; or methods of resolving conflicts that may arise during 
implementation. In the absence of a comprehensive strategy that 
addresses important characteristics such as performance measures, 
Congress will lack sufficient information to evaluate funding requests 
and assess whether the strategy is improving operational capabilities, 
quality of life, and alliances as intended. 

Ongoing negotiations between the United States and host nations, 
evolving cost estimates, and difficulties establishing service 
management and funding responsibilities for new overseas sites 
contribute to the complexity and uncertainty of DODís overseas 
restructuring effort. In addition, DOD has not established a 
comprehensive and routine process to keep Congress informed on its 
progress dealing with these issues and the overall status of 
implementing the strategy. First, negotiations between the United 
States and host nations continue to evolve, causing periodic 
adjustments to the pace and scope of DODís plans and making it 
difficult to determine the overall status of this effort. Second, DODís 
initial cost estimate of $9 billion to $12 billion will continue to 
change, reflecting uncertainties such as those related to host-nation 
negotiations and burden-sharing, and total costs may be understated. 
Third, DOD has not yet fully determined how it will allocate 
responsibilities for managing and funding its planned worldwide network 
of smaller operating sites to the services, and therefore, it is still 
uncertain who will manage these sites and how they will be paid for. 
DOD has not established a comprehensive, routine method of informing 
Congress of ongoing changes to the strategy and its total costs. 
Reliable and timely information about the full costs, activities, and 
outputs of federal programs is important as Congress makes decisions 
about allocating resources in an environment of competing demands. DOD 
has not established a comprehensive and periodic reporting process 
because DOD officials believe that current congressional briefings and 
reporting requirements, which largely focus on military construction 
requirements, provide Congress with sufficient information. However, 
these existing reports do not provide comprehensive information on 
total costs, overall progress, or changes to DODís plan. Without a 
periodic reporting process focused on overall progress and costs, 
Congress may not be well positioned to evaluate funding requests for 
implementing the strategy. 

What GAO Recommends: 

To facilitate DODís management of global restructuring, GAO recommends 
that the Secretary of Defense take specific steps to improve the 
strategy, periodically report to Congress on cost and host-nation 
negotiation status, and address management and funding issues for new 
operating locations. In responding to a draft of this report, DOD 
partially agreed with GAOís recommendations. However, it did not 
specify any actions it plans to take in response to our 
recommendations. Because DODís response was unclear, we have added a 
matter for congressional consideration suggesting that Congress require 
DOD to report annually on its strategy and implementation. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-852]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Janet St. Laurent at 
(202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

DOD Has Included Some but Not All Important Characteristics of an 
Effective Strategy in Its Global Basing Strategy Documents: 

Key Challenges Contribute to Uncertain Strategy Outcomes, and No 
Routine, Comprehensive Mechanisms Exist to Report on Progress: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Matter for Congressional Consideration: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: GAO's Identification of the Six Characteristics of an 
Effective National Strategy: 

Appendix II: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Principal U.S. Global Defense Posture Strategy Documents 
Identified by DOD: 

Table 2: Summary of Desirable Characteristics of an Effective National 
Strategy: 

Table 3: Extent to Which the Four Principal Global Posture Strategy 
Documents Collectively Address GAO-Identified Characteristics of an 
Effective National Strategy: 

Table 4: Desirable Characteristics of an Effective National Strategy: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: Geographic Combatant Commands' Areas of Responsibility and 
Areas Affected by the Global Posture Strategy: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 
IGPBS: Integrated Global Posture and Basing Strategy: 
OSD: Office of the Secretary of Defense: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

September 13, 2006: 

The Honorable Joel Hefley: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Solomon P. Ortiz: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Readiness: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

In August 2004, President George W. Bush announced what has been 
described as the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. military 
forces overseas since the end of the Korean War. In his announcement, 
the president stated that this restructuring is intended to increase 
U.S. military capabilities and combat power in every part of the world, 
provide service members with more time at home, reduce the number of 
moves service members must undergo over a military career, and 
significantly reduce the number of overseas facilities. 

In September 2004, shortly after the president announced this new 
policy, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a Report to Congress 
entitled Strengthening U.S. Global Defense Posture. This report 
outlined DOD's proposed changes, which were aimed at implementing the 
president's new policy and which DOD called the "Integrated Global 
Posture and Basing Strategy" (IGPBS). Overall changes involved in this 
shift in overseas posture would be significant. For example, DOD plans 
to transfer home to American territory up to 70,000 service members and 
about 100,000 family members and civilian employees currently living 
overseas. The 2004 Report to Congress also described DOD's strategy to 
transform the U.S. posture abroad into a network of worldwide locations 
of three types: main operating bases, which will be enduring, large 
sites with permanently stationed service members and their families; 
forward operating sites, which will be smaller but expandable sites 
that can support rotational forces; and cooperative security locations, 
which will be small, rapidly expandable sites with little or no 
permanent U.S. presence. According to DOD's Report to Congress, many 
advantages would be gained by using this network of locations. The new 
U.S. overseas posture is intended to position U.S. forces to better 
conduct the Global War on Terrorism, ease the burden of the post-9/11 
operational tempo on members of the armed forces and their families, 
and improve the U.S. ability to meet its alliance commitments while 
making these alliances more affordable and sustainable. DOD will be 
making these global posture changes, which will entail significant 
amounts of funding, at a time when it is also supporting operations in 
Iraq and implementing other initiatives such as those approved by the 
Base Realignment and Closure Commission. DOD has reported to Congress 
that it will cost $9 billion to $12 billion to implement the strategy 
over a period of several years. 

In our report on 21st Century challenges facing the federal government, 
we cite some of the most urgent issues the Department of Defense must 
address as it seeks to meet the demands of the new security 
environment.[Footnote 1] One of the issues cited is whether DOD's plans 
to restructure its overseas posture provide a significantly improved 
capability to respond to global threats in the new security 
environment, considering diplomatic, operational, and cost factors. We 
have also issued reports on DOD's plans to build new facilities 
overseas, as reported to Congress in master plans for overseas 
infrastructure.[Footnote 2] These reports have discussed the degree to 
which the information provided by DOD to Congress on the military 
construction costs at overseas locations was complete and reliable, and 
we have made recommendations for improvement. 

You requested that we assess DOD's efforts to realign its military 
posture overseas. Specifically, we examined the following questions: 
(1) To what extent has DOD articulated a global posture strategy that 
addresses the characteristics necessary to guide its efforts and 
achieve desired results? (2) What key challenges, if any, could affect 
DOD's implementation of its strategy, and does DOD have mechanisms in 
place to inform Congress of its mitigation plans and overall progress 
in achieving IGPBS goals? 

To determine the extent to which DOD's IGPBS contains all the desirable 
characteristics of an effective national strategy, we evaluated the 
content of each of the four principal global posture strategy documents 
identified by DOD officials using six desirable characteristics of 
effective national strategies we have developed in prior work.[Footnote 
3] In this prior work, we identified a set of desirable characteristics 
by reviewing several sources of information, such as the Government 
Performance and Results Act of 1993 and guidance from the Office of 
Management and Budget on the President's Management Agenda. We also 
researched recommendations from various research organizations that 
have commented on national strategies, such as the RAND Corporation and 
the Brookings Institution. To identify key challenges that could affect 
DOD's implementation of its strategy, we examined global posture 
strategy plans, programs, cost estimates, and other documentation 
obtained from the geographic combatant commands, service headquarters, 
the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and State Department 
Headquarters. To identify the mechanisms DOD has in place to inform 
Congress of its efforts to overcome these challenges and report on 
overall progress in achieving the strategy's goals, we reviewed 
congressional testimony, briefings prepared for congressional Members 
and other organizations, and reports produced as a result of 
legislative requirements. We assessed the reliability of the data used 
in this report and determined that it was sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. Appendix I provides additional information on the six 
characteristics of effective national strategies. Appendix II provides 
additional information on our scope and methodology. We conducted our 
review from November 2004 through January 2006 in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards. 

This report is an unclassified version of a classified report dated May 
2006.[Footnote 4] That report provides additional details on the 
proposed changes to the U.S. military posture overseas and specific 
examples that highlight the challenges faced by DOD in implementing its 
strategy. 

Results in Brief: 

The Department of Defense has articulated its strategy to restructure 
the U.S. military overseas posture in four principal documents, but the 
characteristics of effective national strategies have not been fully 
addressed in these documents, which may limit the department's efforts 
to implement the strategy and achieve desired results. In prior work, 
we identified six characteristics of an effective national strategy 
that can assist organizations to develop and implement strategies, to 
enhance their usefulness in resource and policy decisions, and to 
better assure accountability. DOD's four principal strategy documents 
for restructuring overseas presence address three important 
characteristics of effective national strategies: the overall purpose 
and scope of changing the global military posture, the problems the 
strategy is intended to address, and the way the strategy is to be 
integrated with other related strategies. However, the following three 
other important characteristics have been only partially addressed by 
the documents: 

* Establishing goals, subordinate objectives and activities, and 
performance measures--DOD has not established ways to measure the 
extent to which intended improvements in operational effectiveness or 
quality of life are occurring. 

* Identifying resources, investments, and methods of managing risk--DOD 
has not identified sources of funding (for example, specific 
appropriations or military services) for the network of smaller 
operating locations it plans to establish. 

* Defining organizational roles, responsibilities, and coordinating 
mechanisms--DOD has not identified a process for resolving conflicting 
priorities either within DOD or between DOD and other government 
organizations, such as the State Department. 

Without clearly and fully identifying these elements, the Secretary of 
Defense and other stakeholders may be limited in their ability to 
demonstrate progress toward achieving DOD's identified goals, such as 
improving worldwide response times and quality of life for service 
members. Moreover, Congress will lack assurance that funds allocated to 
implement the strategy will produce the benefits DOD intends. 

Three significant challenges exist that contribute to the complexity 
and uncertainty of the overseas basing restructuring effort. DOD is 
taking some steps to address these challenges; however, many actions 
are incomplete, and the department has not established a comprehensive, 
routine method of informing Congress on its progress toward addressing 
these issues or its progress toward implementing the strategy. Up-to- 
date and reliable information on issues such as these is important to 
Congress and the Secretary of Defense in helping to shape decisions 
about funding policies and defense-related programs. The three 
challenges we identified that limit DOD's ability to implement its 
IGPBS strategy are the following: 

* DOD faces a challenge in determining how to adjust its global basing 
strategy as negotiations with host nations evolve. 

* DOD faces a challenge in accurately estimating the costs of 
implementing the strategy as its plan matures and changes. 

* DOD is encountering difficulties in establishing management and 
funding responsibilities as it develops its worldwide network of 
smaller operating sites. 

These issues will continue to make the restructuring of overseas 
military posture a dynamic process and contribute to the uncertainty of 
the costs and overall progress of the department's efforts. DOD has not 
yet established a comprehensive and routine method of keeping Congress 
informed of its progress. Reliable and timely information about the 
full cost, activities, and outputs of defense-related programs is 
important to Congress in making decisions about allocating resources, 
authorizing and modifying programs, and evaluating program performance. 
Although DOD has provided a September 2004 Report to Congress on the 
strategy and has periodically testified and briefed various Members of 
Congress and their staffs, DOD has not established a mechanism for 
providing comprehensive and routine reporting of the overall program 
status and costs. As a result, Congress may not be fully informed of 
DOD's progress and challenges in implementing the strategy or have a 
complete understanding of the potential financial obligations on the 
horizon. 

To facilitate DOD's management of its global basing strategy and to 
establish a routine method of keeping Congress informed of progress in 
achieving its goals, we are recommending that the Secretary of Defense 
fully address the six characteristics of an effective national 
strategy, develop a periodic reporting process that summarizes 
important information such as up-to-date costs to increase the 
transparency of this process, and address management and funding issues 
for new operating locations. 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially agreed 
with our recommendations. However, DOD's response to our 
recommendations was unclear in that the department did not cite any 
specific actions it planned to take to implement the recommendations. 
Specifically, the department did not acknowledge the need to update its 
strategy document or to provide Congress with routine updates on host- 
nation negotiations and cost. Also, while DOD emphasized that improving 
the management and funding of new operating locations should be 
synchronized with other DOD initiatives, it did not indicate how it 
planned to synchronize these efforts. As we state in our report, we 
continue to believe that the department needs to identify specific 
actions it will take to ensure that our recommendations are 
implemented. Because DOD's response to our recommendations does not 
clearly indicate how it plans to provide comprehensive and routine 
information to Congress, we have included a matter for congressional 
consideration to suggest that Congress may wish to consider requiring 
that DOD report annually on its global posture strategy, costs, and 
implementation plans. 

Background: 

In September 2001, DOD issued a Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 
which addresses, among other issues, the need to reorient the U.S. 
military global posture. The report called for developing a permanent 
basing system that provides greater flexibility for U.S. forces in 
critical areas of the world as well as providing temporary access to 
facilities in foreign countries that enable U.S. forces to train and 
operate in the absence of permanent ranges and bases. 

In April 2002, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) began an 
initiative to explore the issue of U.S. global posture and presence in 
more detail.[Footnote 5] OSD developed a broad set of ideas and 
assumptions about the strategic environment facing the United States in 
the 21st Century, the most critical of which was the uncertainty facing 
the United States and its allies in the post-Cold War world. In May 
2003, an integration team was formed to help guide the IGPBS process. 
This team was led by OSD Policy and included officials from the Joint 
Staff; the Office of the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation; 
and the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. This group held working-level 
and senior-level meetings that helped steer the early analysis and all 
the decision briefings for the Senior Level Review Group and the Senior 
Planning Committee.[Footnote 6] In mid-2003, four geographic combatant 
commands--the U.S. European, Pacific, Southern, and Central 
Commands[Footnote 7]--started presenting their proposals, which were 
reviewed by the OSD-led integration team. The team evaluated the 
proposals against four risk categories.[Footnote 8] 

In the September 2004 Report to Congress, DOD stated that the United 
States had held Ambassadorial-level consultations with over 30 
countries on five continents.[Footnote 9] According to DOD, allies 
stated that they understood and shared the U.S. general perception of 
the need to update its force posture globally to meet 21st Century 
challenges. DOD officials also stated that allies expressed their 
appreciation for the opportunity to suggest adjustments to U.S. 
proposals. 

In August 2004, the president announced the proposed restructuring of 
the U.S. military posture overseas. As previously discussed, in 
September 2004, DOD issued a Report to Congress - Strengthening U.S. 
Global Defense Posture, which listed the specific locations for 87 
proposed "changes and continuities" in positioning U.S. forces 
worldwide by U.S. combatant command and by country. Figure 1 provides a 
map of the areas of responsibility for the geographic combatant 
commands. 

Figure 1: Geographic Combatant Commands' Areas of Responsibility and 
Areas Affected by the Global Posture Strategy: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Unclassified. 

[A] The state of Alaska is assigned to the U.S. Northern Command's area 
of responsibility. Forces based in Alaska, however, remain assigned to 
the U.S. Pacific Command. 

[End of figure] 

DOD Has Included Some but Not All Important Characteristics of an 
Effective Strategy in Its Global Basing Strategy Documents: 

DOD has articulated its global posture strategy in four key documents 
but has not addressed all of the characteristics of effective national 
strategies, which may limit its ability to guide implementation efforts 
and achieve desired results. In prior work, we identified six 
characteristics of an effective national strategy that can aid 
organizations to develop and implement their strategies, to enhance 
their usefulness in resource and policy making, and to better assure 
accountability.[Footnote 10] DOD has generally addressed three of these 
characteristics, for example, the overall purpose and scope of this 
effort, but the documents only partially address three other 
characteristics. Specifically, DOD does not (1) establish performance 
measures such as ways to measure the extent to which intended 
improvements in operational effectiveness or quality of life are 
occurring, (2) identify sources of funding for the network of smaller 
operating locations it plans to establish, or (3) identify a process 
for resolving conflicting priorities either within DOD or between DOD 
and other government organizations. In addition, the dispersion of the 
strategy in a collection of documents and briefings limits its overall 
clarity. Without clearly and effectively addressing the desirable 
characteristics that would shape the policies, programs, priorities, 
and resource allocations in a single document, DOD and other 
stakeholders may be limited in their ability to implement the 
strategies and to demonstrate progress in achieving the identified 
goals. 

Global Posture Strategy Articulated in Four Principal Documents: 

Officials in the Office of the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of 
Defense for Strategy (OSD/Strategy) identified four documents that they 
believe are key to describing the global defense posture strategy: (1) 
the Quadrennial Defense Review (September 2001) and its Terms of 
Reference (June 2001); (2) the National Security Strategy of the United 
States (September 2002); (3) Strengthening U.S. Global Posture, Report 
to Congress (September 2004); and (4) the National Defense Strategy of 
the United States of America (March 2005). Table 1 describes these four 
documents and how they relate to the U.S. global defense posture. 

Table 1: Principal U.S. Global Defense Posture Strategy Documents 
Identified by DOD: 

Strategy document: September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review and its 
June 2001 Terms of Reference, Issued by the Secretary of Defense; 
Description of Strategy: The Quadrennial Defense Review and its Terms 
of Reference provide a broad framework for guiding the development of 
U.S. forces and capabilities. The Quadrennial Defense Review also 
describes DODís current security environment, defense strategy, changes 
in force planning, transformation of operations and capabilities, and a 
risk management framework. The Quadrennial Defense Review also devotes 
one section to reorienting the U.S. global defense posture to focus on 
new challenges the military will face, new ways to deter conflict, 
plans to place forces in forward areas to respond to threats, goals to 
reorient global defense posture, and general activities that each of 
the military services should take to address those goals. 

Strategy document: September 2002 National Security Strategy of the 
United States, Issued by the President; 
Description of strategy: The National Security Strategy provides a 
broad framework for strengthening U.S. security in the future. It 
identifies the national security goals of the United States, describes 
the foreign policy and military capabilities necessary to achieve those 
goals, evaluates the current status of these capabilities, and explains 
how national power will be structured to utilize these capabilities. 
The strategy highlights the need but does not provide specific guidance 
on how to reorient DODís global defense posture.

Strategy document: September 2004 Strengthening U.S. Global Posture- 
Report to Congress, Issued by the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Policy; 
Description of strategy: The Report to Congress on Strengthening U.S. 
Global Posture identifies the reasons for the restructuring and defines 
the key elements of global posture as relationships, activities, 
facilities, legal arrangements, and global sourcing and surge.  It also 
describes the key objectives for changing the U.S. global defense 
posture, provides a region-by-region synopsis of those changes, and 
highlights diplomatic relationships and interactions with Congress. 
Further, it provides a rough order of magnitude cost estimate and 
describes how the restructuring is integrated with DODís Base 
Realignment and Closure process.  

Strategy document: March 2005 National Defense Strategy of the United 
States of America, Issued by the Secretary of Defense; 
Description of strategy: The National Defense Strategy provides a 
general planning framework for DOD to address current and future 
defense challenges. The strategy describes U.S. defense strategic 
objectives, actions to accomplish these objectives, and implementation 
guidance for strategic planning and decision-making. It devotes one 
section to the key aspects of reorienting the U.S. global defense 
posture, which were outlined in the 2004 Report to Congress.  

Source: GAO. 

[End of Table] 

In addition to these four principal documents, OSD officials stated 
that congressional testimonies and briefings, the military service 
implementation plans, budget documents, senior-level review board 
meetings, and the overseas master plans provide additional details on 
DOD's strategy and plans. 

GAO-Identified Characteristics of an Effective National Strategy: 

In our February 2004 testimony related to combating terrorism, we 
identified six desirable characteristics of effective national 
strategies.[Footnote 11] In our testimony, we reported that there are 
no legislative or executive mandates identifying a single, consistent 
set of characteristics for all national strategies. Given that there is 
no such mandate, we identified a set of desirable characteristics by 
reviewing several sources of information. For example, we consulted the 
Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, general literature on 
strategic planning and performance, and guidance from the Office of 
Management and Budget on the President's Management Agenda. In 
addition, we studied our past reports and testimonies for findings and 
recommendations pertaining to desirable elements of a national 
strategy. Similarly, we researched recommendations from various 
research organizations that have commented on national strategies, such 
as the ANSER Institute on Homeland Security, the RAND Corporation, and 
the Brookings Institution. Table 2 provides a summary of the six 
characteristics we identified. 

Table 2: Summary of Desirable Characteristics of an Effective National 
Strategy: 

Desirable Characteristics: Purpose, scope, and methodology; 
Description: Addresses why the strategy was produced, the scope of its 
coverage, and the process by which it was developed. 

Desirable Characteristics: Problem definition and risk assessment; 
Description: Discusses the particular national problems and threats the 
strategy is intended to address. 

Desirable Characteristics: Goals, subordinate objective, activities, 
and performance measures; 
Description: Addresses what the national strategy strives to achieve 
and the steps needed to garner those results, as well as the 
priorities, milestones, and performance measures to gauge results. 

Desirable Characteristics: Resources, investments, and risk management; 
Description: Addresses what the strategy will cost, the sources and 
types of resources and investments needed, and where those resources 
and investments should be targeted. 

Desirable Characteristics: Organizational roles, responsibilities, and 
coordination; 
Description: Addresses what organizations will implement the strategy, 
their roles and responsibilities, mechanisms for coordinating their 
efforts, and a process for resolving conflicts. 

Desirable Characteristics: Integration; 
Description: Addresses how a national strategy relates to other 
strategic goals, objectives, and activities. 

Source: GAO. 

Notes: See GAO-04-408T. Our prior work identified the sixth 
characteristic as "integration and implementation." For the purposes of 
this report, we decided not to evaluate the extent to which the four 
principal strategy documents addressed "implementation" because our 
second reporting objective addresses challenges associated with 
implementation in more detail. 

[End of table] 

In our prior testimony, we stated that a clearly defined set of 
desirable characteristics would aid responsible parties in further 
developing and implementing their strategies, in enhancing their 
usefulness in resource and policy decisions, and in better assuring 
accountability. Although the authors of national strategies might 
organize these characteristics in a variety of ways and use different 
terms, we present them in this order because we believe that they flow 
logically from conception to implementation. Specifically, the 
strategy's purpose leads to specific actions for tackling those 
problems and risks, allocating and managing the appropriate resources, 
identifying different organizations' roles and responsibilities, and 
integrating actions taken by all relevant parties implementing the 
strategy. See appendix I for additional details on these 
characteristics, and see appendix II for our scope and methodology in 
developing them. 

DOD Has Not Fully Developed Some Important Strategy Characteristics: 

In the four principal global posture strategy documents discussed 
above, DOD generally addresses three of the desirable characteristics 
to guide the overseas posture initiatives. Specifically, DOD addresses 
the overall purpose and scope for changing its global posture, the 
problems and threats its strategy is directed against, and how the 
strategy will be integrated with those of other governmental 
organizations. However, the four principal strategy documents only 
partially address aspects of three other important characteristics of 
an effective national strategy, including (1) milestones and outcome- 
related performance measures, such as tools to gauge the extent to 
which intended improvements in operational effectiveness or quality of 
life are occurring; (2) sources of funding and types of resources; and 
(3) a description of how conflicts will be resolved. According to our 
methodology, a strategy "addresses" a characteristic when it explicitly 
cites all elements of a characteristic, even if it lacks specificity 
and details and thus could be improved upon. A strategy "partially 
addresses" a characteristic when it explicitly cites some but not all 
elements of a characteristic. Within our designation of "partially 
addresses," there is a wide variation between a strategy that addresses 
most of the elements of a characteristic and a strategy that addresses 
few of the elements of a characteristic. A strategy "does not address" 
a characteristic when it does not explicitly cite or discuss any 
elements of a characteristic, and/or any implicit references are either 
too vague or too general.[Footnote 12] Table 3 summarizes the extent to 
which the principal global posture strategy documents collectively 
address, partially address, or do not address the six characteristics. 

Table 3: Extent to Which the Four Principal Global Posture Strategy 
Documents Collectively Address GAO-Identified Characteristics of an 
Effective National Strategy: 

Desirable characteristics: Purpose, scope, and methodology; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Addressed; 
Description: The stated purpose of the strategy is to reorient the 
current global defense posture to meet the threats of the new strategic 
environment. Key terms were defined, such as global posture, main 
operating bases, forward operating sites, and cooperative security 
locations. The key elements that guided the development of the strategy 
include strengths, vulnerabilities, opportunities, and challenges that 
DOD faces in the 21st century. 

Desirable characteristics: Problem definition and risk assessment; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Addressed; 
Description: The strategy is intended to address a combination of 
changes in U.S. forcesí operating patterns, advances in military 
capabilities, and an increasingly uncertain global security 
environment, in particular the threat of terrorism. Risks were 
discussed as traditional, irregular, catastrophic, and disruptive.

Desirable characteristics: Goals, subordinate objectives, activities, 
and performance measures; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Partially addressed; 
Description: The overall goal articulated by the strategy is to 
strengthen U.S. global defense posture while providing U.S. service 
members and their family members with more predictability and 
stability.  Subordinate objectives include expanding allied roles and 
building new security partnerships, developing rapidly deployable 
capabilities, and positively affecting service members and their 
families. The activities are identified by a list of specific 
initiatives DOD intends to implement. The strategy does not address, 
however, milestones and outcome-related performance measures (such as 
metrics to demonstrate improvements in operational response times or in 
quality of life for service members) that would identify progress in 
achieving the stated goals and objectives. 

Desirable characteristics: Resources, investments, and risk management; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Partially addressed; 
Description: The cost to implement the strategy was estimated at $9 
billion to $12 billion, but there were no detailed estimates, such as 
costs for each global posture initiative or costs incurred by the 
military services, to support that estimate. The strategy does not 
address sources of funding, types of resources, or a mechanism to 
prioritize and allocate resources. Further, there is no discussion of 
the timing of how the initiatives will be funded over the next decade. 
(We discuss the uncertainty and understatement of the reported estimate 
in more detail later in the report.)

Desirable characteristics: Organizational roles, responsibilities, and 
coordination; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Partially addressed; 
Description: In the strategy, DOD is assigned the lead role and 
responsibility for strategy implementation and accountability. The 
military services were assigned lead and supporting roles and 
responsibilities to implement specific initiatives. DOD coordinates the 
implementation of the strategy with the Department of State. However, 
the strategy does not describe a process for how conflicts will be 
resolved within and outside of DOD. (For example, the documents do not 
describe a process that would resolve interagency conflicts). 

Desirable characteristics: Integration; 
Extent to which characteristic is addressed: Addresses; 
Description: According to the strategy, the global posture strategy 
helped inform DODís 2004 Base Realignment and Closure process. 

Source: GAO analysis. 

[End of table] 

The following is a more detailed discussion of the characteristics that 
are partially addressed in the key documents we examined. 

Goals, Subordinate Objectives, Activities, and Performance Measures: 

The global posture strategy addresses its goals, subordinate 
objectives, and activities, but performance measures are not developed. 
Specifically, the overall end-state of the global defense strategy is 
to strengthen DOD's global defense posture while providing U.S. service 
members and their families with more predictability and stability over 
the course of a military career. The overarching defense policy goals 
are to assure allies and friends; dissuade future military competition; 
deter threats and coercion against U.S. interests; and decisively 
defeat any adversary if deterrence fails. Subordinate objectives 
related to global posture include (1) expanding allied roles and 
building new security partnerships; (2) creating greater flexibility to 
contend with uncertainty by emphasizing agility and by not overly 
concentrating military forces in a few locations; (3) focusing within 
and across regions by complementing regional military presence with the 
capability to respond quickly to a location across the world; and (4) 
developing rapidly deployable capabilities by planning and operating 
from the premise that forces will not likely fight where they are 
stationed. The Report to Congress - Strengthening U.S. Global Defense 
Posture provides a general description of activities within each 
geographic region as well as a detailed list of specific IGPBS 
initiatives, many of which require discussions and negotiations with 
host nations. 

The principal strategy documents did not address milestones and outcome-
related performance measures. For example, the 2004 Report to Congress 
highlighted the positive effect on service members and their dependents 
as a key strategy goal but did not identify related performance 
measures to gauge how the quality-of-life goal would be achieved. Also, 
the global posture strategy identified the development of rapidly 
deployable capabilities and the improvement of operational flexibility 
as subordinate objectives but did not identify related performance 
measures. Furthermore, officials at the Pacific Command, the European 
Command, the Central Command, the Southern Command, the Special 
Operations Command, and the military service headquarters told us that 
they had not conducted detailed analysis, including performance 
metrics, to support how quality of life or operational capabilities 
would be improved by implementing the global posture strategy.[Footnote 
13] 

Resources, Investments, and Risk Management: 

The 2004 Report to Congress estimated rough order of magnitude costs to 
implement the strategy at $9 billion to $12 billion over the 2006-2011 
future years defense program. (We discuss the uncertainty and 
understatement of the reported estimate in more detail later in this 
report.) However, the 2004 Report did not provide any details beyond 
this overall estimate, such as costs for each global posture initiative 
or costs incurred by the military services, to support the reported 
estimate. Further, the principal strategy documents did not identify 
sources of funding, such as military service or combatant command 
funds; types of resources, such as military construction or operations 
and maintenance funds; or a mechanism to allocate resources. OSD 
officials told us that information related to the sources of funding 
and types of resources and investments is contained in the regional 
combatant commands' overseas master plans and does not need to be 
included in the principal strategy documents because it would be 
duplicative. However, in prior work, we reported that overseas master 
plans do not provide a definitive picture of future U.S. funding 
requirements, particularly for future locations.[Footnote 14] In 
addition, there is no discussion in the principal strategy documents of 
when the initiatives will be funded over the next decade. OSD officials 
told us that DOD had programmed about $3.9 billion to implement the 
global posture strategy in the 2006-2011 future years defense program 
and that the services will program additional funds in the fiscal year 
2008 budget submission as initiatives move toward implementation. 
Regarding risk management, the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review's Terms 
of Reference generally identified overall defense priorities for 
investment in areas such as people, intelligence, precision strike, 
rapidly deployable maneuver forces, and infrastructure and logistics. 
However, these priorities are not sufficient to determine how DOD will 
manage the cost risk associated with implementing the global 
restructuring, such as the potential for cost estimates to change and 
for unexpected costs to be incurred without sufficient time to budget 
for them and to make appropriate tradeoffs with other competing DOD 
demands. 

Organizational Roles, Responsibilities, and Coordination: 

The global posture strategy addresses which organizations will 
implement the strategy, their roles and responsibilities, and a 
mechanism for parties to coordinate their efforts. For example, the 
2001 Quadrennial Defense Review assigned lead responsibilities to each 
of the services to plan and implement specific global posture 
initiatives. Regarding coordination, the 2004 Report to Congress 
identifies a process for coordinating DOD's global posture strategy 
with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's relocation of 
service members and dependents from overseas locations to the United 
States. The 2004 Report to Congress also describes coordination with 
the State Department regarding consultations with host nations. For 
example, in the 2004 Report, DOD states that it had consulted closely 
with the Department of State, especially with regard to the diplomatic 
arrangements needed to secure the desired changes in foreign countries. 

The global posture strategy does not address, however, a process for 
how conflicts will be resolved either within DOD or between DOD and 
other government organizations. While the Secretary of Defense can 
resolve conflicting priorities within the Department of Defense, the 
four documents do not describe how interagency conflicts will be 
resolved if they arise during the strategy's implementation. 

DOD officials agreed that the six characteristics of an effective 
national strategy were not fully addressed in the four documents we 
reviewed but pointed out that there are other documents, such as the 
March 2004 Strategic Planning Guidance, the June 2004 Joint Programming 
Guidance, and the overseas master plans, that contain additional 
information on some of the identified characteristics. We reviewed 
these supporting documents and others, such as combatant command 
proposals, and found that they individually or collectively did not 
fully address the desired characteristics. For example, none of these 
additional documents provided outcome-related performance measures or 
described a process for how conflicts will be resolved either within 
DOD or between DOD and other government organizations. Moreover, while 
it may be true that alternative documents in the department may help it 
manage this effort, we believe that relying on numerous documents 
written by different organizations at different points in time 
underscores the lack of clarity in how the strategy is articulated and 
reduces the overall effectiveness of these management tools. 

Key Challenges Contribute to Uncertain Strategy Outcomes, and No 
Routine, Comprehensive Mechanisms Exist to Report on Progress: 

Three significant challenges exist that contribute to the complexity 
and uncertain outcome of the overseas basing restructuring effort. DOD 
has taken some steps to address these challenges, but many actions are 
incomplete, and the department has not established a comprehensive, 
routine method of informing Congress of its progress in addressing 
these issues or the overall results of its efforts to implement the 
strategy. The three challenges include (1) determining how to adjust 
the global basing strategy as negotiations with host nations evolve; 
(2) accurately estimating the cost of implementing the strategy as 
DOD's plans evolve; and (3) assigning management and funding 
responsibilities for establishing and maintaining DOD's planned network 
of worldwide locations. These issues will continue to make the 
restructuring of overseas military posture a dynamic process and 
contribute to the uncertainty of the global posture strategy's end- 
state. Despite this uncertainty and the changing nature of DOD's global 
posture plans, DOD has not established a comprehensive and routine 
method of informing Congress of adjustments to its plans and estimated 
overall costs. Department officials we spoke with believe that current 
reporting mechanisms such as testimonies and briefings to Members of 
Congress are adequate in keeping Congress informed of their efforts and 
that no additional formal reporting mechanisms are needed. The 
Congress, however, has expressed concern over the information it 
receives on the global posture strategy and recently required DOD to 
provide additional information in several areas, such as the status of 
host-nation agreements and funding for critical infrastructure at new 
locations. These collective reporting requirements, however, do not 
provide a comprehensive and routine representation of the overall 
status of DOD's efforts. Without such information, Congress may not be 
fully informed and remain abreast of changes in military capabilities, 
relationships with U.S. partners and allies, and future financial 
requirements. 

Complexity and Sensitivity of Host-Nation Negotiations Continue to 
Alter Planned Moves: 

One challenge in the implementation of DOD's global posture strategy 
relates to the need to adjust the pace and scope of DOD's announced 
restructuring as negotiations with host nations evolve. Before the 
United States can establish a U.S. presence in a host country, many 
complex and critical legal arrangements must be made between the two 
countries. The time it takes to finalize these agreements can vary from 
days or months to years; involves close coordination between DOD, the 
Department of State, and host nation governments; and frequently 
involves having the countries' legislative bodies formalize the 
agreements. The arrangements typically cover issues of interest to DOD, 
such as U.S. forces' access to training areas, U.S. forces' ability to 
conduct operations and deploy from the countries where they are 
located, and arrangements with the host nations for sharing the costs 
of maintaining these locations. The types of provisions found in these 
legal arrangements include access/use provisions, status provisions, 
and general provisions on cooperation. 

Many of the initiatives identified in the September 2004 Report to 
Congress have already been changed, are still being negotiated with the 
host countries, or have been put on hold until DOD can ascertain 
whether negotiations will allow U.S. forces the access they need. These 
changes sometimes involve significant political sensitivities and large 
amounts of investment by the United States and the host countries. If 
one of DOD's proposed initiatives must be changed, corresponding 
changes may need to be made to DOD's overall IGPBS plans to accommodate 
the new conditions. The classified version of this report provides 
specific examples that illustrate how sensitive DOD's overall IGPBS 
plans are to negotiations with individual host countries. 

DOD's Estimate of Global Posture-Related Costs Is Uncertain and May Be 
Understated: 

In September 2004, DOD estimated one-time, nonrecurring costs to 
implement the global posture strategy at $9 billion to $12 billion over 
the fiscal year 2006-2011 future years defense program. However, 
significant cost uncertainties still remain, and the cost to implement 
the strategy may be understated. In some cases, host-nation 
negotiations have necessitated adjustments to initial plans and 
estimated costs. In other cases, the services did not prepare detailed 
cost estimates for the network of smaller operating locations because 
limited planning had been done at the time the estimates were 
submitted. Because the costs of implementing IGPBS may be higher than 
what is now reported, the services may be forced to make difficult 
funding tradeoffs when the actual costs are identified, or Congress may 
be required to allocate more resources to implement IGPBS than what are 
now expected. 

Global Posture-Related Costs Were Estimated at $9 Billion to $12 
Billion: 

In 2004, DOD estimated costs of $9 billion to $12 billion to implement 
its global posture strategy. DOD's estimate of the cost of implementing 
its global posture strategy was based on a cost methodology developed 
by the Office of the Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation. This 
office distributed the methodology to the services to use in estimating 
initial one-time nonrecurring global posture-related costs to the 
United States in the fiscal year 2006-2011 future years defense 
program. DOD grouped these costs into three categories: (1) costs 
related to vacating current facilities, such as the cost of 
environmental cleanup; (2) costs of transporting equipment, personnel, 
and families; and (3) costs related to the facilities that would be 
receiving personnel, including the construction of new facilities, the 
renovation of old facilities, and the establishment of new leases. The 
methodology also sought to estimate savings from the closure or 
consolidation of facilities and operations. The estimate excludes 
burden-sharing contributions by host nations because cost-sharing 
agreements generally had not been completed when the report was issued 
in September 2004. An OSD official told us that the reported cost 
estimate of $9 billion to $12 billion represents a reasonable range of 
the projected costs. Further, the costs are dynamic and continually 
refined over time as better data becomes available. For example, OSD 
officials stated that since the September 2004 reported estimate, DOD 
has included recurring costs when they have been available. The new 
estimated costs reflect the difference between the current recurring 
costs and future recurring costs. OSD officials pointed out that, 
despite the cost estimate's evolution, it has continued to stay within 
the $9 billion to $12 billion range over the past 2 years. They also 
stated that, though the $9 billion to $12 billion was estimated to be 
spent during the years covered by the future years defense plan (2007- 
11), adjustments might require that global posture moves be paid for in 
years further into the future. 

Negotiations with Host Nations Contribute to Cost Uncertainty: 

Negotiations between the United States and host nations contribute to 
cost uncertainty because they will determine, among other things, 
specific locations where U.S. forces will have a presence and the 
nature of that presence. This information is critical to developing 
detailed cost estimates. In addition, cost-sharing agreements will 
determine the financial responsibilities of host nations and the United 
States, which will also be critical to estimate accurately the cost of 
implementing the global posture strategy. Until negotiations between 
the United States and host nations are completed, there will be 
significant uncertainty with the reported estimates of IGPBS 
initiatives, and costs may be understated.[Footnote 15] 

The classified version of this report provides specific examples of 
cases in which host-nation negotiations may significantly alter the 
initially planned costs. 

Detailed Cost Estimates Not Prepared for the Network of Smaller 
Operating Locations: 

There is uncertainty regarding the estimated costs for the network of 
smaller operating locations[Footnote 16] partly due to limited planning 
at the time the estimate was reported in September 2004. For example, 
because precise estimates had not been developed for all cooperative 
security locations in the plan, DOD used a rough order of magnitude 
estimate in the $9 billion to $12 billion estimate to cover the cost of 
these locations. In addition, it is unclear what the comprehensive 
costs for all forward operating sites anticipated in the strategy will 
be. 

Two factors primarily contributed to the limited planning for smaller 
operating locations and their cost estimates. First, senior DOD 
leadership had decided to first concentrate its planning efforts on 
initiatives that involved moving large numbers of forces around the 
world, such as returning the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions 
from Germany to the continental United States. Second, the services 
generally had not conducted site surveys, partly because negotiations 
with host nations were in the early stages and the services were often 
reluctant to fund low-use sites, according to an OSD official. Site 
surveys are critical to developing comprehensive cost estimates but 
depend on specialists' visiting and assessing the current state of 
facilities at given locations. 

Management and Funding Challenges Exist with Establishing the Network 
of Operating Locations: 

The third challenge that creates uncertainty about the status of the 
global posture strategy involves difficulties DOD is encountering in 
establishing management and funding responsibilities and synchronizing 
service priorities as it develops its planned network of smaller 
operating locations. Specifically, although combatant commanders have 
developed a plan for assigning executive agent responsibilities for 
each of these locations to individual services, some services are 
reluctant to assume "host" status for these locations because of the 
potential funding responsibilities they may entail. The department has 
recognized that new funding mechanisms may be needed to overcome this 
issue and is examining alternative ways of addressing this issue. 
Similar challenges have arisen in cases where a service operates a base 
used jointly by other military services. The classified version of this 
report provides examples of challenges the services have encountered in 
managing and funding what are envisioned to be multiservice sites. 

In prior work, we have reported on long-standing challenges DOD has 
faced at military installations managed by one service but used by 
multiple services.[Footnote 17] For example, in late 2004, DOD formed a 
Senior Joint Basing Group to address installation management issues, 
such as problems involving support agreements where one service is a 
tenant on an installation operated by another service. A lack of common 
definitions among the services can lead to differing expectations for 
base operating support services, and it obscures a full understanding 
of the funding that is required for these support services. The working 
group planned to develop common definitions and DOD-wide standards, 
metrics, and reimbursement and costing rules for base operating 
services and programs of all military services. DOD completed a base 
operations assessment study in March 2005 and funded an extensive cross-
department initiative to develop definitions for the common delivery of 
installation services. 

Similarly, in recognition of funding issues at joint use bases, the 
Joint Governance Working Group of the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review 
Committee is responsible for developing alternatives for prioritizing 
and funding joint projects[Footnote 18] desired by the combatant 
commanders. One option envisions that the Deputy Secretary of Defense 
will have the authority to assign "executive agency" or "host" status 
for joint locations to the military services. Any military construction 
projects for these locations would be vetted through a Joint 
Infrastructure Working Group that will qualify and accept the projects, 
validate the project plans, prioritize the projects, and recommend 
funding levels. It is envisioned that a joint funding mechanism would 
be used to fund these projects either directly or on a reimbursable 
basis. Officials initially hoped that a process for assigning 
responsibility for managing overseas operating sites that benefit more 
than one service would be finalized during the Quadrennial Defense 
Review. However, the Quadrennial Defense Review Report issued in 
February 2006 did not identify a solution, and the issue is still 
unresolved. As a result, it is not clear whether or how the services 
will plan for costs associated with these sites in preparing upcoming 
budget submissions. 

No Routine, Comprehensive Mechanism Exists to Report on Progress Toward 
Achieving Strategy Goals: 

Reliable and timely information on the full costs, activities, and 
outputs of federal programs is important to Congress and the Secretary 
of Defense in making decisions about allocating resources, authorizing 
and modifying programs, and evaluating program performance. In some 
cases, DOD has established mechanisms to provide routine reporting on 
program status and performance information for large-scale, complex 
efforts. For example, DOD determined that a new initiative to improve 
stability operations capabilities was important enough to require, 
among other things, a semiannual report to the Secretary of Defense 
that includes identifying performance metrics and evaluating progress 
made in achieving the stated policy goals.[Footnote 19] This type of 
reporting mechanism can provide the Secretary of Defense with timely 
information to shape decisions about authorizing and modifying programs 
and evaluating program performance. 

In contrast, DOD has a more fragmented approach to provide Congress 
with information on selected aspects of the global posture 
restructuring effort. In June 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Policy testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the 
Integrated Global Posture and Basing Strategy, preceding the 
president's announcement of the strategy. This testimony was followed 
by the September 2004 Report to Congress - Strengthening U.S. Global 
Defense Posture. The Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, and commanders of the regional commands have also 
testified before some congressional committees. In commenting on a 
draft of this report, DOD stated that it had provided "over 40 
briefings to the Hill" on its global basing strategy. According to OSD/ 
Strategy officials, the department believes that these existing 
reporting mechanisms provide Congress with sufficient information on 
the status of the restructuring effort. 

However, the Senate Committee on Appropriations has expressed concern 
about the use of military construction budget authority and has 
directed DOD to provide information on various aspects of the global 
posture strategy. The Senate report to the fiscal year 2004 military 
construction appropriations bill[Footnote 20] required those plans to 
identify precise facility requirements and the status of properties 
being returned to host nations. The report also states that the plan 
should identify funding requirements as well as the division of funding 
responsibilities between the United States and cognizant host nations. 
The Senate report directed us to monitor the master plans developed and 
implemented for the overseas regional commands and to provide 
congressional defense committees with annual assessment reports. 
Additionally, the House conference report accompanying the fiscal year 
2004 military construction appropriation bill[Footnote 21] directed DOD 
to prepare comprehensive master plans for overseas military 
infrastructure and provide them with its fiscal year 2006 budget 
submission with yearly updates on the status of those plans and their 
implementation with annual military construction budget submissions 
through fiscal year 2009. 

In addition, the Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility 
Structure of the United States was created by Congress in the Military 
Construction Appropriations Act of 2004 and was required to report on 
its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation by 
August 15, 2005.[Footnote 22] The Commission provided Congress with a 
report that contained several conclusions.[Footnote 23] For example, 
the Commission stated that Congress should provide more rigorous 
oversight (including hearings) of the global basing process, given the 
scope and impact of DOD's rebasing plans. Particular attention, the 
Commission believed, should be paid to the timing, synchronization, and 
cost of all the related efforts. The Commission was also concerned 
about the costs associated with IGPBS and whether budgetary forecasts 
had adequately addressed the investments that will be required to meet 
the implementation timelines set for fiscal years 2006-2011. 
Furthermore, the Commission expressed great concern on quality-of-life 
issues and their ultimate impact on DOD's ability to maintain a 
volunteer force. For example, the Commission stated that DOD should 
further analyze what the impact would be on a volunteer force of 
frequently lengthy peacetime rotations abroad. 

Also, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 
directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on specified global 
basing issues by no later than March 30, 2006.[Footnote 24] The Act 
states that the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall develop criteria for assessing, 
with respect to three kinds of facilities[Footnote 25] to be located in 
a foreign country, several factors,[Footnote 26] as well as develop a 
mechanism for analyzing overseas basing alternatives, incorporating 
factors (1) through (5) referenced in footnote 26. The act also directs 
the Secretary of Defense to submit to congressional defense committees, 
not later than 30 days after an agreement is made, a written 
notification of agreements with a foreign country to support the 
deployment of elements of U.S. forces in that country. 

We believe that the current reporting requirements, while providing 
Congress with significant information on some aspects of the global 
posture strategy, do not provide a periodic mechanism through which 
DOD's progress in achieving the overall goals and objectives of the 
strategy can be reported. For example, none of the reporting 
requirements addresses the extent to which DOD will achieve its 
strategic goals, such as expanding allied roles, providing service 
members with more time at home, developing greater operational 
flexibility, or developing rapidly deployable capabilities. In 
addition, DOD's master plans provide annual information on expected 
military construction costs, but none of the reports provides Congress 
with complete and up-to-date information on the total costs to 
implement the global restructuring, including operations and 
maintenance costs. Further, the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2006 only provides for a one-time report to the Congress on 
aspects of the plan, written notification of host-nation agreements 
once they are concluded, and information regarding the funding sources 
for the establishment, operation, and sustainment of the main operating 
bases, forward operating sites, and cooperative security locations as 
an element of the annual budget request. As a result, Congress will not 
have a clear understanding of the extent to which global posture 
objectives are being achieved or whether resources are being 
efficiently and effectively applied. 

Conclusions: 

Restructuring the U.S. military presence overseas is a complex and 
dynamic process that will require a significant investment in 
resources, time, and commitment by military and civilian leaders. The 
goals of this effort--a repositioning of U.S. military forces to 
enhance warfighting capabilities, quality of life for service men and 
women, and alliances with host nations while reducing overall costs to 
the American taxpayer--are important to the successful execution of the 
Global War on Terror and the transformation of the Department of 
Defense. Accomplishing these goals efficiently and effectively will 
require a comprehensive strategy, periodic review and evaluation of 
progress, and a mechanism to communicate program status to key decision 
makers and Congress. To its credit, the department has recognized the 
importance and need to change the overseas military presence and has 
begun to articulate a strategy to achieve this goal, but we have 
highlighted key characteristics of effective strategies that the 
department has not fully addressed. For example, the department has not 
established results-oriented performance measures and therefore is not 
in a position to demonstrate whether the actions it takes to change 
overseas presence are in fact achieving its goals in the most efficient 
and effective manner. 

The challenges DOD faces in implementing this strategy, as discussed in 
this report, add to the uncertainty of the costs and potential outcomes 
of DOD's efforts, and current reporting mechanisms will not give 
Congress routine and comprehensive information to facilitate effective 
oversight. DOD is challenged to develop complete and accurate cost 
estimates because ongoing negotiations with host nations will 
significantly influence the planned moves and burden-sharing between 
the United States and host nations. The challenges the department faces 
in establishing operating locations that may be jointly used by more 
than one service, yet funded by a single service through the 
traditional budget process, are delaying the establishment of these 
locations, which are the backbone of the new strategy. These and other 
uncertainties, while understandable considering the magnitude and 
complexity of the changes underway, present a significant challenge to 
the Department of Defense to effectively manage. Similarly, Congress is 
presented with the challenge of conducting oversight responsibilities 
and allocating resources over the long term with incomplete 
information, while the program matures and more refined estimates of 
cost, operational capabilities, and other aspects of overseas presence 
are developed. Without a routine reporting mechanism that can clearly 
communicate the extent to which these uncertainties exist and, more 
importantly when they are resolved, Congress may not have the 
information it needs as it evaluates and prioritizes these requirements 
with other aspects of government operations. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To facilitate DOD's management and implementation of its global basing 
strategy and to establish a clear and routine method of informing 
Congress of significant changes to the strategy and progress in 
achieving its goals, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense take 
the following five actions: 

* Develop an updated strategy document that includes the six 
characteristics of an effective national strategy as discussed in this 
report, including performance measures and metrics for assessing 
progress in achieving stated goals. 

* Summarize the status of host-nation negotiations and annually update 
DOD's global basing strategy to reflect changes resulting from these 
negotiations. 

* Periodically update DOD's estimate of the total cost to implement the 
global basing strategy and identify the extent to which these costs are 
included in DOD's future years defense program. 

* Establish a process to prioritize, assign management responsibility 
for, and fund the network of operating locations DOD is planning. 

* Develop a periodic reporting process that summarizes to Congress the 
above information, includes progress in achieving performance goals, 
and complements but does not duplicate information contained in DOD's 
annual comprehensive master plans for overseas military infrastructure. 

Matter for Congressional Consideration: 

The Congress should consider requiring that DOD report annually on the 
status and costs of its plans to implement global basing initiatives to 
ensure that it has more comprehensive and routine information to guide 
it in overseeing this important effort. Congress may wish to require 
that DOD include in such a report all the elements of an effective 
national strategy--such as performance metrics--as well as the status 
of host-nation negotiations, the evolving costs of global posture 
initiatives, and a process for assigning management responsibility for 
operating and funding the locations DOD is planning in its worldwide 
network of sites. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially agreed 
with our five recommendations. (DOD's comments appear in their entirety 
in app. III of this report.) However, the department did not describe 
what actions, if any, it plans to take to implement our 
recommendations. Because DOD's response is vague and ambiguous in 
describing its planned actions, we have added a matter for 
congressional consideration that the Congress require DOD to report 
annually on its global posture strategy, costs, and implementation. 

In overall comments on the report, DOD pointed out that the information 
we present represents snapshots at different points in time on the 
status of negotiations, cost estimates, and force posture changes. As 
we discuss in the report, this information has been in constant flux 
since it was summarized in DOD's Report to Congress in September 2004. 
To clarify the report, we have added additional dates to our 
discussions of changes to the global posture strategy. DOD also stated 
that it did not believe that "creating new formal processes for 
decision-making and assessment" was called for in implementing its 
global posture strategy. In our recommendations, we are not suggesting 
that DOD create new formal processes for decision making and 
assessment. We are recommending that DOD add a formal and regular 
reporting requirement to communicate to Congress on the implementation 
of DOD's global posture strategy so that Congress will be kept more 
fully informed. 

Regarding our recommendation that DOD develop an updated strategy 
document that contains all six characteristics of an effective national 
strategy, DOD agreed that the strategy framework we suggested may serve 
as a helpful tool for the future. However, it stated that it is 
unnecessary to update its global posture strategy at this point in 
time. DOD also stated that its September 2004 Report to Congress was 
not intended to serve as a formal, comprehensive management mechanism 
for posture changes. We continue to believe that developing a 
comprehensive, single, consolidated strategy document with all six 
characteristics of an effective national strategy would be useful for 
DOD in managing the complex, long-term effort that its global posture 
strategy represents. At present, some elements of such a management 
tool are contained in different, isolated documents, and other elements 
of an effective strategy are not articulated at all. We believe that 
such a comprehensive, consolidated strategy document will not only 
allow DOD to more effectively manage its future implementation of the 
strategy but also could become a basis for satisfying the periodic 
reporting process we are recommending in this report. 

In response to our second recommendation--that DOD summarize the status 
of host-nation negotiations and annually update its global strategy to 
reflect changes resulting from these negotiations--DOD believes that 
its current reporting requirements on host-nation agreements after they 
have been signed are sufficient. DOD also states that changes are 
reported in combatant commanders' master plans and in service 
implementation plans. We agree that DOD is not currently required to 
report to Congress on the status of host-nation agreements until after 
they have been entered into. However, we believe that Congress should 
be kept apprised of the status of host-nation negotiations as they 
evolve because the resulting agreements could involve significant 
commitments of U.S. resources to other countries and have foreign 
policy implications. We acknowledge that combatant commanders' master 
plans include information on planned military construction for many 
global basing initiatives, but the master plans do not contain detailed 
information on the status of host-nation negotiations before or after 
they occur. In fact, in a prior report,[Footnote 27] GAO recommended 
that the department provide more detailed information on the status of 
host-nation negotiations to Congress in the comprehensive overseas 
master plans. DOD did not agree with that recommendation, stating that 
they did not believe the master plans were the appropriate vehicle in 
which to report this information. Further, the services' implementation 
plans do not contain a complete listing of all global posture 
initiatives, and these plans are not routinely provided to Congress. 

In response to our third recommendation--that DOD periodically update 
its estimate of the total cost to implement the global posture strategy 
and report this information to Congress--DOD states that it plans to 
"internally update and keep Congress informed of estimated programmed 
costs." As we state in our report, DOD's current method of informing 
Congress of global posture costs is not comprehensive or routine. At 
present, DOD reports annually to Congress on some of the military 
construction costs of global posture initiatives. Also, once, in 
September 2004, DOD reported its estimated cost of the entire global 
basing effort. However, as we discuss in this report, DOD has no 
routine, comprehensive method of keeping Congress informed of changes 
to its cost estimates as they evolve over time, and DOD's global 
posture restructuring effort will take place over several years to come 
and will compete with other government initiatives for resources. DOD 
and Congress will need accurate information on the costs of its 
overseas basing initiatives so that they can make informed decisions 
about spending future budget dollars. 

In responding to our recommendation that DOD establish a process to 
prioritize, assign management responsibility for, and fund the network 
of operating locations DOD is planning, DOD states that the department 
has cited this need in its recently issued Quadrennial Defense Review 
Report and that establishing this process should be synchronized with 
existing execution processes in the department. As we state in our 
report, the Quadrennial Defense Review Report cited joint funding 
issues as an area that required further study. In that report, DOD 
states that it is implementing a Joint Task Assignment Process that 
will centrally assign and oversee joint management arrangements. 
However, the report does not state how this process will work or how it 
will be applied to assigning management responsibilities to the 
services for jointly used overseas locations. We agree that any effort 
to establish such a process should be synchronized with existing 
processes in the department. 

In response to our fifth recommendation--that DOD develop a periodic 
reporting process that summarizes to Congress comprehensive information 
on DOD's global posture strategy and its costs--DOD agrees that keeping 
Congress informed of posture changes is important. However, DOD 
believes that its current informal processes of briefing and testifying 
before Congress when Congress requests such information are sufficient. 
We disagree. As we state in our report, we believe that the current 
methods do not provide Congress with the regular and comprehensive 
information on DOD's global posture strategy that would enable Congress 
to fully perform its oversight functions. In March 2006, DOD provided 
Congress a briefing on changes in its planned overseas posture and cost 
estimates. However, this briefing was developed in response to a 
requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act and is intended 
to be a one-time report. We continue to believe that DOD should be 
required to report annually to Congress comprehensive information on 
the implementation of DOD's global posture strategy because this 
initiative will entail significant investments on the part of the 
United States, will involve fundamental changes in our relationships 
with U.S. allies, and will take place over an extended period of time. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-4402 or e-mail me at stlaurentj@gao.gov. 
Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public 
Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. GAO staff members 
who made key contributions to this report are listed in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

Janet St. Laurent: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: GAO's Identification of the Six Characteristics of an 
Effective National Strategy: 

In a prior report, we identified what we consider to be six desirable 
characteristics of an effective national strategy that would enable its 
implementers to effectively shape policies, programs, priorities, 
resource allocations, and standards and that would enable federal 
departments and other stakeholders to achieve the identified 
results.[Footnote 28] To develop the six desirable characteristics of 
an effective national strategy, we reviewed several sources of 
information. First, we gathered statutory requirements pertaining to 
national strategies as well as legislative and executive branch 
guidance. We also consulted the Government Performance and Results Act 
of 1993, general literature on strategic planning and performance, and 
guidance from the Office of Management and Budget on the President's 
Management Agenda. In addition, we studied its past reports and 
testimonies for findings and recommendations pertaining to desirable 
elements of a national strategy. Simultaneously, we consulted widely 
within GAO to incorporate the most up-to-date thinking on strategic 
planning, integration across and between the government and its 
partners, implementation, and other related subjects. 

We used our judgment to develop desirable characteristics based on 
their underlying support in legislative or executive guidance and the 
frequency with which they were cited in other sources. We then grouped 
similar items together in a logical sequence, from conception to 
implementation. This was GAO's first effort to develop desirable 
characteristics for an effective national strategy, so they may evolve 
over time. The desirable characteristics are the following: 

* Purpose, scope, and methodology: This characteristic addresses why 
the strategy was produced, the scope of its coverage, and the process 
by which it was developed. For example, a strategy might discuss the 
specific impetus that led to its being written (or updated), such as 
statutory requirements, executive mandates, or other events. 
Furthermore, a strategy would enhance clarity by including definitions 
of key, relevant terms. In addition to describing what it is meant to 
do and the major functions, mission areas, or activities it covers, a 
national strategy would ideally address its methodology. For example, a 
strategy might discuss the principles or theories that guided its 
development, what organizations or offices drafted the document, 
whether it was the result of a working group, or which parties were 
consulted in its development. A complete description of purpose, scope, 
and methodology would make the document more useful to the 
organizations responsible for implementing the strategy as well as to 
oversight organizations, such as Congress. 

* Problem definition and risk assessment: This characteristic addresses 
the particular national problems and threats the strategy is directed 
toward. Specifically, this means a detailed discussion or definition of 
the problems the strategy intends to address, their causes, and 
operating environment. In addition, this characteristic entails a risk 
assessment, including an analysis of threats to, and vulnerabilities 
of, critical assets and operations. If the details of these analyses 
are classified or preliminary, an unclassified version of the strategy 
could at least include a broad description of analyses and stress the 
importance of risk assessment to the implementing parties. A discussion 
of the quality of data available regarding this characteristic, such as 
known constraints or deficiencies, would also be useful. More specific 
information on both problem definition and risk assessment would give 
the responsible parties better guidance to implement those strategies. 
Better problem definition and risk assessment also provide greater 
latitude to responsible parties to develop innovative approaches that 
are tailored to the needs of specific regions or sections and can be 
implemented as a practical matter, given fiscal, human capital, and 
other limitations. Such assessments help identify desired goals and end-
states without one-size-fits-all solutions. 

* Goals, subordinate objectives, activities, and performance measures: 
This characteristic addresses what the national strategy strives to 
achieve and the steps needed to garner those results, as well as the 
priorities, milestones, and performance measures to gauge results. At 
the highest level, this could be a description of an ideal "end-state," 
followed by a logical hierarchy of major goals, subordinate objectives, 
and specific activities to achieve results. In addition, it would be 
helpful if the strategy discussed the importance of implementing 
parties' efforts to establish priorities, milestones, and performance 
measures, which help ensure accountability. Ideally, a national 
strategy would set clear desired results and priorities, specific 
milestones, and outcome-related performance measures while giving 
implementing parties the flexibility to pursue and achieve those 
results within a reasonable timeframe. If significant limitations on 
performance measures exist, other parts of the strategy might address 
plans to obtain better data or measurements, such as national standards 
or indicators of preparedness.[Footnote 29] Elements of this 
characteristic provide a baseline set of performance goals and measures 
upon which to assess and improve global posture. A better 
identification of priorities, milestones, and performance measures 
would aid implementing parties in achieving results in specific time 
frames and would enable more effective oversight and accountability. 

* Resources, investments, and risk management: This characteristic 
addresses what the strategy will cost, the sources and types of 
resources and investments needed, and where those resources and 
investments should be targeted. Ideally, a strategy would also identify 
appropriate mechanisms to allocate resources, such as grants, in-kind 
services, and loans, based on identified needs. Alternatively, a 
strategy might identify appropriate "tools of government," such as 
regulations, tax incentives, and standards, to mandate or stimulate 
federal organizations to use their unique resources. In addition, a 
national strategy might elaborate on the risk assessment mentioned 
earlier and give guidance to implementing parties to manage their 
resources and investments accordingly--and begin to address the 
difficult but critical issues about who pays and how such efforts will 
be funded and sustained in the future. Furthermore, a strategy might 
include a discussion of the type of resources required, such as 
budgetary, human capital, information technology, research and 
development, procurement of equipment, or contract services. Finally, a 
national strategy might also discuss in greater detail how risk 
management will aid implementing parties in prioritizing and allocating 
resources, including how this approach will weigh costs and benefits. 
Guidance on resource, investment, and risk management would help 
implementing parties allocate resources and investments according to 
priorities and constraints, track costs and performance, and shift such 
investments and resources as appropriate. Such guidance would also 
assist Congress and the administration in developing more effective 
federal programs to stimulate desired investments, enhance oversight, 
and leverage finite resources. 

* Organizational roles, responsibilities, and coordination: This 
characteristic addresses what organizations will implement the 
strategy, their roles and responsibilities, and mechanisms for 
coordinating their efforts. It helps to answer the fundamental question 
of who is in charge, not only during times of crisis, but also during 
all phases of DOD activities. This characteristic entails identifying 
the specific federal departments, agencies, or offices involved, and 
where appropriate, the different sectors, such as state, local, 
private, or international sectors. A strategy would ideally clarify 
implementing organizations' relationships in terms of leading, 
supporting, and partnering.[Footnote 30] In addition, a strategy should 
describe the organizations that will provide the overall framework for 
accountability and oversight, such as the National Security Council, 
the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and other organizations. 
Furthermore, a strategy might also identify specific processes for 
coordination and collaboration between sectors and organizations--and 
address how conflicts would be resolved. These elements would be useful 
to agencies and other stakeholders in fostering coordination and 
clarifying specific roles, particularly where there is overlap, and 
thus enhancing both implementation and accountability. 

* Integration: This characteristic addresses how a national strategy 
relates to other strategies' goals, objectives, and activities 
(horizontal integration) and how the strategy relates to subordinate 
levels of government and other organizations and their plans to 
implement the strategy (vertical integration). For example, a national 
strategy could discuss how its scope complements, expands upon, or 
overlaps other national strategies. Similarly, related strategies could 
highlight their common or shared goals, subordinate objectives, and 
activities. In addition, a national strategy could address its 
relationship with relevant documents from implementing organizations, 
such as the strategic plans, annual performance plans, or the annual 
performance reports that the Government Performance and Results Act of 
1993 requires of federal agencies. A strategy might also discuss, as 
appropriate, various strategies and plans produced by the state, local, 
private, or international sectors. A strategy could also provide 
guidance such as the development of national standards to link together 
more effectively the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of the 
implementing parties. More information on this characteristic would 
build on the identified organizational roles and responsibilities--and 
thus further clarify the relationships between various implementing 
parties, both vertically and horizontally. This identification would in 
turn foster effective implementation and accountability. 

Table 4 provides the desirable characteristics and examples of their 
elements. 

Table 4: Desirable Characteristics of an Effective National Strategy: 

Desirable characteristic: Purpose, scope, and methodology; 
Description: Addresses why the strategy was produced, the scope of its 
coverage, and the process by which it was developed; 
Examples of elements: 
* Statement of broad or narrow purpose, as appropriate; 
* How it compares and contrasts with other national strategies; 
* What major functions, mission areas, or activities it covers; 
* Principles or theories that guided its development; 
* Impetus for strategy, e.g., statutory requirement or event; 
* Process to produce strategy, e.g., interagency task force; 
* Definition of key terms. 

Desirable characteristic: Problem definition and risk assessment; 
Description: Addresses the particular national problems and threats the 
strategy is directed toward; 
Examples of elements: 
* Discussion or definition of problems, their causes, and operating 
environment; 
* Risk assessment, including and analysis of threats and 
vulnerabilities; 
* Quality of data available, e.g., constraints, deficiencies, and 
"unknowns". 

Desirable characteristic: Goals, subordinate objectives, activities, 
and performance measures; 
Description: Addresses what the strategy is trying to achieve, steps to 
achieve those results, as well as the priorities, milestones, and 
performance measures to gauge results. 
Examples of elements: 
* Overall results desires, e.g., "end-state"; 
* Hierarchy of strategic goals and subordinate objectives; 
* Priorities, milestones, and outcome-related performance measures; 
* Specific performance measures; 
* Process for monitoring and reporting on progress; 
* Limitations of progress indicators. 

Desirable characteristic: Resources, investments, and risk management; 
Description: Addresses what the strategy will cost, the sources and 
types of resources and investments needed, and where resources and 
investments should be targeted by balancing risk reductions and costs. 
Examples of elements: 
* Resources and investment associated with the strategy; 
* Types of resources required, such as budgetary, human capital, 
information technology, and research and development; 
* Sources of resources, e.g., federal, state, local, and private; 
* Economic principles, such as balancing benefits and costs; 
* Resources allocation mechanisms, such as grants, in-kind services, 
loans, or user fees;  
* "Tools of government," e.g., mandates or incentives to spur action; 
* Importance of fiscal discipline; 
* Linkage to other resource document, e.g., the federal budget; 
* Risk management principles. 

Desirable characteristic: Organizational roles, responsibilities, and 
coordination; 
Description: Addresses who will be implementing the strategy, what 
their roles will be compared to others, and mechanisms for them to 
coordinate their efforts; 
Examples of elements: 
* Roles and responsibilities of specific federal agencies, departments, 
or offices; 
* Roles and responsibilities of federal, state, local, private, and 
international sectors; 
* Lead, support, and partner roles and responsibilities; 
* Accountability and oversight framework; 
* Potential changes to current organizational structure; 
* Specific processes for coordination and collaboration; 
* How conflicts will be resolved. 

Desirable characteristic: Integration; 
Description: Addresses how a national strategy relates to other 
strategies' goals, objectives, and activities; 
Examples of elements: 
* Integration with other national strategies (horizontal); 
* Integration with relevant documents from implementing organizations 
(vertical); 
* Details on specific federal, state, local, or private strategies and 
plans. 

Source: GAO. 

Notes: See GAO-04-408T. Our prior work identified the sixth 
characteristic as "integration and implementation." For the purposes of 
this report, we decided not to evaluate the extent to which the four 
principal strategy documents addressed "implementation" because our 
second reporting objective addresses challenges associated with 
implementation in more detail. 

[End of Table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the extent to which DOD's IGPBS contains all the desirable 
characteristics of an effective national strategy, we evaluated the 
content of each of the four principal global posture strategy documents 
identified by OSD officials using six desirable characteristics of 
effective national strategies developed by GAO in prior work.[Footnote 
31] According to officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 
DOD's articulation of its IGPBS strategy is contained in the following 
four principal documents: 

* the Quadrennial Defense Review (September 2001) and its Terms of 
Reference (June 2001); 

* the National Security Strategy of the United States (September 2002); 

* Strengthening U.S. Global Posture, Report to Congress (September 
2004); and: 

* National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (March 
2005). 

We evaluated the content of each of the four principal global posture 
strategy documents identified by OSD officials using our six desirable 
characteristics of an effective national strategy. We developed a 
checklist based on our criteria, which enabled us to apply the criteria 
to the relevant documents. The team pretested the checklist to verify 
its relevance and the team's ability to apply the checklist to the 
information contained in the documents. Two readers independently 
assessed a selected strategy document to pretest the checklist. The 
team concluded that the checklist was relevant and appropriate for 
assessing the principal global posture documents. 

Next, we independently read through each strategy document to apply our 
characteristics and record the results on separate checklists. We gave 
each of the elements a rating from one of three potential scores: 
"addresses," "partially addresses," or "does not address." According to 
our methodology, a strategy "addresses" a characteristic when it 
explicitly cites all elements of a characteristic, even if it lacks 
specificity and details and thus could be improved upon. Within our 
designation of "partially addresses," there is a wide variation between 
a strategy that addresses most of the elements of a characteristic and 
a strategy that addresses few of the elements of a characteristic. A 
strategy "does not address" a characteristic when it does not 
explicitly cite or discuss any elements of that characteristic and/or 
any implicit references are either too vague or too general to be 
useful. The analysts' ratings were the same in 67 percent of the cases. 
The two analysts then met to discuss similarities and resolve 
differences in their respective checklist analyses. On the basis of 
those discussions, both analysts developed consolidated, final 
checklists for each of the four principal IGPBS documents. Because we 
examined four principal strategy documents and each document may not 
contain all of the elements, we decided to rate the strategy element as 
"addresses" if one of the documents provided sufficient information. 
For example, if the Quadrennial Defense Review, the National Security 
Strategy, and the Report to Congress are all rated as "does not 
address" in a particular element, but the National Defense Strategy is 
rated "addresses" for the same element, then the overall rating for DOD 
is "addresses." We assessed the reliability of the data used in this 
report and determined that it was sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. 

To identify key challenges that could affect DOD's implementation of 
its strategy, we examined global posture strategy plans, programs, cost 
estimates, and other documentation obtained from the geographic 
combatant commands, service headquarters, the Office of the Secretary 
of Defense, State Department Headquarters, and U.S. embassies in six 
countries. Specifically, we identified the status of the proposed and 
ongoing initiatives associated with DOD's overseas posture strategy by 
reviewing DOD's September 2004 Report to Congress, Strengthening U.S. 
Global Defense Posture; various congressional testimonies; 
implementation plans of combatant commands; and briefings by service 
components and OSD. 

To understand the challenges associated with host-nation negotiations, 
we obtained documentation of various types of legal arrangements to be 
negotiated with host countries, information papers, briefings, and 
legal analyses of international agreements that affect IGPBS prepared 
by OSD, U.S. European, Pacific, Central, and Southern Commands, and the 
military services' 2004 and 2005 implementation plans. 

To examine cost and funding issues related to implementation, we 
reviewed OSD/Program Analysis and Evaluation estimates that supported 
costs reported in the September 2004 Report to Congress - Strengthening 
U.S. Global Defense Posture; the military service's 2004 and 2005 
implementation plans; the February 2005 comprehensive master plans 
prepared by the U.S. European, Pacific, and Central Commands; the 
European Command's Strategic Theater Transformation Strategy, January 
2005; and the Pacific Command's Operationalizing the Asia-Pacific 
Defense Strategy 2003 and 2005. We also reviewed prior GAO work related 
to DOD's overseas master plans. Further, we discussed DOD's cost- 
estimating methodology with knowledgeable officials at the Office of 
the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation. 

To identify challenges in establishing a worldwide network of operating 
locations, we obtained briefings that included information on joint 
infrastructure funding, proposed assignments of executive agency 
responsibilities for new locations, and U.S. European and Pacific 
Command implementation plans for IGPBS. We also reviewed legislation 
relating to the funding of DOD infrastructure, as well as prior GAO 
reports on the subject.[Footnote 32] In addition, we visited selected 
cooperative security locations and spoke with officials concerning 
implementation issues. 

To identify the mechanisms DOD has in place to inform Congress of its 
efforts to overcome these challenges and report on overall progress in 
achieving the strategy's goals, we reviewed congressional testimony, 
multiple briefings conducted for congressional Members and their 
staffs, and reports produced as a result of legislative requirements. 
Specifically, we examined existing reporting requirements in the 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, the House 
conference report accompanying the fiscal year 2004 military 
construction appropriation bill, the Senate report on the fiscal year 
2004 military construction appropriation bill report, the 2005 report 
by the Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of 
the United States, and prior GAO reports on overseas military 
infrastructure. We assessed the reliability of the data used in this 
report and determined that it was sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. 

To obtain the information described above, we contacted officials at 
the following organizations: 

* Pentagon. 

* DOD's Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for 
Strategy and Office of the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation. 

* The Joint Staff (J-5 and J-8). 

* Service headquarters: Army Headquarters, Office of the Deputy Chief 
of Staff for Operations and Plans; Marine Corps Headquarters, Plans, 
Policies, and Operations Department/Plans and Strategy Division; Navy 
Headquarters, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, 
Policy, and Operations/Strategy and Policy; Air Force Headquarters, 
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Combat 
Support and Analysis. 

* U.S. European Command Headquarters; U.S. Army, Europe; Special 
Operations Command, Europe; U.S. Air Forces, Europe; and U.S. Naval 
Forces, Europe. 

* U.S. Pacific Command Headquarters; U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific; U.S. 
Pacific Air Forces; U.S. Army Forces, Pacific; U.S. Pacific Fleet; U.S. 
Special Operations Forces, Pacific; U.S. Eighth Army, Korea; U.S. 
Forces Korea. 

* U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters. 

* U.S. Transportation Command. 

* State Department Headquarters and U.S. Embassies in Bulgaria, Italy, 
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. 

* U.S. Southern Command Headquarters. 

* U.S. Central Command Headquarters. 

We conducted our review from November 2004 through January 2006 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Principal Deputy Under Secretary Of Defense: 
2100 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, D.C. 20301-2100: 

Ms. Janet A. St. Laurent: 
Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. General Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Ms. St. Laurent: 

(U) The Department of Defense appreciates the GAO's assessment of U.S. 
global defense posture realignment and the opportunity to comment on 
its draft report entitled "Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy 
and Periodic Reporting are Needed to Gauge Progress and Costs of DoD's 
Global Posture Restructuring," dated March 10, 2006 (GAO Code 350766/ 
GAO-06-486C). 

(U) The Department is encouraged that the GAO focused its assessment on 
implementation of global defense posture changes, and that the 
assessment recognizes the complex, multidimensional nature of this 
important effort. The Department is concerned, however, that the 
assessment is hampered in places by the use of information that 
represented snapshots at different points in time on the status of 
negotiations, cost estimates, and force posture changes. The GAO's 
assessment would be strengthened by clearer documentation of dates and 
sources to more accurately reflect the temporal nature of global 
defense posture's rolling decision-making process. 

(U) The Department remains concerned with the GAO's view of how major 
initiatives should be executed. The success of global defense posture 
has been due to the Department's basic approach of centralizing 
planning for the major initiative and decentralized execution by the 
Combatant Commands and Services through existing Departmental planning, 
programming, budgeting, and execution processes - not by creating new 
formal processes for decision-making and assessment. This approach 
provides the Department's senior leadership with maximum flexibility to 
synchronize our posture changes with other major Departmental 
initiatives (e.g., execution of GWOT and DoD and Service 
transformation). 

(U) With respect to GAO's five recommendations, the Department responds 
as follows: 

(U) Updated strategy document. DoD partially concurs with the 
recommendation to "develop an updated strategy document. including 
performance measures and metrics for assessing progress in achieving 
stated goals." GAO's recommended strategy framework, with some 
modification, may serve as a helpful implementation tool in the future, 
but it does not necessitate updating the global defense posture 
strategy. That strategy, outlined in the September 2004 Report to 
Congress, was not intended to serve as a formal, comprehensive 
management mechanism for posture changes. For example, performance 
metrics, while critical to assessing progress, would more logically fit 
in an implementation plan, not a broad strategy document. 

(U) Host-nation negotiations. DoD partially concurs with the 
recommendation to "summarize the status of host-nation negotiations and 
annually update DoD's global basing strategy to reflect changes 
resulting from these negotiations." There are mechanisms in place to 
update Congress on defense-related international agreements, and the 
Department feels that additional reporting requirements would be 
redundant. Public Law 109-163 requires that DoD inform the Defense 
Committees of USG defense agreements within 30 days of signature, and 1 
USC 112(b) requires that the State Department inform Congress of all 
international agreements. Additionally, the negotiations process 
generally should not change the fundamental global posture strategy - 
e.g., building allied roles, developing flexibility to contend with 
uncertainty - but often may lead to adjustments to posture plans. DoD 
reflects these changes by updating Combatant Command Master Plans and 
internal Service implementation plans. 

(U) DOD's cost estimate. DoD partially concurs with the recommendation 
to "periodically update DoD's estimate of the total cost to implement 
the global posture strategy and identify the extent to which these 
costs are included in DOD's future years defense program." The 
Department will continue to internally update and keep Congress 
informed of estimated programmed costs of global posture. Importantly, 
over time such cost estimates will reflect the evolving-set of global 
posture changes, as some initial proposals are inevitably modified or 
dropped, while others are added. Additionally, resources tied to some 
posture changes may be the same ands used for Service transformation or 
BRAC funding.  

(U) In response to GAO's assertion that the posture strategy does not 
have an articulated cost component, the Department notes that posture 
changes are subject to the same resource constraints as any other 
Departmental initiative. The Department assumes no increase in the top- 
line of DoD's budget for posture changes, and thus has built-in 
incentive to carefully assess the value-to-cost ratio of posture plans 
because they compete for the same resources as other Departmental 
programs. 

(U) Funding process. DoD partially concurs with the recommendation to 
"establish a process to prioritize, assign management responsibility 
for, and fund the network of operating locations DoD is planning." The 
Department, as part of the recent QDR, cited the need for establishing 
a process to assign and oversee Service responsibilities for 
administering establishment of facilities in posture plans, and more 
broadly for funding infrastructure that is jointly operated. Again, 
this effort should be synchronized with existing execution processes in 
the Department. 

(U) Congressional reporting. DoD partially concurs with the 
recommendation to "develop a periodic reporting process that summarizes 
to Congress the above information." The Department views as essential 
the continuous dialogue with congressional members and staff it began 
when the posture strategy was formulated and will continue providing 
timely and tailored updates as posture changes evolve. 

(U) Again, DoD is grateful for the opportunity to review the GAO's 
report on this important matter. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Ryan Henry: 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Janet St. Laurent, (202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Robert Repasky, Assistant 
Director; Kelly Baumgartner; Kenneth Daniell; Susan Ditto; Kate Lenane; 
Guy Lofaro; Charles Perdue; Maria-Alaina Rambus; Terry Richardson; and 
Beverly Schladt made key contributions to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, 21st Century Challenges: Reexamining the Base of the Federal 
Government, GAO-05-325SP (Washington, D.C.: February 2005). 

[2] GAO, Opportunities Exist to Improve Future Comprehensive Master 
Plans for Changing U.S. Defense Infrastructure Overseas, GAO-05-680R 
(Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2005). 

[3] GAO, Combating Terrorism: Evaluation of Selected Characteristics in 
National Strategies Related to Terrorism, GAO-04-408T (Washington, 
D.C.: Feb. 3, 2004). In this testimony, we identified the six 
characteristics of an effective national strategy as the following: (1) 
purpose, scope, and methodology; (2) problem definition and risk 
assessment; (3) goals, objectives, activities, and performance 
measures; (4) resources, investments, and risk management; (5) roles, 
responsibilities, and coordination; and (6) integration. 

[4] GAO, Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy and Periodic 
Reporting Are Needed to Gauge Progress and Costs of DOD's Global 
Posture Restructuring, GAO-06-486C (Washington, D.C.: May 26, 2006). 

[5] The Office of the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for 
Policy is the DOD lead for IGPBS. 

[6] The Senior Leader Review Group is composed of the Secretary of 
Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretaries of 
Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the service 
Secretaries, and a select few Assistant Secretaries of Defense. The 
Senior Planning Committee is composed of the Senior Leader Review Group 
plus the combatant commanders. In December 2003 and January 2004, these 
two groups had six meetings during which IGPBS was discussed. 

[7] The five geographic commands--U.S. Central Command, U.S. European 
Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern 
Command--are responsible for all U.S. military operations within their 
geographic areas of responsibility. 

[8] The four risk categories were "political-military risk," "force 
structure risk," "operational risk," and "cost risk." 

[9] In technical comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that 
the United States visited "over 20 countries." 

[10] GAO-04-408T. 

[11] GAO-04-408T. 

[12] See app. II for more details on our methodology. 

[13] According to an OSD official, OSD compared the current global 
defense posture with the future desired global defense posture to 
determine the effect of these planned changes on response times. The 
OSD analysis indicated that response times for the larger-sized forces 
would not be substantially improved. Improvements could be expected, 
however, in response times for the deployment of smaller, more mobile 
forces, such as special operations forces. This information was not 
contained in the strategy documents. 

[14] Specifically, the master plans only provide information on U.S. 
funding sources for military construction costs. 

[15] According to DOD officials, the amount of burden-sharing that the 
United States can expect varies widely by country and by type of 
operating location. Also, in countries where smaller operating sites 
are located, the United States will not be using military construction 
funds to build large-scale family support infrastructure. 

[16] Forward operating sites are planned to be smaller but expandable 
sites that can support rotational forces, whereas cooperative security 
locations are planned to be small, rapidly expandable sites with little 
or no permanent U.S. presence. 

[17] GAO, Defense Infrastructure: Issues Need to Be Addressed in 
Managing and Funding Base Operations and Facilities Support, GAO-05-556 
(Washington, D.C.: June 15, 2005). 

[18] In this context, "joint" is applied when combatant commanders have 
an interest in the project for the good of the joint force, but no 
single service has a major interest. "Joint" projects traditionally 
fare poorly under standard service rating schemes for determining 
funding priority because they do not directly support the service's 
daily activities. Projects eligible for being considered "joint" 
include joint command headquarters buildings, some en route 
infrastructure (generally overseas), and designated joint forward 
operating sites and cooperative security locations. 

[19] In a November 2005 Directive, DOD identified stability operations 
as a core U.S. mission that is to be given priority comparable to 
combat operations and specifically addressed and integrated across all 
DOD activities. DOD defines stability operations as "military and 
civilian activities conducted across the spectrum from peace to 
conflict to establish or maintain order in States and regions." 

[20] S. Rep. No. 108-82, at 13-14 (2003). 

[21] H.R. Conf. Rep. No 108-342, at 17 (2003). 

[22] Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. No. 108- 
132, ß 128 (as amended by Pub. L. No. 108-324, ß 127 (2004)). 

[23] Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of 
the United States, Report to the President of the United States, August 
15, 2005. 

[24] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, Pub. L. 
No. 109-163, ß 1233 (2006). 

[25] These facilities are main operating bases, forward operating 
sites, and cooperative security locations. 

[26] Factors these criteria should address include (1) the effect of 
any new basing arrangement on DOD's strategic mobility requirements, 
(2) the ability of U.S. forces deployed to overseas locations in areas 
to which forces have not traditionally been deployed to meet mobility 
response times required by operational plans, (3) the cost of deploying 
units overseas to the locations required in (2) on a rotational basis, 
(4) the strategic benefit of rotational deployments through countries 
with which the United States is developing a close or new security 
relationship, (5) whether the relative speed and complexity of 
conducting negotiations in a particular country is a discriminator in 
the decision to deploy U.S. forces in a country, (6) the 
appropriateness and availability of funding mechanisms for the 
establishment, operation, and sustainment of specific facilities 
referenced in footnote 25, (7) the effect of proposed unaccompanied 
deployments of new units to new facilities in overseas locations on 
quality of life, and (8) other criteria as the Secretary of Defense 
determines appropriate. 

[27] GAO-05-680R. 

[28] GAO-04-408T. 

[29] For more information on the importance of national indicators for 
measuring problems, see GAO, Forum on Key National Indicators: 
Assessing the Nation's Position and Progress, GAO-03-672SP (Washington, 
D.C.: May 2003). 

[30] By partnering, we refer to shared, or joint, responsibilities 
among implementing parties where there is otherwise no clear or 
established hierarchy of lead and support functions. 

[31] GAO-04-408T. 

[32] H.R. Conf. Rep. No 108-342 (2003); S. Rep. No. 108-82, at 13-14 
(2003); GAO-05-556; and GAO-05-680R. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

441 G Street NW, Room LM 

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm 

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director, 

NelliganJ@gao.gov 

(202) 512-4800 

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 

441 G Street NW, Room 7149 

Washington, D.C. 20548: