This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-08-325 
entitled 'Military Transformation: DOD Needs to Strengthen 
Implementation of Its Global Strike Concept and Provide a Comprehensive 
Investment Approach for Acquiring Needed Capabilities' which was 
released on May 1, 2008. 

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 Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

April 2008: 

Military transformation: 

DOD Needs to Strengthen Implementation of Its Global Strike Concept and 
Provide a Comprehensive Investment Approach for Acquiring Needed 
Capabilities: 

GAO-08-325: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-325, a report to Congressional Requesters. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

To increase the range of options available to the President, the 
Department of Defense (DOD) is taking steps to develop a portfolio of 
capabilities, referred to as global strike, to rapidly plan and deliver 
limited duration and extended range precision strikes against highly 
valued assets. GAO was asked to assess (1) whether DOD has clearly 
defined and instilled a common understanding and approach for global 
strike throughout the department, (2) the extent to which DOD has 
developed capabilities needed for global strike, and (3) the extent to 
which DOD has identified the funding requirements and developed an 
investment strategy for acquiring new global strike capabilities. GAO 
reviewed and analyzed plans and studies within DOD, the services, and 
several commands on global strike implementation and capabilities 
development. 

What GAO Found: 

DOD has taken a number of steps to implement its global strike concept 
and has generally assigned responsibilities for the planning, 
execution, and support of global strike operations. However, key 
stakeholders, particularly the geographic combatant commanders, have 
different interpretations of the concept, scope, range, and potential 
use of capabilities needed to implement global strike. Several factors 
affect the understanding and communication of DODís global strike 
concept among key stakeholders, including the extent to which DOD has 
(1) defined global strike, (2) incorporated global strike into joint 
doctrine, (3) conducted outreach and communication activities with key 
stakeholders, and (4) involved stakeholders in joint exercises and 
other training involving global strike. GAOís prior work examining 
successful organizational transformations shows the necessity to 
communicate to stakeholders often and early with clear and specific 
objectives on what is to be achieved and what roles are assigned. 
Without a complete and clearly articulated concept that is well 
communicated and practiced with key stakeholders, DOD could encounter 
difficulties in fully implementing its concept and building the 
necessary relationships for carrying out global strike operations. 

DOD has underway or completed several global strike assessments to 
identify potential conventional offensive strike weapons systems, 
particularly those for prompt global strike, which would provide 
capabilities sometime after 2018. However, DOD has not fully assessed 
the requirements or coordinated improvements for related enabling 
capabilities that are critical to the planning and execution of 
successful global strike operations. These critical enabling 
capabilities include intelligence collection and dissemination, 
surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control, 
communications, and battlefield damage assessment. Furthermore, DOD has 
not coordinated its efforts to improve these capabilities with 
potential offensive systems it intends to develop. Without fully 
assessing the enabling capabilities required or coordinating with other 
DOD studies, DOD might not make the best decision of which enabling 
capability to pursue in meeting global strike requirements. 

DOD has not yet established a prioritized investment strategy that 
integrates its efforts to assess global strike options and makes 
choices among alternatives given the departmentís long-term fiscal 
challenges. GAOís prior work has shown that a long-term and 
comprehensive investment approach is an important tool in an 
organizationís decision-making process to define direction, establish 
priorities, assist with current and future budgets, and plan the 
actions needed to achieve goals. While DOD studies and officials 
recognize a need for a broad, holistic view of global strike 
development, DOD has not identified and assessed all global-strike-
related capabilities and technologies and has not explained how its 
plans to link long-term studies to identify potential weapons systems 
will result in a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for 
global strike. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends several actions to strengthen DOD implementation of its 
global strike concept by improving communications and mutual 
understanding among stakeholders; providing a complete assessment of 
supporting capabilities needed to conduct global strike; assessing the 
full breadth of global-strike-related capabilities and technologies; 
and ensuring that the results of related studies are integrated into a 
prioritized investment strategy for global strike. DOD agreed with the 
report and with GAOís eight recommendations. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, chick on 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-325]. For more 
information, contact Janet St. Laurent, 202-512-4402, 
stlaurentj@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

DOD Has Taken Steps to Implement Global Strike, but Its Concept Is 
Interpreted Differently by Key Stakeholders: 

DOD Is Assessing Several Potential Offensive Strike Weapons Systems for 
Global Strike but Has Not Fully Assessed Related Enabling Capabilities: 

DOD Has Identified and Tracked Some Investments Related to Global 
Strike but Has Not Developed a Prioritized Global Strike Investment 
Strategy: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: GAO's Analysis of DOD's Research and Development Efforts 
for Global Strike in Its Future Years Defense Program: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Examples of Definitions Used by DOD to Describe Global Strike: 

Table 2: DOD Long-term Global Strike Studies to Identify Potential 
Offensive Strike Systems: 

Table 3: Organizations and Offices Contacted During Our Review: 

Table 4: Global Strike and Related Global Strike Research and 
Development Efforts in DOD's FYDP for Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009 
Identified by GAO: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Support Provided by Enabling Capabilities in the Conduct of 
Global Strike Operations: 

Figure 2: Number of Global Strike and Related Research and Development 
Programs, Projects, and Activities by DOD Organization: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

FYDP: Future Years Defense Program: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

April 30, 2008: 

The Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher: 
Chairwoman: 
The Honorable Terry Everett: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Strategic Forces: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Silvestre Reyes: 
House of Representatives: 

The Department of Defense (DOD), in its December 2001 Nuclear Posture 
Review,[Footnote 1] provided a conceptual framework for transforming 
U.S. strategic capabilities to address the new security risks the 
United States faces. The review proposed a New Triad that would bring 
together the capabilities of nuclear and conventional (nonnuclear) 
offensive strike forces, active and passive defenses, a revitalized 
defense infrastructure, and enhanced command and control, planning, and 
intelligence capabilities. The synergy realized with the integration of 
these capabilities, according to DOD officials, would provide the 
President and other senior decision makers with a wider range of 
military options against emerging threats while reducing U.S. reliance 
on the use of nuclear weapons.[Footnote 2] 

In transforming offensive strike capabilities for the New Triad, DOD 
plans to develop a portfolio of capabilities, referred to as global 
strike, that would provide the United States with an ability to rapidly 
plan and deliver limited duration and extended range precision strikes 
against highly valued assets, such as weapons of mass destruction 
production, storage, and delivery systems and adversary leadership 
power bases. To provide a joint focus for global strike, the President, 
in January 2003, assigned the U.S. Strategic Command with 
responsibility for providing integrated planning and command and 
control support to deliver rapid, extended range, precision effects for 
global strike missions conducted by the geographic combatant 
commanders, or in some scenarios, its own global strike missions. While 
nuclear systems would be part of the portfolio, DOD has placed 
significant emphasis on the role that kinetic and nonkinetic[Footnote 
3] conventional capabilities would provide in generating the desired 
strategic effects. DOD envisions that global strike missions could use 
existing U.S. conventional military capabilities, depending on the 
desired effect to be achieved and the operational scenario. 

However, DOD's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review highlighted the lack of 
a prompt, precise, long-range conventional strike capability for some 
time-critical situations as an important gap in U.S. global strike 
capabilities. In a September 2007 classified report, we discussed DOD 
efforts to develop a near-term solution to convert some of its Trident 
submarine-launched missiles as a means to deliver an intercontinental 
prompt conventional strike capability. DOD is also undertaking or has 
completed several analytical efforts to assess mid-and long-term 
options for prompt, long-range global strike and examining other 
conventional strike capability options, such as a new long-range bomber 
that would be available for global strike missions in less time- 
sensitive situations. In the conference report for the defense fiscal 
year 2008 appropriation's bill,[Footnote 4] the conferees agreed to 
provide $100 million for a new prompt global strike program element 
within the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide 
appropriation for development of promising conventional prompt global 
strike technologies. 

As DOD seeks to transform its forces and organization to better meet 
the demands of the new security environment, we have reported[Footnote 
5] that the department is faced with identifying new warfighting 
capabilities it needs, including critical technologies, while at the 
same time striking an affordable and sustainable balance in its 
spending for current and future investments. Furthermore, to 
successfully transform itself, DOD also must reshape its policies and 
practices and the cultural perspectives of various organizations that 
have responsibilities for implementing the required changes. 

At your request, we reviewed DOD's actions to implement its global 
strike concept and increase U.S. conventional global strike 
capabilities. Specifically, you asked us to determine (1) whether DOD 
has clearly defined and instilled a common understanding and approach 
to its global strike concept throughout the department, (2) the extent 
to which DOD has assessed and developed capabilities needed for global 
strike, and (3) the extent to which DOD has identified the funding 
requirements and developed an investment strategy for acquiring new 
global strike capabilities. 

To identify whether DOD has clearly defined and instilled a common 
understanding and approach to its global strike mission, we reviewed 
DOD guidance, concepts, studies and assessments, directives, briefings, 
status reports, and other pertinent documentation. We also interviewed 
and discussed this information with officials at the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Departments of the Army, Navy, 
and Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, U.S. Pacific Command, 
U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Strategic 
Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Air Combat Command, and Air Force 
Space Command. We also reviewed documentation on the department's 
efforts to develop capabilities for global strike, as well as, the 
results of studies and other assessments to determine the capabilities 
needed and potential solutions for improving global strike operations. 
To determine the extent to which DOD has identified the funding 
requirements and developed an investment strategy for acquiring new 
global strike capabilities, we reviewed documentation and interviewed 
DOD officials on the department's use of its Future Years Defense 
Program (FYDP) database[Footnote 6] and related supporting 
documentation to identify and manage possible programs that may 
contribute to global strike capabilities. We conducted an analysis of 
the FYDP and related supporting budget documentation for the 
President's fiscal year 2008 budget submission to Congress to determine 
the range of possible programs with global strike application. We 
conducted this performance audit from November 2006 through February 
2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based for our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Further 
information on our scope and methodology appears in appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

DOD has taken a number of steps to implement its global strike concept 
and has generally assigned responsibilities for the planning, 
execution, and support of global strike operations. However, key 
stakeholders, particularly the geographic combatant commanders, do not 
interpret the concept uniformly, such as the differences between global 
strike and other strike operations that are conducted by the geographic 
combatant commands. This disparity in stakeholder interpretation 
affects their ability to clearly distinguish the scope, range, and 
potential use of capabilities needed to implement global strike and 
under what conditions global strike would be used in U.S. military 
operations. Our prior work examining successful organizational 
transformations shows the necessity to communicate to stakeholders 
often and early with clear and specific objectives on what is to be 
achieved and what roles are assigned. The U.S. Strategic Command has 
played a major role in DOD's implementation of global strike, but 
several factors continue to affect other key stakeholders' 
interpretation and communication of the global strike concept. First, 
DOD has not provided a universally accepted definition, which, 
according to DOD officials, can lead to different interpretations of 
the term among the combatant commands, services, and DOD organizations. 
Second, DOD has not included a detailed discussion of global strike in 
any existing or proposed joint doctrine publications. Third, geographic 
combatant command and service officials believe that the Strategic 
Command should conduct more outreach to mitigate any misconceptions 
commands may have about global strike, particularly in light of 
frequent staff turnover. Fourth, stakeholders have not widely 
participated in joint exercises and other training, which can increase 
their understanding of global strike. Without a complete and clearly 
articulated concept that is well communicated and practiced with key 
stakeholders, DOD could encounter difficulties in fully implementing 
its concept and building the necessary relationships for carrying out 
global strike operations. To strengthen DOD's efforts to implement its 
global strike concept and improve communications and mutual 
understanding within DOD, we are recommending that DOD develop a 
universally accepted joint definition of global strike, incorporate 
global strike more fully in joint doctrine, establish a communications 
and outreach approach for global strike to help foster acceptance of 
the concept among stakeholders, and integrate global strike into more 
joint exercises and other training activities. 

DOD has underway or completed several global strike studies to identify 
potential conventional offensive strike weapons systems, particularly 
those for prompt global strike, which would provide global strike 
capabilities sometime after 2018. However, it has not fully assessed 
the requirements or coordinated improvements for related enabling 
capabilities that are critical to the planning and execution of 
successful global strike operations with the potential offensive 
systems it intends to develop. Critical enabling capabilities include 
intelligence collection and dissemination, surveillance and 
reconnaissance, and command and control, communications, and 
battlefield damage assessment. Although DOD has studies underway to 
develop prompt global strike capabilities and to examine potential 
offensive strike systems, these studies are limited to a particular 
focus of global strike or a particular weapon system and do not provide 
a complete assessment of enabling capabilities needed to support global 
strike operations. In addition, several DOD officials involved in 
assessing potential new global strike capabilities believe that 
enabling capabilities, such as intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance, are not being fully considered in global strike weapons 
studies because of assumptions that the capabilities will be available 
when any future system is fielded or because study staff do not have 
the clearances needed to access information on all DOD efforts for 
improving enabling capabilities. Furthermore, DOD has not coordinated 
all of its efforts to improve enabling capabilities with its 
assessments for new offensive global strike systems to better 
understand the range of enabling capabilities being developed and their 
estimated availability. Unless it fully assesses the enabling 
capabilities required or coordinates with other DOD studies, DOD might 
not make the best decision of which enabling capability to pursue to 
meet global strike requirements. As a result, we are recommending that 
DOD conduct a comprehensive assessment of enabling capabilities to 
identify any specific global strike operational requirements and 
priorities and when these capabilities are needed to support future 
offensive strike systems, in addition to linking its efforts with other 
department efforts examining potential strike systems for global 
strike. 

While DOD plans investments in a range of global-strike-related 
capabilities, it has not yet begun to develop a prioritized investment 
strategy that integrates its efforts to assess global strike options 
and makes choices among alternatives in light of the department's long- 
term fiscal challenges. Such a strategy could initially capture 
currently planned investments and be refined and updated as DOD further 
develops its global strike concept and identifies additional 
capabilities that may be needed. Our prior work has shown that a long- 
term and comprehensive investment approach is an important tool in an 
organization's decision-making process to define direction, establish 
priorities, assist with current and future budgets, and plan the 
actions needed to achieve goals. DOD long-term studies to identify 
potential offensive weapons systems for global strike, however, provide 
only limited investment information, and DOD officials have not clearly 
explained how the department plans to link these studies in developing 
a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. In 
addition, DOD has not fully assessed its Future Years Defense Program 
(FYDP), a tool DOD uses to project resources and proposed 
appropriations to support its programs, projects, and activities, to 
determine the extent that current development programs, projects, and 
activities could contribute to global strike operations. Our own 
analysis of the FYDP identified 94 program elements that would provide 
funding for 135 programs, projects, and activities having possible 
application for global strike. DOD organizations have identified and 
tracked some of these efforts, but without performing a comprehensive 
assessment of the FYDP to identify the full extent of potential global 
strike capabilities being developed, DOD does not have a complete 
understanding of actions being taken that could increase those 
capabilities and would have difficulty developing a prioritized long- 
term investment strategy. DOD is examining portfolio management 
approaches as a means to collectively align investments with its 
strategic goals and performance measures and provide a sound basis to 
justify the commitment of resources. According to the 2006 Quadrennial 
Defense Report, this approach enables decision makers to make informed 
choices about how to reallocate resources to deliver needed 
capabilities to the joint force more rapidly and efficiently. We are 
recommending that DOD perform a comprehensive review of all 
capabilities being developed within DOD's FYDP to determine the extent 
to which these capabilities contribute or can be leveraged for global 
strike and ensure that the results of the various studies to identify 
potential strike systems for global strike are evaluated and integrated 
into a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. 

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with all eight 
of our recommendations. DOD's comments are discussed in detail later in 
this report and reprinted in appendix III. DOD also provided two 
technical comments, which we incorporated in this report. 

Background: 

The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review envisioned that the New Triad would 
include the majority of current and planned conventional strike 
capabilities, as well as a family of unique global strike capabilities, 
to address the new security risks faced by the United States. Current 
global strike assets could include long-range precision attacks 
delivered from aircraft or naval platforms, such as B-52H bombers 
equipped with conventional air-launched cruise missiles and surface 
ships and submarines outfitted with sea-based Tomahawk land attack 
missiles. Use of nonkinetic capabilities, such as information 
operations, may also be needed to defeat an adversary's capability to 
deny U.S. forces access to areas or to achieve the surprise necessary 
to defeat high-value/high-payoff targets such as weapons of mass 
destruction, leadership, or command and control capabilities in more 
difficult environments. Successful conduct of global strike operations 
also is likely to require several enabling capabilities such as 
intelligence collection and dissemination, surveillance and 
reconnaissance, command and control, communications, and battlefield 
damage assessment to support all aspects of the planning and conduct of 
missions. Most of the platforms, weapons, nonkinetic assets and 
supporting command, control, communications, and computers and 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities used to 
support the global strike mission are not unique to global strike. 
These assets also provide general purpose capabilities used to support 
a variety of other missions conducted by the geographic combatant 
commands. However, DOD is studying several new capabilities to address 
shortfalls in prompt and global range conventional capabilities. 

Many DOD organizations, including the Joint Staff, military services, 
combatant commands, and defense agencies, have responsibilities for 
developing and implementing the global strike concept, identifying and 
acquiring needed capabilities, and conducting global strike missions. 
Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, two organizations have 
key responsibilities for overseeing and managing global strike related 
activities: 

* The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is 
responsible for developing the policy and guidance for global strike. 
The office is also responsible for preparing DOD's annual report to 
Congress on global strike, which includes information on the purpose, 
mission, assets, potential target, desired capabilities, and conditions 
for execution.[Footnote 7] 

* The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics is responsible for providing oversight for 
the development and fielding of global strike capabilities. The office 
also has responsibilities for various DOD initiatives to improve the 
department's acquisition processes and management of investments. 

Additionally, the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation in the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense is responsible for assembling and 
distributing the FYDP, which is an automated database that DOD uses to 
report the estimated projected resources and proposed appropriations to 
support DOD programs, projects, and activities, including those related 
to global strike capabilities. The FYDP includes cost estimates for the 
fiscal year reflected in the current budget request and at least 4 
subsequent years. 

The Joint Staff is responsible for providing oversight of the Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Joint Capabilities Integration and 
Development System process to identify improvements to existing 
capabilities and guide development of new capabilities from a joint 
perspective that recognizes the need for trade-off analysis. The 
various global strike analyses conducted as part of this process are 
intended to result in a set of potential solutions, including 
additional resources or changes to doctrine and training designed to 
correct capability shortcomings. The Joint Staff, along with the 
Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, have responsibilities for 
overseeing development of joint doctrine and managing and providing 
support for joint exercises of the combatant commands. Additionally, 
the military services and defense agencies also have important roles in 
identifying and acquiring potential technologies and weapons systems 
development programs that could provide global strike capabilities. 

The U.S. Strategic Command has a significant role in implementing the 
global strike concept and supporting global strike operations. For its 
global strike mission, the command is responsible for providing 
integrated planning and command and control support to deliver rapid, 
extended range, and precision kinetic and nonkinetic effects in support 
of theater and national objectives, and in some situations, executing 
command and control of selected global strike missions. The command 
also advocates for global strike capabilities on behalf of the 
combatant commands, services, and defense agencies through such means 
as preparing and reviewing global-strike-related documentation and 
analyzing needed capabilities. The command supports other combatant 
commands during day-to-day operations by integrating their capabilities 
for potential global strike missions through training, exercises, and 
planning activities. During a crisis, the command, in close 
coordination with other combatant commands, would develop plans and 
courses of action for executing global strike missions on very tight 
timelines for the Secretary of Defense or the President. The command 
also has responsibilities for other mission areas that support global 
strike, including oversight of intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance, and global command and control; DOD information 
operations; space operations; and integrating and synchronizing DOD's 
efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction.[Footnote 8] 

DOD Has Taken Steps to Implement Global Strike, but Its Concept Is 
Interpreted Differently by Key Stakeholders: 

DOD has taken a number of steps to implement its global strike concept 
and has generally assigned responsibilities for the planning, 
execution, and support of global strike operations. However, key 
stakeholders, particularly the geographic combatant commanders, have 
different interpretations of the scope, range, and potential use of 
capabilities needed to implement global strike and under what 
conditions global strike would be used in U.S. military operations. 
Several factors affect understanding and communication of the global 
strike concept among key stakeholders, including the extent to which 
DOD has (1) defined global strike, (2) incorporated global strike into 
joint doctrine, (3) conducted outreach and communication activities 
with key stakeholders, and (4) involved stakeholders in joint exercises 
and other training involving global strike. Without a complete and 
clearly articulated concept that is well communicated and practiced 
with key stakeholders, DOD could encounter difficulties in fully 
implementing its concept and building the necessary relationships for 
carrying out global strike operations. 

DOD Has Taken a Number of Steps to Implement Its Global Strike Concept: 

DOD has taken a number of steps to implement its global strike concept 
since completing its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, which provided the 
rationale for global strike. Specifically, the U.S. Strategic Command 
has played a major role in DOD's implementation of global strike by 
helping to shape the concept, developing new processes and procedures, 
and providing inputs in identifying and developing new capabilities. 

Since issuing its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, DOD has conducted 
several analyses to evaluate desired capabilities and identify 
capability gaps. In January 2005, DOD completed the Global Strike Joint 
Integrating Concept, which describes how a global strike joint task 
force would operate, the time frame and environment in which it must 
operate, its required capabilities, and its defining physical and 
operating characteristics. The concept was used as input for analyses 
conducted under the Joint Staff's Joint Capabilities Integration and 
Development System requirements process to identify the desired 
capabilities and shortfalls in current global strike capabilities. The 
first two of the three analyses, the functional area analysis and 
functional needs analysis, were completed in 2005. The functional area 
analysis synthesized existing guidance to specify the military problem 
to be studied. The analysis identified the specific military tasks the 
force is expected to perform, the conditions under which these tasks 
are to be performed, and the required standards of performance. The 
functional needs analysis examined that problem; assessed how well DOD 
can address the problem given its current program; identified 
capability gaps and shortfalls, risk areas, and redundancies; and 
identified the capabilities DOD should develop. The last of the 
analyses, Global Strike Raid Evaluation of Alternatives,[Footnote 9] 
will make recommendations on potential approaches to overcome 
capability gaps by way of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, 
leadership, personnel, and facilities actions. The Joint Staff plans to 
complete this analysis in May 2008. DOD also has several similar 
analytical efforts underway or completed, such as the Air Force-led 
Prompt Global Strike Analysis of Alternatives, to identify potential 
weapons systems solutions for global strike. 

Moreover, the U.S. Strategic Command has been implementing its assigned 
planning and command and control support responsibilities for the 
global strike mission. In addition to the support its headquarters 
provides for DOD efforts to implement and develop global strike 
capabilities, the command established a joint functional component 
command for global strike and integration to provide day-to-day 
management for its global strike mission. The command has also 
initiated several activities including improving processes and 
procedures for command and control, communications, and decision making 
and the management of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance 
assets, and incorporating global strike operations into its concept 
plan. For example, development of adaptive planning systems such as the 
theater integrated planning subsystem and the integrated strategic 
planning and analysis network will allow Strategic Command planners to 
collaborate with and support the geographic combatant commands. 

Global Strike Is Interpreted Differently among Combatant Command and 
Service Stakeholders: 

While key stakeholders have been involved in various global strike 
development efforts, global strike is interpreted differently among 
combatant command and service officials, who have significant roles and 
responsibilities in planning, coordinating, and executing global strike 
operations. DOD, Joint Staff, combatant command, and service officials 
we spoke with generally believe that global strike is a broad and 
unbounded concept that could include a wide range of forces and other 
capabilities and involve different scenarios. As a result, the concept 
can be difficult to understand and creates different interpretations 
among stakeholders. For example, officials from the services offered a 
range of different interpretations of global strike operations: 

* At a roundtable discussion we held with a number of officials at the 
U.S. Pacific Air Force Command, which supports the U.S. Pacific 
Command, the consensus reached was that global strike was a mission 
associated with the U.S. Strategic Command and the strikes conducted 
would originate from the continental United States. Some of the 
officials said that global strike was a special capability reserved 
only for the President, Secretary of Defense, and a Joint Force 
Commander. 

* U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters representatives told us that global 
strike implied that the capability would originate from outside the 
geographic command's region and would not include maritime-based 
targets. 

* Air Force Air Combat Command representatives told us that they viewed 
global strike as encompassing a mission that was an autonomous event; 
had a global element; occurred in days rather than months; and involved 
no build-up of forces in the area of the strike prior to the mission. 

Additionally, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command officials 
we spoke with had difficulty distinguishing the differences between 
global strike and theater strike operations, which are strike 
operations conducted by a geographic command against potential targets 
within its area of responsibility. U.S. Pacific Command headquarters 
officials told us that they did not see a clear distinction between the 
characteristics and objectives of global strike and a theater strike. 
The officials said that operations in theater conducted by their 
command would address all potential targets, including high-value ones 
that are also identified as potential targets for global strike. Some 
Pacific Command officials viewed global strike as a unique capability 
that is requested by the theater commander when it is considered a 
better option. Other Pacific Command officials said the only difference 
between the two types of strike operations is whether the U.S. 
Strategic Command or the affected combatant command is assigned lead 
responsibility for the planning and/or execution of the operation. U.S. 
Central Command officials also agreed that global strike is currently a 
broad and unbounded concept that can, depending upon interpretation, 
take in much of current theater operations. 

Different Stakeholder Interpretation of Global Strike Exists Due to 
Several Factors: 

We identified four factors that have led to stakeholders' varying 
perceptions of the global strike concept. These factors include the 
extent to which DOD has (1) defined global strike, (2) incorporated 
global strike into joint doctrine, (3) conducted outreach and 
communication activities with key stakeholders, and (4) involved 
stakeholders in joint exercises and other training involving global 
strike. However, while DOD has taken some actions to address each of 
these factors, further management actions are needed to foster better 
understanding and communication with key stakeholders for global 
strike. 

DOD Has Not Clearly Defined Global Strike: 

DOD uses several definitions to describe global strike in its key 
studies, reports, and other documents. However, various officials from 
a number of DOD organizations do not believe these definitions provide 
a clear and consistent description of global strike. According to 
officials in DOD's Program Analysis and Evaluation Office, global 
strike is not well-defined and the term can mean different things among 
the combatant commands, services, and DOD organizations. DOD Program 
Analysis and Evaluation Office officials said that while a Senior 
Warfighter Forum[Footnote 10] in August 2006, which was led by the U.S. 
Strategic Command and included participants from the services, 
combatant commands, and defense agencies, was able to reach a consensus 
on a list of attributes for global strike capabilities, the forum was 
unable to agree on a common definition for global strike. A senior 
official in DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics said that DOD does not have a 
common definition for global strike or for prompt global strike. 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics officials told us, however, that 
DOD intends to reach agreement with stakeholders on a common global 
strike definition through the series of ongoing studies on potential 
global strike weapons systems that are nearing completion. Table 1 
provides some examples of the definitions used within DOD to describe 
global strike. 

Table 1: Examples of Definitions Used by DOD to Describe Global Strike: 

Definition of global strike: "...the capability for accelerated 
planning and execution using the full range of kinetic and non-kinetic 
effects, special operations force capabilities in support of national 
or theater commanders' objectives."; 
Document: Report to Congress: Global Strike Plan, The Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, June 2004. 

Definition of global strike: "...responsive joint operations that 
strike enemy high value/payoff targets, as an integral part of joint 
force operations conducted to gain and maintain battlespace access, 
achieve other desired effects and set conditions to achieve strategic 
and operational objectives."; 
Document: Global Strike Joint Integrating Concept, Department of 
Defense, January 2005. 

Definition of global strike: "...the ability to rapidly plan and 
deliver limited-duration and extended-range attacks to achieve 
precision effects against highly valued adversary assets."; 
Document: Deterrence Operations Joint Operating Concept, Department of 
Defense, July 2006. 

Definition of global strike: "The capability to rapidly attack fleeting 
or emerging high-value targets without warning, anywhere on the globe 
to meet national objectives. Global strike is also the capability to 
neutralize the adversary's anti-access systems, paving the way for 
follow-on forces."; 
Document: Air Force Concepts of Operations, Department of the Air 
Force, December 27, 2006. 

Definition of global strike: "...as rapidly planned, limited-duration, 
extended-range precision attacks that are conducted to achieve 
strategic objectives. They may be executed against highly valued 
adversary assets using lethal and nonlethal methods."[A]; 
Document: Homeland Security, Joint Publication 3-26, August 1, 2005, 
and Homeland Defense, Joint Publication 3-27, July 12, 2007, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff. 

Source: Multiple DOD sources. 

[A] Joint Publication 3-27 states that the global strike term and its 
definition are applicable only in the context of that publication and 
cannot be referenced outside of the publication. 

[End of table] 

The lack of a universally accepted definition has hindered some of the 
services from incorporating global strike into their documents. U.S. 
Pacific Fleet representatives told us that because DOD has not provided 
a common definition or bounded the global strike concept and mission 
very well, the Pacific Fleet has not incorporated global strike into 
its planning and training activities and documents. Additionally, 
Department of the Army headquarters officials told us that, due to the 
lack of an approved joint definition of global strike, the Army has yet 
to incorporate global strike into its documents and publications. The 
officials also said the role and responsibilities and contributions of 
the Army for global strike operations have not been clearly defined in 
global strike documents. The Army would likely play a role in global 
strike operations by deploying follow-on forces after a global strike 
attack to assess battle damage and provide security and civil 
operations, according to the officials. 

Officials at the U.S. Special Operations Command told us that the lack 
of a universally accepted common definition would not affect the 
successful planning and execution of a global strike operation. The 
officials said that should a decision be made to conduct a global 
strike operation, the specific details will be provided in various 
orders prior to the operation. However, the officials stated that an 
agreed upon definition that gave a specific description of the global 
strike would provide everyone with a common point of departure and 
clearer understanding of the term. U.S. Central Command officials 
similarly agreed that a clear, accepted joint definition would help to 
promote a more consistent interpretation of global strike and what it 
entails. According to Air Force headquarters officials, while the Air 
Force has developed a definition that focuses on its own forces' 
contributions and support for global strike, a joint definition that is 
generally accepted and used throughout DOD would provide common ground 
among the services and DOD organizations for discussing and 
interpreting global strike. Officials in the Joint Staff's Force 
Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate likewise agreed that a 
universally accepted global strike definition would promote greater 
acceptance and understanding among DOD organizations. 

Global Strike Has Not Been Widely Included in Joint Doctrine: 

While the Joint Chiefs of Staff has included a short description of 
global strike and the responsibilities of the U.S. Strategic Command 
for the global strike mission in two joint doctrine publications for 
homeland security and homeland defense,[Footnote 11] it has not 
included a more detailed discussion of global strike operations in any 
other existing or proposed doctrine publication. Joint doctrine 
consists of the fundamental principles that guide the employment of 
military forces in a coordinated action toward a common objective and 
is meant to enhance the operational effectiveness of U.S. forces. 
According to officials in the Joint Doctrine Group at the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command, global strike and the mission responsibilities of the 
U.S. Strategic Command were included in the homeland security and 
homeland defense joint publications to cite an example of a possible 
preemptive and/or offensive action that could be taken in defense of 
the United States. The officials said the publications were not 
intended to provide a comprehensive and specific discussion of global 
strike operations but rather to discuss how global strike would 
contribute to homeland security and defense objectives. 

Although a proposed joint publication on strategic attack was to 
include a more detailed discussion of global strike, the publication 
was cancelled and there have been no other proposals for incorporating 
such a discussion in any new or existing joint publication. Officials 
in the Joint Forces Command's Joint Doctrine Group said that a detailed 
discussion of global strike was to be included in a proposed joint 
publication on strategic attack, which would have focused on the 
strategic effects achieved at the theater operational and/or tactical 
levels of war. In June 2005, U.S. Strategic Command, the lead sponsor 
for the new publication, submitted a draft publication for review but 
the publication was subsequently cancelled after it was determined to 
be inconsistent with the approved Joint Staff guidance for preparing 
the publication. According to Joint Doctrine Group officials, the 
proposed publication on strategic attack would have overlapped with 
other publications and did not provide any unique doctrinal 
fundamentals that were not already covered in existing doctrine. 
According to officials in Joint Forces Command's Joint Doctrine Group, 
a proposal to include a more comprehensive discussion of global strike 
in joint publications could be made to the Joint Staff and their group 
would be responsible for conducting an analysis to determine the 
proposal's validity. However, the officials said they were not aware of 
any action by the U.S. Strategic Command or another organization to 
propose that global strike be considered for a new joint publication or 
incorporated into an existing one. The Joint Doctrine Group officials 
told us they believe that a proposal has not been made because the 
joint community may not consider global strike to be mature enough and 
therefore be reluctant to incorporate it into joint doctrine until the 
concept is better defined and demonstrated in joint exercises and 
actual crises. U.S. Strategic Command officials told us that their 
command had no current plans to resurrect the strategic attack 
publication or propose one for global strike. 

Although some officials in the joint community say that incorporating 
global strike into joint doctrine is premature, several DOD officials 
said that developing joint doctrine would promote understanding and 
implementation of the concept. The Air Force's Air Combat Command and 
U.S. Central Command officials told us that there is sufficient reason 
to begin developing or incorporating global strike into existing 
doctrine for those forces and capabilities that are currently available 
to conduct a global strike operation. The Air Combat Command officials 
said that because of the 2-year process to develop doctrine, it makes 
sense to begin creating joint doctrine now for current capabilities. 
The officials added that the resulting doctrine would be revised as 
additional global strike capabilities, such as advanced prompt global 
strike systems, become available. Additionally, a U.S. Central Command 
official stated that the development of joint doctrine would help 
clarify the global strike concept because it could assist operational 
planners in explaining the situations where global strike would be a 
good option and the responsibilities and expectations of the U.S. 
Strategic Command and the geographic commands. Central Command 
officials said that doctrine also could distinguish global strike from 
other types of strike operations conducted by geographic combatant 
commands. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff's instruction on the 
development of joint doctrine, joint doctrine standardizes the 
terminology, training, relationships, responsibilities, and processes 
among all U.S. forces to free joint force commanders and their staffs 
to focus efforts on solving the strategic, operational, and tactical 
problems confronting them.[Footnote 12] Without a more comprehensive 
inclusion of global strike within joint doctrine for current 
capabilities, the combatant commands and services will not have 
complete guidance to further their understanding and effectively plan, 
prepare, and deploy forces for global strike operations. 

Opportunities Exist to Enhance U.S. Strategic Command's Outreach 
Approach for Global Strike: 

Although the U.S. Strategic Command has taken steps to explain and 
promote understanding of global strike operations and its mission 
responsibilities, various geographic combatant command and service 
officials we spoke with generally said that the Strategic Command 
should increase its global strike outreach activities (e.g., visits, 
briefings, and education) to reach more staff throughout the commands 
and services. These officials also said that these activities should be 
provided on a continuous and consistent basis to reach command and 
service staffs that experience frequent turnover. As part of its 
responsibilities for the global strike mission, the Strategic Command 
supports other combatant commanders and integrates the capabilities of 
all affected combatant commands through training, exercises, and 
planning for both theater interests and potential global strike 
missions. In our prior work in identifying key practices adopted by 
organizations undergoing successful transformations, we found that it 
is essential for organizations to adopt a communication strategy that 
provides a common framework for conducting consistent and coordinated 
outreach within and outside its organization and seeks to genuinely 
engage all stakeholders in the organization's transformation. 

U.S. Strategic Command officials have conducted visits, provided 
briefings, and assigned liaison staff to the geographic combatant 
commands to promote understanding of its global strike mission and 
responsibilities. The Strategic Command, according the command's 
liaison to U.S. Central Command, initiated a visit to the Central 
Command in October 2006 to provide a briefing on all of the command's 
missions and activities, including global strike. The liaison said that 
the visit provided an opportunity for Central Command's staff to gain 
perspectives on global strike and the Strategic Command's mission 
responsibilities. Similarly, U.S. Special Operations Command officials 
told us that the Strategic Command's joint functional component command 
for global strike and integration commander provided a global strike 
mission briefing to U.S. Special Operations Command's senior leadership 
in August 2006. 

However, while Strategic Command officials are generally satisfied with 
the existing communications, a number of other combatant commands are 
looking for additional support. U.S. Pacific Command officials told us 
that while the Pacific Command has established a close relationship 
with the Strategic Command over the past few years, the command is 
still learning about Strategic Command's mission responsibilities, 
particularly for global strike. According to Pacific Command officials, 
the U.S. Strategic Command's liaison officer provided an outreach 
briefing in early 2007 to their organization which included information 
on the global strike concept. The officials said that similar briefings 
should be given regularly throughout the command because of the 
constant turnover of staff. According to the U.S. Strategic Command's 
liaison at the U.S. Pacific Command, it does not appear that 
information on global strike is getting out to all of the Pacific 
Command staff. The liaison based his statement on comments made by 
Pacific Command staff to GAO during a March 2007 visit to the command. 
This indicates, according to the liaison, that the Strategic Command 
should provide briefings and hold discussion sessions with more of the 
Pacific Command organizations, particularly on how global strike 
operations fit into the theater commander's plans and differ from other 
types of theater operations. Air Force Space Command officials told us 
that the Strategic Command should provide thorough and updated 
education and communication of its prompt global strike mission with 
the geographic combatant commands to increase understanding and 
mitigate any misconceptions the commands may have about the conduct of 
global strike operations in their regions. The officials said that it 
is important for the Strategic Command and other combatant commands to 
establish a consistent dialogue on their roles and responsibilities and 
the use of global strike weapons before any new prompt global strike 
weapon is deployed. Similarly, a U.S. Central Command official said 
that the Strategic Command should conduct more outreach activities for 
global strike with combatant command staffs to explain the global 
strike concept and the relationships with other commands. Additionally, 
U.S. Special Operations Command officials told us that while they found 
the Strategic Command's Web site beneficial, it was not widely known 
among the command's staff. 

While the U.S. Strategic Command has taken several positive actions to 
promote global strike and its mission, without a consistent and 
comprehensive outreach strategy the command may not reach the combatant 
commands and services to the extent needed to foster acceptance and 
understanding of global strike. As a result, the command may encounter 
difficulty in future global strike implementation efforts. 

Global Strike Has Not Been Widely Practiced in Exercises and Training: 

Joint exercises and other training activities can provide opportunities 
for service and combatant command staffs to practice operational 
procedures and processes to increase their understanding of global 
strike. However, global strike has only been included in a few major 
joint exercises, largely those sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command, 
over the past 2 years. The U.S. Strategic Command has incorporated 
global strike and its other missions into its annual joint command 
exercises. Beginning with the command's Global Lightning exercise in 
November 2005, the Strategic Command has included global strike 
objectives in its annual Global Lightning, Global Storm, and Global 
Thunder exercises. According to Strategic Command officials, 
representatives from some of the other combatant commands have 
participated in portions of these exercises, while other combatant 
commands, such as the U.S. Central Command, may not always participate 
because of other commitments. A Strategic Command joint exercise 
division official said, however, that some global strike objectives 
have been incorporated into recent exercises sponsored by U.S. Pacific, 
European, and Special Operations Commands. For instance, global strike 
time-sensitive planning has been included in Special Operations 
Command's Able Warrior exercises. 

U.S. Strategic Command officials told us that while global strike needs 
to be incorporated to a greater extent in joint exercises, it is often 
difficult because of differing exercise objectives. For example, a 
senior official in the Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component 
Command for Global Strike and Integration said that including global 
strike objectives in joint exercises other than those of Strategic 
Command can be challenging because it is often difficult to create 
scenarios that make sense for executing a global strike mission 
considering other primary exercise objectives. U.S. Central Command, 
for example, has not included global strike in the joint exercises it 
sponsors. Additionally, officials in U.S. Strategic Command's exercise 
branch told us that other combatant commands are hesitant to add 
objectives that could lessen the focus on the primary exercise 
objectives. As a result, Strategic Command officials said that it can 
also be difficult to overlap its exercises with those of another 
command. For example, U.S. Strategic Command proposed linking its 
Global Lightning 2007 exercise, which had a global strike focus, with 
U.S. Pacific Command's Terminal Fury 2007 exercise. Both were scheduled 
for late 2006. Global Lightning and Terminal Fury are annual command 
post exercises sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Pacific 
Command, respectively, and involve the commanders and their staffs in 
testing and validating the communications within and between 
headquarters and simulated forces in deterring a military attack and 
employing forces as directed. Terminal Fury is partly intended to train 
the command's staff in exercising its theater warfighting concept plan 
and is considered by the commander of the Pacific Command to be the 
command's number one priority exercise. The Pacific Command agreed to 
overlap the two exercises after the command determined there would be 
only minimal impact on its objectives. However, U.S. Pacific Fleet 
officials told us that Pacific Command, reluctant to have another 
command operate forces in its theater, insisted on having control of 
the forces executing the global strike operation in the exercise. 

U.S. Strategic Command makes some training on global strike available 
to its staff and those of other commands and organizations. An official 
in U.S. Strategic Command's joint exercise division, who was designated 
to speak for the command, told us that staffs from U.S. Special 
Operations, Pacific, and European Commands have attended basic courses 
on global strike during visits to Strategic Command. The official said 
that the global strike courses are also available on its Web site on 
DOD's classified computer network. Additionally, during the preparation 
for joint exercises, participating staffs are made aware and encouraged 
to take the online courses to come up to speed on various areas. 
However, the command is considering sending staff to other combatant 
commands to help provide more consistent training. 

DOD Is Assessing Several Potential Offensive Strike Weapons Systems for 
Global Strike but Has Not Fully Assessed Related Enabling Capabilities: 

DOD has underway or completed several global strike assessments to 
identify potential conventional offensive strike weapons systems it may 
need in the near, mid, and long term,[Footnote 13] particularly those 
for prompt global strike. However, DOD has not fully assessed the 
requirements for various enabling capabilities it needs for global 
strike or coordinated its efforts to improve these capabilities with 
potential offensive systems it intends to develop. Enabling 
capabilities DOD considers critical include intelligence collection and 
dissemination, surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, 
communications, and battlefield damage assessment. Without a full 
assessment of enabling capabilities, DOD may not make the best decision 
regarding which enabling capability improvements to pursue to meet 
global strike operational requirements. 

DOD Efforts Largely Focus on Evaluating Potential Near-, Mid-, and Long-
term Offensive Global Strike Capabilities: 

While DOD has several analyses underway to determine desired 
capabilities and identify capability gaps and shortcomings, recent 
efforts for global strike have largely focused on developing new 
offensive strike systems that provide improved prompt and long-distance 
response capabilities. DOD has two major efforts underway to develop 
potential offensive systems that provide a sea-and land-based prompt 
global strike capability in the near-and midterm time frames. For the 
long term, DOD has four key studies underway or completed that are 
examining potential offensive strike systems to provide global strike 
capabilities beginning sometime after 2018. 

To provide a near-term prompt global strike capability, DOD has 
requested funds to develop the Navy's conventional Trident modification 
proposal, which would place conventional warheads on some Trident II 
ballistic missiles aboard strategic Trident submarines. However, while 
Navy plans could have the modified missile available around 2011, the 
proposal has not been fully funded in recent budgets because of 
congressional concerns over placing conventional missiles on submarines 
that would also carry missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. Because 
of these concerns, Congress has also mandated a study by the National 
Academy of Sciences[Footnote 14] to review alternative prompt global 
strike options. The Academy provided the Senate Appropriations 
Subcommittee on Defense with an interim report in May 2007, which 
concluded that a single system for prompt global strike was not the 
best way to proceed in the long term given the uncertainties in the 
strategic environment and a range of systems that need to developed. 
The report also concluded that while the conventional Trident missile 
is not the optimal solution, it offers the only viable prompt global 
strike capability within the next 6 years. The Academy plans to issue a 
final report in the spring of 2008. Additionally, in the conference 
report for the defense fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill, the 
conferees agreed to provide no funding for testing, fabrication, or 
deployment of the new conventional Trident missile. 

The Air Force Space Command is examining a midterm land-based ballistic 
missile system that would provide a prompt global strike capability and 
could be available as early as 2015. The proposed conventional strike 
missile would carry off-the-shelf conventional weapons and may 
incorporate a new maneuverable weapons delivery system. The Air Force's 
preliminary plans would station the conventional strike missile first 
at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which has some preexisting 
infrastructure that can support the system, and possibly later at Cape 
Canaveral, Florida. However, several technical, security, and policy 
issues would need to be resolved before the missile could be fielded, 
including technological advances in thermal protection systems and 
resolution of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty implications. Beginning 
in fiscal year 2008, the Air Force transferred its funding for prompt 
global strike to a defensewide account to fund a consolidated, 
multiservice approach, managed by the Office of the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. 

To provide global strike capabilities sometime after 2018, DOD has 
conducted four global strike capability assessment studies: (1) Next 
Generation Long-Range Strike Analysis of Alternatives, (2) Nuclear and 
Conventional Global Strike Missile Study, (3) Prompt Global Strike 
Analysis of Alternatives, and (4) Global Strike Raid Evaluation of 
Alternatives. Each is shown in table 2. 

Table 2: DOD Long-term Global Strike Studies to Identify Potential 
Offensive Strike Systems: 

Study: Next Generation Long-Range Strike Analysis of Alternatives; 
Lead organization responsible for conducting study: Air Combat Command; 
Purpose: Recommend the most cost-effective weapon system capable of 
penetrating and persisting in antiaccess environments by 2018 to 
achieve desired effects; 
Actual/ planned study completion date: April 2007. 

Study: Nuclear and Conventional Global Strike Missile Study; 
Lead organization responsible for conducting study: U.S. Strategic 
Command and U.S. Air Force; 
Purpose: Assess the mission requirements for a successor to the 
Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile and the technical 
characteristics associated with those requirements; 
Assess the mission requirements for a prompt global strike missile and 
the technical characteristics associated with those requirements; 
Assess the potential for adapting a conventional prompt global strike 
missile into a Minuteman III successor; 
Actual/ planned study completion date: August 2007. 

Study: Prompt Global Strike Analysis of Alternatives; 
Lead organization responsible for conducting study: Air Force Space 
Command; 
Purpose: Evaluate a range of system concepts to deliver precision 
weapons with global reach, in minutes to hours, to provide 
effectiveness and cost information necessary to justify initiation of 
an acquisition program; 
Actual/ planned study completion date: Spring 2008. 

Study: Global Strike Raid Evaluation of Alternatives; 
Lead organization responsible for conducting study: Joint Staff; 
Purpose: Recommend investment alternatives for global strike to address 
identified capability gaps; 
Actual/ planned study completion date: May 2008. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD global strike studies. 

[End of table] 

DOD has completed two of its four long-term studies examining potential 
offensive strike systems to provide global strike capabilities sometime 
after 2018. Three of the four studies assess possible offensive strike 
weapons systems that would provide a prompt and long-range capability 
for global strike, while the fourth study, the Next Generation Long 
Range Strike Analysis of Alternatives, examines potential strike 
systems that could potentially travel great distances to penetrate and 
loiter deep within an enemy's territory to deliver high-volume strikes 
against time-critical targets.[Footnote 15] 

DOD Considers Enabling Capabilities as Critical for Conducting 
Successful Global Strike Operations: 

Enabling capabilities that DOD considers critical in supporting global 
strike operations include intelligence collection and dissemination, 
surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, communications, 
and battlefield damage assessment. Planning, executing, and assessing 
the success of global strike operations may place greater demands on 
enabling capabilities as new offensive capabilities are acquired. 
Although the successful conduct of all strike operations depends on 
enabling capabilities, the nature of global strike operations--such as 
the potentially long distances over which strike systems may be 
required to operate, compressed time frames for execution, improved 
accuracy, the fleeting nature of some global strike targets, and the 
high-level decision authority required--creates potential operational 
challenges for these capabilities. Figure 1 shows the role of enabling 
capabilities in supporting sequential key events in the conduct of 
strike operations from prior monitoring of the area; initially finding, 
locating, and identifying a target; executing a strike; to conducting 
of battlefield damage assessment to determine the success of the strike 
and whether further actions are required. 

Figure 1: Support Provided by Enabling Capabilities in the Conduct of 
Global Strike Operations: 

This figure is a flowchart of support provided by enabling capabilities 
in the conduct of global strike operations. 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: DOD. 

[End of figure] 

According to the Defense Science Board's Report on Future Strategic 
Strike Forces,[Footnote 16] current enabling capabilities are not 
sufficient to fully support the requirements for global strike 
operations. Current intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and 
command and control capabilities generally do not provide the 
persistent coverage, processing and sharing of information, and rapid 
planning required for compressed global strike time frames, according 
to U.S. Strategic Command officials. Additionally, Air Force Space 
Command officials told us that they are concerned about whether current 
capabilities of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets 
would be able to recognize and assess the damage caused by future 
global strike systems. For example, future systems may use flechette 
warheads, which would disperse metal darts upon impact that do not 
create large craters like traditional explosive devices; therefore, the 
damage may not be readily visible to intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance assets. Further, according to U.S. Air Force officials, 
current enabling capabilities lack the ability to reliably produce up- 
to-date accurate and responsive information to strike fleeting targets 
that can change locations unexpectedly, particularly in areas where 
U.S. forces may be denied access. Fleeting targets may be difficult to 
detect or identify with current intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance sensors because of the adversary's use of techniques 
such as mobility and/or camouflage, concealment, and deception. 
Therefore, the target must be rapidly engaged before the adversary can 
employ these techniques and disrupt effective targeting efforts. 
According to Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency, and RAND 
Corporation[Footnote 17] officials we spoke with, striking mobile and 
fleeting targets--the most difficult types of targets to strike-- 
requires greater intelligence capabilities than many other types of 
strike operations to positively identify the target and provide 
persistent surveillance to track and engage the target. 

DOD is pursuing several independent efforts to assess and improve 
enabling capabilities that are critical elements in the pre-and 
poststrike phases of global strike operations. For example, U.S. 
Strategic Command has a number of initiatives underway to improve 
command and control with the goal of providing military planners with a 
clear understanding of the threat, fast and accurate planning, and 
tools for timely and efficient decision making. Additionally, U.S. 
Strategic Command and defense agencies, such as the Defense 
Intelligence Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, are 
exploring initiatives to reduce the time needed to gather information 
for strike planning and assessments by increasing available 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. For 
example, to be able to quickly assess battle damage, the Defense Threat 
Reduction Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are 
exploring the idea of dispensing intelligence, surveillance, and 
reconnaissance sensors from future prompt global strike platforms, such 
as the proposed conventional strike missile, around target areas 
shortly before the release of its weapon. 

DOD's Recent Studies Have Not Comprehensively Included Assessments of 
Critical Enabling Capabilities: 

Recent DOD studies to identify potential offensive strike systems for 
global strike provide only limited assessments of the enabling 
capabilities needed for a particular focus of global strike or a 
particular weapons system and do not collectively provide a complete 
assessment of enabling capabilities needed to support global strike 
operations. Joint Staff officials who are conducting the Global Strike 
Raid Evaluation of Alternatives study said they plan to assess the 
enabling capabilities as an important step in understanding all of the 
capabilities needed to support global strike operations. However, the 
global strike raid study will only analyze the use of global strike as 
a limited strike capability against time-critical targets and will not 
examine its use in all aspects of major combat operations. Similarly, 
the Nuclear and Conventional Global Strike Missile Study only examined 
enabling capabilities needed for the future conventional and nuclear 
land-based ballistic missile options considered in its assessment. 
However, the National Academy of Sciences, recognizing the importance 
and greater demand that global strike would place on enabling 
capabilities, plans to include an assessment of global strike 
capabilities in its congressionally mandated spring 2008 final report 
on conventional prompt global strike. 

Global strike operations can increase the demand for enabling 
capabilities depending on the threat and the target to be attacked. For 
example, conducting strikes against mobile delivery systems for weapons 
of mass destruction poses one of the most dangerous and elusive threats 
for global strike operations. Defense Threat Reduction Agency officials 
told us that they rely on enabling capabilities to provide the 
information needed to locate the target and guide the weapons system to 
strike with accuracy within compressed time frames, while minimizing 
any potential collateral effects. Moreover, the intelligence needed for 
planning and executing strikes against mobile delivery systems for 
weapons of mass destruction is currently limited or incomplete, 
according to Defense Threat Reduction Agency officials. 

Several DOD and Air Force officials we spoke with said that enabling 
capabilities were not being fully considered to the extent needed in 
global strike system studies. According to a DOD Program Analysis and 
Evaluation official, who has responsibility for global strike issues, 
both of the Air Force's analyses of alternatives studies--i.e., prompt 
global strike and next generation long-range strike--had methodological 
weaknesses because neither assessed the enabling capabilities required 
for conducting global strike operations. Instead, the teams conducting 
the two studies assumed that certain needed improvements in enabling 
capabilities, such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, 
would be available when any future system is fielded. The scope and 
range of enabling capabilities that could be assessed in the studies 
were limited because of the need to obtain special security clearances, 
according to U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command 
officials. Similarly, the Global Strike Raid Evaluation of Alternatives 
study was delayed for several months because of difficulties obtaining 
special access clearances needed to review enabling capability 
development efforts across DOD. Air Force officials responsible for 
conducting the Prompt Global Strike Analysis of Alternatives stated 
that an assessment of needed enabling capabilities should be done to 
complement their study. However, the officials did not know of any such 
assessment of enabling capabilities being conducted. The Air Force 
officials said that their analysis does not completely address enabling 
capabilities because (1) an assessment of enabling capabilities was not 
the focus of their analysis, (2) the analysis work required to assess 
offensive systems for their study alone is expected to take 2 years, 
(3) the study staff lacks the special access clearances required to 
obtain information on all DOD efforts for improving enabling 
capabilities, and (4) the services submitting proposals for potential 
prompt global strike systems wanted to limit their cost estimates to 
the weapon system only. 

Furthermore, the analyses conducted for the conventional Trident 
missile and conventional strike missile proposals have not fully 
included assessments of required enabling capabilities. According to 
Joint Staff officials we spoke with, the analyses conducted for the 
Navy's conventional Trident missile proposal did not fully consider 
intelligence capabilities and requirements. As a result, the 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities needed to 
support this potential global strike system, which are currently in 
limited availability, may not be in place since an analysis of enabling 
capabilities has not yet been performed for it. Air Force Space Command 
officials developing the conventional strike missile told us that they 
have yet to perform an analysis of the enabling capabilities that 
potential strike systems would require. 

Additionally, DOD has not coordinated all of its efforts to improve 
enabling capabilities with its assessments for new offensive global 
strike systems. Because DOD has not fully assessed the enabling 
capabilities required or coordinated various department efforts to 
improve enabling capabilities alongside its plans for future strike 
systems, it may not have all of the key enabling capabilities in place 
when needed to support new offensive capabilities if and when they are 
funded. For example, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 
officials told us that the agency recognizes that such efforts as its 
Rapid Eye program, which is examining concepts for an aircraft that 
would arrive within hours in an emerging area of interest to provide a 
limited persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance 
capability, could potentially fill gaps in enabling capabilities needed 
for global strike. Nevertheless, the officials said that DOD has not 
yet recognized the importance of coordinating these efforts with 
ongoing offensive global strike system assessments to better understand 
the range of enabling capabilities being developed and their estimated 
availability. DOD has taken some important first steps to formulate a 
strategy for improving the integration of future intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements through the development 
of its Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Integration 
Roadmap. However, as we previously reported in 2007, the roadmap does 
not define requirements for global persistent surveillance; clarify 
what intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements are 
already filled; identify critical gaps as areas for future focus; or 
otherwise represent an enterprise-level architecture of what the 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance enterprise is to be for 
future operations, such as global strike.[Footnote 18] 

Since DOD has not fully assessed the required enabling capabilities or 
coordinated various department efforts to improve enabling 
capabilities, such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance 
and command and control, for future strike systems, DOD might not make 
the best decisions regarding which enabling capabilities to pursue. As 
a result, the effectiveness of these new offensive capabilities against 
critical high-value targets may be limited when initially fielded. 

DOD Has Identified and Tracked Some Investments Related to Global 
Strike but Has Not Developed a Prioritized Global Strike Investment 
Strategy: 

While DOD plans investments in a range of global-strike-related 
capabilities, it has not yet begun to develop a prioritized investment 
strategy that considers the breadth of current efforts and future plans 
to develop capabilities for global strike, integrates these efforts to 
assess global strike options, and makes choices among alternatives in 
light of the department's long-term fiscal challenges. Such a strategy 
would initially capture currently planned investments and would be 
refined and updated as DOD further develops its concept and identifies 
additional capabilities. Our prior work has shown that a long-term and 
comprehensive investment approach is an important tool in an 
organization's decision-making process to define direction, establish 
priorities, assist with current and future budgets, and plan the 
actions needed to achieve goals. DOD studies and officials have 
identified a need for a broad, holistic view of global strike 
development that captures and gives visibility to all its efforts-- 
proposed or underway--for increasing both offensive and enabling global 
strike capabilities. However, DOD has not fully assessed its FYDP to 
determine the extent to which current development programs, projects, 
and activities could contribute to global strike capabilities or 
explained how it plans to link its long-term studies to identify 
potential offensive weapons systems for global strike that will result 
in a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy. Ongoing DOD 
initiatives examining portfolio management approaches to manage 
selected groupings of investments could help DOD in developing a 
comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. 

Comprehensive Investment Strategies Are an Important Tool in an 
Organization's Decision-making Process: 

Our prior work has shown that developing a long-term, comprehensive 
investment strategy provides an organization with an important tool in 
its decision-making process to define direction, establish priorities, 
assist with current and future budgets, and plan the actions needed to 
achieve goals. This strategy is intended to be a dynamic document, 
which would be refined and updated to adapt to changing circumstances. 
Such a strategy addresses needs, capabilities gaps, alternatives, and 
affordability, and includes information on future investment 
requirements, projected resources, investment priorities and trade- 
offs, milestones, and funding timelines. It allows an organization to 
address requirements on an enterprisewide, or departmentwide, basis and 
provides a means to evaluate the efficacy and severity of capability 
gaps or, alternatively, areas of redundancy. Without a long-term, 
comprehensive prioritized investment strategy, it is difficult to fully 
account for and assess real and potential contributions from other 
current and future weapons and supporting systems providing similar 
capabilities, mitigate capability shortfalls and eliminate duplication, 
and allocate scare funds among a range of priorities. 

DOD Has Not Conducted a Comprehensive Assessment of Global-strike- 
related Efforts in Its FYDP: 

Various DOD officials we spoke with recognize the need for DOD to have 
a broad, holistic view of global strike development that captures and 
gives visibility to all its efforts--proposed or underway--for 
increasing both offensive and enabling global strike capabilities. DOD, 
however, has yet to perform a comprehensive assessment to identify and 
track all potential global-strike-related efforts in its FYDP. An 
official in DOD's Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, who has 
responsibility for global strike issues, told us that his office tracks 
several significant FYDP programs that have specific global strike 
application, such as the Conventional Trident Modification, Common Aero 
Vehicle, and Falcon programs.[Footnote 19] The U.S. Strategic Command, 
according to command officials, informally tracks global-strike- 
related programs through DOD-wide conferences and periodic meetings 
with various contractors that are working on global-strike-related 
technology efforts. Additionally, in February 2007, the U.S. Strategic 
Command sponsored a prompt global strike technology conference to 
identify ongoing research, development, test, and evaluation efforts 
being conducted by the services, DOD laboratories, and defense agencies 
that would support development of prompt global strike capabilities. 

While DOD organizations have conducted some assessments of global 
strike capabilities in the FYDP, they have not conducted a 
comprehensive assessment of the FYDP to manage and track DOD's global- 
strike-related investments in conventional offensive and enabling 
capabilities. For example, according to an office official who has 
responsibility for global strike issues, DOD's Office of Program 
Analysis and Evaluation has not determined the full range and status of 
science and technology development efforts with potential global strike 
application in the FYDP. As we reported in 2005, DOD's Program Analysis 
and Evaluation office conducted a limited analysis of the FYDP and 
related budget documents and internal reviews to identify the range of 
New Triad spending, including spending for global strike.[Footnote 20] 
However, Program Analysis and Evaluation officials told us that their 
analysis, which has not been updated, did not attempt to capture all of 
the potential global-strike-related development efforts in the FYDP. 
One Program Analysis and Evaluation official said that if a 
comprehensive assessment of all global-strike-related development 
efforts was conducted, it might show that existing systems could 
provide the high volume and compressed time required for prompt global 
strike with only limited investments in enabling and offensive 
capabilities. This lack of complete knowledge about how existing 
systems could be adapted to meet global strike requirements underscores 
the need for a more holistic assessment of DOD's efforts related to 
global strike. 

The U.S. Strategic Command also has not conducted a comprehensive 
assessment of global strike investments that included DOD's FYDP. For 
example, the Strategic Command's 2007 prompt global strike technology 
summit did not fully capture development of offensive global strike 
technology or enabling capabilities, such as command and control, 
intelligence, and surveillance and reconnaissance. One of the summit's 
purposes was to inform and raise the awareness of prompt global strike 
technology development at the service laboratories and defense 
agencies. According to a Strategic Command official, however, the 
summit focused only on those efforts that could improve offensive 
kinetic global strike capabilities. 

Our Analysis Identified 135 Global Strike and Related FYDP Programs, 
Projects, and Activities: 

Given that DOD has not conducted a comprehensive assessment of its FYDP 
for global-strike-related investments, we performed an analysis of FYDP 
program elements[Footnote 21] in the President's fiscal year 2008 
budget submission to Congress to identify the range of potential global-
strike-related research and development efforts. We established 
criteria and a list of key terms to use in our assessment from a review 
of descriptions, terms, and characteristics used by DOD in its 
principal global strike documents, including the Global Strike Joint 
Capabilities Document and Deterrence Operations Joint Operating 
Concept, and information obtained in discussions with DOD officials. 
Such an analysis would need to be conducted in developing a 
comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. Other 
global strike assessments of the FYDP programs, projects, and 
activities may determine different criteria and methodologies to use 
and thus, may yield different results. 

In our analysis, we identified 94 FYDP program elements in the fiscal 
year 2008 budget request that would provide funding for 135 programs, 
projects, and activities to develop conventional offensive and enabling 
capabilities having possible application for global strike. Of the 135 
programs, projects, and activities we identified in our analysis: 

* 85 would improve offensive capabilities, including efforts to improve 
kinetic weapons, nonkinetic weapons, and propulsion systems; 

* 41 would improve enabling capabilities such as command, control, 
communications and computers and surveillance and reconnaissance 
systems; and: 

* 9 would improve both offensive and enabling capabilities such as 
predator development. 

Also, we determined that 13 of the 135 programs, projects and 
activities, such as the Air Force's Common Aero Vehicle program, were 
exclusively for research and development of global strike capabilities. 
The remaining 122 programs, projects, and activities support research 
and development of offensive and enabling capabilities with potential 
application for global strike operations. 

While the programs, projects, and activities we identified in our 
analysis are largely directed at developing capabilities for a wide 
range of military needs other than just global strike, these efforts 
reflect substantial near-term investments of several billions dollars 
in capabilities that could potentially be used in conducting future 
global strike operations. Appendix II summarizes the results of our 
analysis to identify global strike and related development in DOD's 
FYDP. 

DOD Has Not Explained How Results of Its Global Strike Studies Will Be 
Integrated into a Prioritized Investment Strategy: 

DOD officials also have not clearly explained whether DOD plans to 
integrate the results of its four global strike studies to identify 
potential weapons systems into a comprehensive prioritized investment 
strategy. Additionally, none of the four studies would provide a 
roadmap that shows DOD's plans and schedules for developing and 
acquiring the full range of strike and enabling capabilities identified 
for global strike. For example, both of the Air Force's analyses of 
alternatives for prompt global strike and next generation long-range 
strike will provide investment information as a part of their final 
products, but that information will be limited to life-cycle costs for 
the preferred weapons system solution and will not address any needed 
investments required for enabling capabilities. Similarly, DOD also 
plans to provide investment information in its Nuclear and Conventional 
Global Strike Missile Study and the Global Strike Raid Evaluation of 
Alternatives. However, DOD intends to prepare cost estimates only for 
capabilities required for the future ballistic missile solutions 
identified in the Nuclear and Conventional Global Strike Missile Study. 
Additionally, while DOD plans to review the full range of global- 
strike-related offensive and enabling capabilities in its Global Strike 
Raid Evaluation of Alternatives study, it only intends to provide 
possible investment options for offensive strike capabilities. 

Portfolio Management Initiatives Could Help DOD Develop an Investment 
Strategy for Global Strike: 

The use of portfolio management, a best business practice, could help 
DOD in developing a prioritized investment strategy for global strike. 
Portfolio management is used to manage selected groupings of 
investments, or portfolios, at the enterprise level to collectively 
align investments with strategic goals and performance measures and 
provide a sound basis to justify the commitment of resources. In our 
March 2007 report examining the use of the portfolio management 
approach to improve DOD's ability to make weapon system investment 
decisions, we determined that although the military services fight 
together on the battlefield as a joint force, they identify needs and 
allocate resources separately, using fragmented decision-making 
processes that do not allow for an integrated portfolio management 
approach like that used by successful commercial companies.[Footnote 
22] Through portfolio management, an organization can explicitly assess 
the trade-offs among competing investment opportunities in terms of 
their benefit, costs, and risks. Investment decisions can then be made 
based on a better understanding of what will be gained or lost through 
the inclusion or exclusion of certain investments. Use of portfolios in 
investment planning, according to DOD, could improve its efforts to 
increase interoperability, minimize redundancies and gaps, and maximize 
capability effectiveness. 

As part of its Defense acquisition transformation,[Footnote 23] DOD is 
examining the use of portfolio management and has begun two 
initiatives--concept decision and capability portfolio management-- 
within the past year that focus on the use of portfolio management 
approaches to manage capability investments in a mission area. If 
either is successful, these approaches could benefit DOD's management 
and tracking of its global strike investments. The concept decision 
initiative is using four pilot studies that apply portfolio management 
techniques and other tools to merge information on requirements, 
technology maturity, and available resources to improve the range of 
choices for strategic investment decision making.[Footnote 24] If 
successful, the pilots would ensure that DOD is making investment 
choices that balance operational and programmatic risks, are 
affordable, and can be successfully developed, produced, fielded, and 
maintained within planned funding levels. DOD plans to complete each of 
the four pilots by May 2008. The other initiative--capability portfolio 
management--is to investigate approaches to consider investment trades 
across previously stove-piped areas, and to better understand the 
implications of investment decisions across competing priorities. For 
example, senior decision makers, if the approach is successful, would 
be able to determine the implications of additional investments in 
prompt global strike with investments for joint command and control. 

Viewing capabilities across the entire portfolio of assets, according 
to the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report, enables decision makers 
to make informed choices about how to reallocate resources among 
previously stove-piped programs and hence to deliver needed 
capabilities to the joint force more rapidly and efficiently. DOD and 
U.S. Strategic Command officials involved with the Global Strike Raid 
Evaluation of Alternatives said that formulating portfolio options and 
making investment trade-offs for global strike will be difficult, 
because few of the capabilities are uniquely for global strike. 
However, DOD officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense we 
spoke with stated that managing future global strike development as a 
portfolio of capabilities could result in more effective development of 
this mission area. Officials who are involved with the DOD concept 
decision pilot studies stated that a broader look at all related 
capabilities would likely increase the extent of improvements that 
could be made for the mission area when compared with a more limited 
look at solutions available from a single service or functional area. 

Conclusions: 

While DOD has taken a number of steps to advance its global strike 
concept and assign responsibilities, its ability to implement the 
concept will be limited among key stakeholders until it more clearly 
defines global strike, begins incorporating global strike into joint 
doctrine, increases outreach and communication activities, and involves 
stakeholders to a greater extent in joint exercises and other training. 
Without a complete and clearly articulated concept that is well 
communicated and practiced with key stakeholders, DOD could encounter 
difficulties in fully implementing its concept and building the 
necessary relationships for carrying out global strike operations. 

DOD has begun to identify a range of potential conventional offensive 
weapons systems to provide global strike capabilities. However, without 
fully assessing the requirements for various enabling capabilities that 
DOD considers critical to the success of global strike operations and 
coordinating its efforts to improve these capabilities with potential 
offensive systems it intends to develop, DOD may not have the enabling 
capabilities it needs to support new offensive capabilities, if and 
when they are funded. Similarly, without fully assessing the breadth of 
capabilities and technologies being developed within its FYDP that 
potentially contribute to global strike, DOD does not have the complete 
information it needs to track and manage its capability development 
efforts and develop a prioritized long-term investment strategy for 
global strike. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following four 
actions to strengthen DOD's efforts to implement its global strike 
concept and improve communications and mutual understanding within DOD 
of the scope, range and use of capabilities, and the incidence of 
global strike operations: 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in consultation 
with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and 
Logistics, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the 
Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, to develop and approve a common, 
universally accepted joint definition for "global strike," and 
consistently incorporate this definition in global strike documents and 
joint doctrine. 

* Direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commander, 
U.S. Joint Forces Command, in consultation with the Under Secretaries 
of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and Policy and 
the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, to determine possible changes to 
existing joint doctrine or development of new joint doctrine that may 
be required to incorporate global strike operations, including the 
terminology and discussion of training, relationships, 
responsibilities, and processes for these operations, and initiate any 
subsequent doctrine development activities. 

* Direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in consultation with 
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Under Secretaries of 
Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and Policy, to 
establish an ongoing communications and outreach approach for global 
strike to help guide DOD's efforts to promote, educate, and foster 
acceptance of the concept among the combatant commands, military 
services, and other DOD organizations. 

* Direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in consultation with 
the Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, to identify additional 
opportunities where global strike can be integrated into major joint 
exercises and other training activities. 

We further recommend that the Secretary take the following four actions 
to provide the most complete information on the range of capabilities 
needed for global strike and to determine an affordable and sustainable 
balance in its spending for current and future global strike 
investments. 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics, in consultation with the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, and the Secretaries of 
the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to conduct a comprehensive assessment of 
enabling capabilities to identify (1) any specific global strike 
operational requirements and priorities, (2) when these capabilities 
are needed to support future offensive strike systems, and (3) what 
plans DOD has for developing and acquiring these capabilities. DOD 
should link this assessment with other assessments examining potential 
strike systems for global strike and those being conducted for any 
specific supporting capability area to ensure that it has the most 
complete information available when making decisions on future global 
strike investments. 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, 
and Air Force, to provide guidance on how the results of DOD studies to 
identify potential strike systems for global strike will be integrated 
into a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike, 
including a roadmap that shows the department's plans and schedules for 
developing and acquiring offensive strike and enabling capabilities. 

* Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics, in consultation with the Director, Office of Program 
Analysis and Evaluation and the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
to perform a comprehensive review of all capabilities being developed 
within DOD's Future Years Defense Program to determine the extent to 
which these capabilities contribute or can be leveraged for global 
strike and incorporate the results of this review into the development 
of a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. 
The investment strategy should be updated, as needed, to adapt to 
changing circumstances. 

* Direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the 
Deputy's Advisory Working Group, the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and Director for Program, 
Analysis, and Evaluation, to determine the appropriateness of using a 
portfolio management approach for global strike to align its 
investments with strategic goals and performance measures and provide a 
sound basis to justify the commitment of resources, develop a 
prioritized investment strategy, and manage development and acquisition 
of global strike capabilities. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, signed by the Director, 
Joint Advanced Concepts, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
(Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), DOD agreed with the report 
and with all of its eight recommendations. The department's comments 
are discussed below and are reprinted in appendix III. 

DOD concurred with our four recommendations intended to strengthen the 
department's efforts to implement its global strike concept and improve 
communications and mutual understanding within DOD of the scope, range, 
and use of capabilities, and the incidence of global strike operations. 
Specifically, DOD concurred with our recommendations to (1) develop and 
approve a common, universally accepted joint definition for "global 
strike," and consistently incorporate this definition in global strike 
documents and joint doctrine; (2) determine possible changes to 
existing joint doctrine or development of new joint doctrine that may 
be required to incorporate global strike operations; (3) establish an 
ongoing communications and outreach approach for global strike; and (4) 
identify additional opportunities where global strike can be integrated 
into major joint exercises and other training activities. DOD stated 
that the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in consultation with the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Under Secretary for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, would develop a common, universally accepted concept 
and definition for "global strike." DOD also stated that global strike, 
as a validated and executable concept, had not matured to the point 
that it is an extant executable capability, which DOD considers a 
prerequisite for incorporating global strike into joint doctrine. 
According to the department, when the concept is fully developed and 
validated, the U.S. Joint Forces Command will prepare the appropriate 
doctrine or determine possible changes in existing doctrine. While 
these are positive steps, we continue to believe that DOD can and 
should take additional steps now to facilitate the development of joint 
doctrine. For example, DOD should establish a time soon for completing 
development and reaching approval of its global strike concept and 
definition and incorporating the approved concept and definition in 
department documents. Reaching agreement on the concept and definition 
is also important as DOD moves ahead with its decisions on new 
investments in weapons systems and other capabilities for global strike 
and continues implementation of the concept among key stakeholders. In 
regard to our recommendations that U.S. Strategic Command establish an 
ongoing communications and outreach approach for global strike and 
identify additional opportunities where global strike can be integrated 
into major joint exercises and other training activities, DOD stated 
that the socialization of evolving concepts contributes to their 
maturing and validation and that it is U.S. Strategic Command's 
responsibility, with support and assistance from the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command, to establish its training requirements and objectives for 
global strike. Considering the different interpretations of global 
strike we found among combatant command and service officials, we 
continue to believe that our recommendations, when fully implemented, 
would strengthen the positive actions currently being taken by the U.S. 
Strategic Command to conduct outreach and include global strike in 
major exercises and other training activities; promote greater 
understanding, involvement, and experience among these key 
stakeholders; and further DOD's efforts to implement the global strike 
concept. In taking actions to implement our recommendations, for 
example, we believe that the Strategic Command could begin by 
consulting with combatant command and service stakeholders to identify 
opportunities to increase and enhance the command's current outreach 
activities (e.g., visits, briefings, and education) and include 
additional global strike segments in major exercises and other training 
activities. 

DOD also concurred with our four recommendations intended to provide 
more complete information on the range of capabilities needed for 
global strike and to determine an affordable and sustainable balance in 
its spending for current and future global strike investments. 
Specifically, DOD concurred with our recommendations to (1) conduct a 
comprehensive assessment of enabling capabilities (intelligence 
collection and dissemination, surveillance and reconnaissance, command 
and control, communications, and battlefield damage assessment); (2) 
provide guidance on how the results of its studies to identify 
potential strike systems for global strike would be integrated into a 
comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike; (3) 
perform a comprehensive review of all capabilities being developed 
within DOD's FYDP to determine the extent to which these capabilities 
contribute or can be leveraged for global strike; and (4) determine the 
appropriateness of using a portfolio management approach for global 
strike. DOD's responses to our recommendations largely focus on 
conventional prompt global strike, which is a subset of the broader 
global strike mission area. In regard to enabling capabilities, DOD 
stated that its departmentwide capability portfolio management provides 
the means to optimize capabilities through the integration, 
coordination, and synchronization of department investments. Managers 
of the individual capability portfolios are responsible for identifying 
those aspects of their portfolios that are connected to more than one 
portfolio because of the breadth and depth of mission areas such as 
prompt global strike. According to DOD, as part of its comprehensive 
assessment for conventional prompt global strike, it intends to include 
ongoing and follow-on studies, such as the Air Force-led prompt global 
strike analysis of alternatives, in identifying operational 
requirements and priorities to determine when they are needed to 
support development of future offensive strike systems. DOD also stated 
that it plans to use its fiscal year 2008 Defense-wide Research, 
Development, Testing, and Evaluation account for prompt global strike 
to provide limited funding for mission-enabling capabilities. In regard 
to guidance for integrating the results of its long-term global strike 
studies, DOD stated that the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics will provide guidance for 
developing a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy and roadmap. 
It stated that for conventional prompt global strike in fiscal year 
2008 the department will pursue an integrated approach in crafting this 
investment strategy, which will emphasize the application of ongoing 
and follow-on studies, including the Air Force-led prompt global strike 
analysis of alternatives and the congressionally-mandated National 
Research Council's Committee on Conventional Prompt Global Strike 
Capability report provided by the National Academy of Sciences, and 
reference the evolving operational requirements and constraints 
described by U.S. Strategic Command and validated by the Joint Staff. 
DOD stated that its effort will also emphasize full utilization and 
collaboration with separately funded programs throughout DOD and the 
Department of Energy that potentially support conventional prompt 
global strike and cross-service and agency transparency and 
collaboration of all technology and experimentation matters. Concerning 
our recommendation to identify FYDP capabilities that could contribute 
or be leveraged for global strike, DOD stated that the Under Secretary 
of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics would lead a 
comprehensive, capability-based review and prioritization of the global 
strike investment strategy within the FYDP. According to DOD, the goal 
of the FYDP for fiscal years 2008 through 2013 is to apply, advance, 
and demonstrate engineering for the selection and development of 
material solutions for the conventional prompt global strike mission 
area so that individual service acquisition programs can be funded and 
executed. DOD stated that it plans to submit a conventional prompt 
global strike research and development testing plan to Congress in 
April 2008, as required by the fiscal year 2008 National Defense 
Authorization Act. This plan will describe the strategy and investment 
needed over the next 5 years to develop and field full-mission 
prototypes. And lastly, in regard to our recommendation on portfolio 
management, DOD stated that with the creation of the Defense-wide 
Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation program element for prompt 
global strike in the President's 2009 budget, a portfolio management 
approach is being initiated. DOD further stated that the department 
fully supports using a portfolio management approach for conventional 
prompt global strike to align its investments with strategic goals and 
performance measures and provide a sound basis to justify the 
commitment of resources. The specific actions that DOD described in its 
comments for these four recommendations are positive steps in providing 
greater focus, transparency, and accountability for the department's 
efforts to increase global strike capabilities. 

We are sending electronic copies of this report to interested 
congressional committees; the Secretary of Defense; the Chairman, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff; and the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command. We will 
also make electronic copies available to others on request. In 
addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site 
at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staffs have any questions, please contact me at (202) 
512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov. Contact points for our Office of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. Other major contributors to this report are listed 
in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

Janet A. St. Laurent: 

Managing Director: 

Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To identify whether the Department of Defense (DOD) has clearly defined 
and instilled a common understanding and approach to its global strike 
mission, we reviewed relevant global strike concept documents, studies, 
reports, briefings, and other pertinent documents to determine the 
scope, capabilities, range of operations, types of targets, doctrine, 
and other factors that make up the global strike concept and identify 
the definitions that are used throughout DOD to define the term "global 
strike." For example, we reviewed the April 2006 Global Strike Joint 
Capabilities Document, a key document that identifies the set of 
capabilities required across all functional areas to accomplish the 
global strike mission, to obtain information on current global strike 
capabilities and shortfalls. Additionally, we reviewed various DOD 
guidance documents to identify assigned roles and responsibilities for 
global strike, including concept development, implementation, and 
operations. We reviewed, for instance, the most recent 2006 Unified 
Command Plan, which establishes the missions and responsibilities, 
geographic areas of responsibilities, and functions for the commanders 
of the combatant commands, to identify the roles and responsibilities 
for the U.S. Strategic Command and the respective geographic combatant 
commands related to the global strike operations. We also met with 
officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense; U.S. Joint 
Forces Command; U.S. Central Command; U.S. Special Operations Command; 
U.S. Pacific Command; U.S. Strategic Command; the Air Force, Army, and 
Navy headquarters and commands; and Defense Threat Reduction Agency to 
obtain information on various global strike areas such as roles and 
responsibilities, the global strike concept and its implementation, and 
joint doctrine. With these officials, particularly the geographic 
combatant commands, we also discussed their participation and inputs 
into relevant global strike exercises, training, and relative 
educational activities and with communication strategy used by the U.S. 
Strategic Command to explain and promote understanding of global strike 
operations and its mission responsibilities. Additionally, we met with 
officials from the U.S. Strategic Command to discuss challenges faced 
by the command and DOD in developing and implementing the global strike 
concept and communicating the concept to the combatant commands and 
other relevant entities within DOD. 

To assess the extent to which DOD has assessed and developed 
capabilities needed for global strike, we reviewed the study plans, 
supporting and relevant documentation, and final reports, if available, 
for DOD's four principal global strike assessments--Next Generation 
Long-Range Strike Analysis of Alternatives; Nuclear and Conventional 
Global Strike Missile Study; Prompt Global Strike Analysis of 
Alternatives; and Global Strike Raid Evaluation of Alternatives--to 
identify potential conventional offensive strike weapons systems it may 
need in the near, mid, and long term. We discussed these assessments 
with officials at the Air Combat Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. 
Air Force headquarters, Air Force Space Command, Joint Staff, and other 
lead and supporting organizations that were participants or had 
knowledge about the assessments. In discussing the ongoing Prompt 
Global Strike Analysis of Alternatives, for example, with officials at 
the Air Force Space Command at Colorado Springs, Colorado, we obtained 
documentation of the assessment, including its methodology, scope, 
assumptions, and schedule, as well as the organizations involved and 
the status of work to date. For each of the four major studies, we also 
examined the extent to which DOD has considered the requirements for 
enabling capabilities, such as intelligence and command and control, 
and their importance in achieving desired mission effectiveness. We 
reviewed studies and assessments on enabling capabilities from various 
organizations such as RAND Corporation, the Air Force, the Defense 
Intelligence Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and U.S. 
Strategic Command, and discussed the information with officials from 
each of these organizations. We also reviewed our prior work, including 
our recent report on DOD's approach to managing requirements for 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, to 
determine how DOD has coordinated and integrated its efforts to improve 
enabling capabilities. Additionally, we reviewed the Defense Science 
Board's 2004 report on Future Strategic Strike Forces[Footnote 25] to 
obtain their assessment of enabling capabilities requirements and 
recommendations for future strategic strike systems. In our discussions 
with officials at various combatant commands--such as U.S. Strategic 
Command, U.S. Pacific Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the 
Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and military services--we obtained 
information on the roles and requirements for enabling capabilities in 
support of global strike systems and availability and shortfalls for 
these capabilities. 

To assess the extent to which DOD has identified the funding 
requirements and developed an investment strategy for acquiring new 
global strike capabilities, we obtained and analyzed information and 
interviewed officials within the Office of Secretary of Defense, 
including the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, the Defense 
Science Board, the Hypersonics Joint Technology Office, and the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Strategic Command. We documented DOD's 
research and development efforts with possible application to global 
strike and investment information provided in ongoing and completed 
studies on potential global strike weapons systems. Additionally, we 
reviewed reports and studies and interviewed officials at the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Science Board, the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and GAO to 
determine how DOD initiatives, particularly for portfolio management, 
could be used to manage global strike investments. We also obtained 
information on DOD's efforts to identify funding requirements and 
develop an investment strategy for global strike. We conducted an 
analysis of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) that supports the 
President's fiscal year 2008 budget submission to Congress to determine 
the range of programs, projects, and activities within various research 
and development program elements in the FYDP that could have potential 
application for improved conventional global-strike-related 
capabilities.[Footnote 26] To establish criteria and create a list of 
key terms to use in conducting our assessment, we reviewed the 
descriptions, terms, and characteristics used by DOD in its principal 
documents describing global strike characteristics, including the 
Global Strike Joint Capabilities Document, Global Strike Joint 
Integrating Concept, and Deterrence Operations Joint Operating Concept, 
and information obtained in discussions with knowledgeable DOD, 
combatant command, defense agency, and service officials. We then 
reviewed supporting research and development budget submission 
documents from all the military services, the Office of the Secretary 
of Defense, two defense agencies, and Special Operations Command. We 
also discussed our analysis with an official from DOD's Office of 
Program Analysis and Evaluation, who generally concurred that our 
methodology and results were sound and reasonable. Other global strike 
assessments of the FYDP programs, projects, and activities may 
determine different criteria and methodologies to use and, hence, may 
yield different results. Our assessment also does not include those 
programs, projects, and activities in any classified program elements 
or data from nuclear systems development. It also includes some, but 
not all, nonkinetic capabilities that could contribute to improving 
global strike. 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2006 to February 2008 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. In 
conducting our work, we contacted officials at several DOD 
organizations and agencies; joint combatant and service commands; and 
think-tank organizations. Table 3 shows the organizations and offices 
we contacted during our review. 

Table 3: Organizations and Offices Contacted During Our Review: 

Department of Defense: 

* Office of the Secretary of Defense,; 
- Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Directorate; 
- Policy Directorate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for 
Strategic Capabilities; 
- Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation; 
- Defense Science Board. 

Department of Defense: 

* Joint Chiefs of Staff; 
- J-3 (Space and Nuclear Operations); 
- J-5 (Strategic Plans and Policy); 
- J-8 (Sea/Air Branch). 

* Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; 

* Defense Intelligence Agency; 

* Defense Threat Reduction Agency; 

* Hypersonics Joint Technology Office; 

Combatant commands: 

* U.S. Strategic Command; 
- Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike and Integration. 

* U.S. Central Command; 

* U.S. Joint Forces Command; 

* U.S. Pacific Command; 

- Pacific Air Force; 
- Pacific Fleet. 

* U.S. Special Operations Command; 

Services: 

Department of Defense: 

* Department of the Air Force; 
- Headquarters, Air Staff; 
- U.S. Air Force Combat Command; 
- U.S. Air Force Space Command; 
- Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. 

* Department of the Army; 
- Headquarters, Army Staff; 
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. 

* Department of the Navy; 
- U.S. Fleet Forces Command. 

Other organizations: 

* RAND Corporation. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: GAO's Analysis of DOD's Research and Development Efforts 
for Global Strike in Its Future Years Defense Program: 

We conducted an analysis of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) 
that supports the President's fiscal year 2008 budget submission to 
Congress to determine the range of programs, projects, and activities 
within various research and development program elements in the FYDP 
that could have potential application for improved conventional global- 
strike-related capabilities. We established criteria and a list of key 
terms to use in our assessment from a review of descriptions, terms, 
and characteristics used by the Department of Defense (DOD) in its 
principal global strike documents, including the Global Strike Joint 
Capabilities Document and Deterrence Operations Joint Operating 
Concept, and information obtained in discussions with DOD officials. 
While our methodology and results were discussed with a DOD Office of 
Program Analysis and Evaluation official and were determined to be 
reasonable and relevant, other global strike assessments of the FYDP 
programs, projects, and activities may determine different criteria and 
methodologies to use and therefore, may yield different results. 
Additionally, our assessment does not include those programs, projects, 
and activities in any classified program elements or data from nuclear 
systems development. It also includes some, but not all, nonkinetic 
capabilities that could contribute to improving global strike. 

Our analysis of research and development budget submission documents 
from a number of DOD organizations identified 94 FYDP program elements 
in the fiscal year 2008 budget request related to global strike. The 94 
FYDP program elements provide funding for 135 programs, projects, and 
activities that are developing conventional offensive strike and 
enabling capabilities that could contribute to improved global strike 
capabilities. Of the 135 programs, projects, and activities identified 
in our analysis: 

* 85 would improve offensive capabilities, including efforts to improve 
kinetic weapons, nonkinetic weapons, and propulsion systems; 

* 41 would improve enabling capabilities such as (1) command, control, 
communications, and computers and (2) surveillance and reconnaissance 
systems; and: 

* 9 would improve both offensive and enabling capabilities such as 
Predator development. 

Table 3 summarizes the results of our analysis to identify global 
strike and related development by category and type of offensive, 
enabling, or multiple capabilities in DOD's FYDP. 

Table 4: Global Strike and Related Global Strike Research and 
Development Efforts in DOD's FYDP for Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009 
Identified by GAO: 

Capabilities category: Offensive capabilities: Kinetic weapons; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile; 
* Small Diameter Bomb; 
* Tomahawk Weapons System; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 23. 

Capabilities category: Offensive capabilities: Nonkinetic weapons; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Directed Energy Technology; 
* Special Operations Technology Development; 
* Airborne Electronic Attack; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 21. 

Capabilities category: Offensive capabilities: Weapon platforms; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Next Generation Bomber aircraft,; 
* MQ-9 Reaper UAV; 
* Space Launch Vehicle technology; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 30. 

Capabilities category: Offensive capabilities: Propulsion systems; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Air Force, Army, and Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency hypersonics propulsion development efforts; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 14. 

Capabilities category: Offensive capabilities: Subtotal; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: [Empty]; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 85. 

Capabilities category: Enabling capabilities: Command, control, 
communications and computers; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Common Operational Picture; 
* Interoperable Data Links; 
* Large Data; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 22. 

Capabilities category: Enabling capabilities: Intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance, information operations, and planning; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: * Persistent Surveillance Technologies; 
* Strategic War Planning System; 
* Networked Bionic Sensors for Language/Speaker Detection; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 19. 

Capabilities category: Enabling capabilities: Subtotal; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: [Empty]; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 41. 

Capabilities category: Multiple capabilities[A]; 
* Predator Development; 
* Counterforce; 
* Weapons of Mass Destruction Battle Management; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 9. 

Capabilities category: Multiple capabilities[A]: Subtotal; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: [Empty]; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 9. 

Capabilities category: Total; 
Examples of global strike and related programs, projects, or activities 
in each category: [Empty]; 
Number of programs, projects, or activities identified: 135. 

Source: GAO analysis of programs, projects, and activities in the 
President's Fiscal Year 2008 budget submission to Congress based on 
derived criteria. 

[A] Program elements that include programs, projects, and activities 
that are developing both offensive and enabling capabilities. 

[End of table] 

Of the 135 programs, projects, and activities, we determined that 13, 
such as the Air Force's common aero vehicle, were exclusively for 
research and development of global strike capabilities. The remaining 
122 programs, projects, and activities support research and development 
of offensive and enabling capabilities that were not specifically for 
global strike but had potential application for global strike 
operations. 

In conducting our analysis, we reviewed the research and development 
budget submissions from the Departments of the Air Force, Navy, and 
Army; Office of the Secretary of Defense; Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency; Defense Threat Reduction Agency; and U.S. Special 
Operations Command. Figure 2 shows that the majority (88) of the 135 
research and development programs, projects, and activities we 
identified were in the budgets of the services, with the Department of 
the Air Force budget having the largest number (48) among the three 
services. The remaining 47 programs, projects, and activities were in 
the budgets of the Defense Threat ReductionAgency (5); Special 
Operations Command (6); Office of the Secretary of Defense (17); and 
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (19). 

Figure 2: Number of Global Strike and Related Research and Development 
Programs, Projects, and Activities by DOD Organization: 

This figure is a pie chart of the number of global strike and related 
research and development programs, projects, and activities by DOD 
organization. 

Military service departments: Army: 10; 
Military service departments: Airforce: 48; 
Military service departments: Navy: 30; 
Other Department of Defense (DOD) organizations: 47: Defense Threat 
Reduction Agency, 5, Special Operations Command, 6, Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, 17, Defense Advances Research Projects Agency, 
19. 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis based on fiscal year 2008 DOD budget 
documentation. 

[End of figure] 

The programs, projects, and activities we identified in our analysis 
are largely directed at developing capabilities for a wide range of 
military needs other than just global strike and their associated 
funding, and therefore should not be considered when determining DOD's 
total spending for global strike. However, these efforts reflect 
substantial near-term investments of several billions of dollars in 
capabilities that could potentially be used for future global strike 
operations. For example, DOD plans to spend about $4.8 billion then- 
year dollars in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 for the 29 weapon 
platforms programs, projects, and activities we identified, and about 
$2.6 billion for other offensive capabilities including kinetic 
weapons, nonkinetic weapons, and propulsion system programs, projects, 
and activities over the same period. Additionally, DOD plans to spend 
about $3.0 billion then-year dollars in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 
for the 41 programs, projects, and activities we identified to improve 
enabling capabilities. And lastly, DOD plans to spend about $0.7 
billion then-year dollars for the 9 programs, projects, and activities 
included in our analysis for multiple capabilities over the period. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
3000 Defense Pentagon:
Washington, Dc 20301-3000: 

March, 28, 2008: 

Acquisition Technology And Logistics: 

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

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft 
report, GAO-08-325, `Military Transformation: DoD Needs to Strengthen 
Implementation of Its Global Strike Concept and Provide a Comprehensive 
Investment Approach for Acquiring Needed Capabilities,' dated February 
25, 2008 (GAO Code 350899). 

On the whole, the Department agrees with the report and the included 
recommendations. Detailed comments to each recommendation are enclosed. 
DoD technical inputs and the results of the security review were 
provided separately. 

Signed by: 

James M. Durham: 
Director: 
Joint Advanced Concepts: 

Enclosure: 
As stated: 

Joint Advanced Concepts
GAO Draft Report Ė Dated February 25, 2008 GAO Code 350899 /GAO-08-325 

"MILITARY TRANSFORMATION: DoD Needs to Strengthen Implementation of Its 
Global Strike Concept and Provide a Comprehensive Investment Approach 
for Acquiring Needed Capabilities" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in consultation with 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the 
Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, to develop and approve a common, 
universally accepted joint definition for "global strike," and 
consistently incorporate this definition in global strike documents and 
joint doctrine. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. Commander, United States Strategic Command 
(USSTRATCOM), in consultation with the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Policy, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will develop 
a common, universally accepted concept and definition for "global 
strike." 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commander, 
United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), in consultation with the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the Commander, 
USSTRATCOM, to determine possible changes to existing joint doctrine or 
development of new joint doctrine that may be required to incorporate 
global strike operations, including the terminology and discussion of 
training, relationships, responsibilities, and processes for these 
operations, and initiate any subsequent doctrine development 
activities. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. USJFCOM assists the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff in the development of joint doctrine in accordance with 
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 5120.02A and in conjunction 
with the Joint Doctrine Development Community. Currently, global 
strike, as a validated and executable concept, has not matured to the 
point that it is an extant executable capability, a prerequisite for 
incorporation into joint doctrine. Current joint doctrine, as it is 
already written (Joint Publication (JP) 3-0 Joint Operations and JP 5-0 
Joint Operations Planning), addresses the planning, preparation, 
execution, and assessment of joint operations, including strikes. When 
the concept of global strike is fully developed and validated, USJFCOM 
will write the appropriate doctrine. USJFCOM will determine possible 
changes to existing joint doctrine when development of new joint 
doctrine that may be required to incorporate global strike operations 
is required. 

Recommendation 3: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commander, USSTRATCOM, in consultation with the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Policy, to establish an ongoing communications and outreach 
approach for global strike to help guide DoD's efforts to promote, 
educate, and foster acceptance of the concept among the combatant 
commands, military services, and other DoD organizations. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. Socialization of evolving concepts 
contributes to their maturing and validation leading to timely 
incorporation into joint doctrine as extant capability. 

Recommendation 4: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commander, USSTRATCOM, in consultation with the Commander, 
USJFCOM, to identify additional opportunities where global strike can 
be integrated into major joint exercises and other training activities. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. Each Combatant Commander establishes 
training requirements and objectives. USJFCOM supports and assists the 
Combatant Commander in accomplishing identified training requirements 
and objectives. 

Recommendation 5: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics, in consultation with the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
the Commander, USSTRATCOM and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air 
Force, to conduct a comprehensive assessment of enabling capabilities 
to identify: (1) any specific global strike operational requirements 
and priorities; (2) when these capabilities are needed to support 
future offensive strike systems; and (3) what plans DoD has for 
developing and acquiring these capabilities. DoD should link this 
assessment with other assessments examining potential strike systems 
for global strike and those being conducted for any specific supporting 
capability area to ensure that it has the most complete information 
available when making decisions on future global strike investments. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. The Deputy Secretary of Defense initiated 
Capability Portfolio Management (CPM) that applies Department-wide. CPM 
is designed to manage capability optimization through the integration, 
coordination and synchronization of Department investments through 
Capability Portfolios in order to improve: (1) strategic force 
management and force development decision making; (2) the level of 
joint warfighter outcomes; and (3) mission effects of all known 
operational requirements, including those emerging operational 
requirements such as Prompt Global Strike (PGS). The CPM managers were 
designated to ensure portfolio balance and optimization within their 
respective portfolios. Additionally, the managers are responsible to 
identify those aspects of their portfolios that are connected to more 
than one portfolio because of the breadth and depth of the mission 
area, such as PGS, overseen by the Force Application CPM manager. For 
Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS), the Department intends to 
include as part of this comprehensive assessment ongoing/follow-on 
studies, including the Air Force-led PGS Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) 
in March 2008, the Congressionally-mandated National Research Council 
Committee on CPGS Report provided by the National Academy of Sciences, 
as well as reference to evolving operational requirements and 
constraints as set forth by USSTRATCOM and validated by the Joint 
Staff. This effort will be essential in identifying PGS operational 
requirements and priorities, and when these are needed to support 
development of future offensive strike systems. In addition, in Fiscal 
Year (FY) 2008, using the Defense-wide Research, Development, Testing 
and Evaluation (RDT&E) account on PGS, the Department intends to 
provide limited funding towards full mission planning techniques, 
command and control provisions, strategic requirements and policy 
compliance, alternative intermediate missile range concepts, advanced 
non-nuclear warheads, and other mission enabling capabilities. 

Recommendation 6: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and 
Air Force, to provide guidance on how the results of DoD studies to 
identify potential strike systems for global strike will be integrated 
into a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike, 
including a roadmap that shows the Department's plans and schedules for 
developing and acquiring offensive strike and enabling capabilities. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. As noted in the response to Recommendation 
5, the Force Application CPM is the cognizant CPM for global strike. As 
the civilian co-lead for the Force Application CPM, the Under Secretary 
of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, will provide 
guidance to develop a comprehensive prioritized investment strategy and 
roadmap for global strike. Specifically, for CPGS, in FY08, utilizing 
the Defense-wide RDT&E account on PGS, the Department will pursue an 
integrated approach to craft a comprehensive prioritized investment 
strategy. In particular, this effort will emphasize: (1) application of 
ongoing/follow-on studies, including the Air Force-led PGS AOA in March 
2008, the Congressionally-mandated National Research Council Committee 
on CPGS Report provided by the National Academy of Sciences, as well as 
reference to evolving operational requirements and constraints as set 
forth by USSTRATCOM and validated by the Joint Staff; (2) full 
utilization and collaboration with separately funded programs 
throughout DoD and Department of Energy (DoE), to include other 
technology development efforts (e.g., warheads, guidance, targeting, 
etc.) and other science and technology activities potentially 
supporting CPGS; and (3) cross-service and Agency transparency and 
collaboration, organized and overseen by the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, on all technology and 
experimentation matters, with overlap or duplication only in those 
areas where the technology challenges compel "competitive" efforts, 

Recommendation 7: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics, in consultation with the Director, Program Analysis and 
Evaluation, and the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to perform a 
comprehensive review of all capabilities being developed within DoD's 
Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) to determine the extent to which 
these capabilities contribute, or can be leveraged for global strike 
and incorporate the results of this review into the development of a 
comprehensive prioritized investment strategy for global strike. The 
investment strategy should be updated, as needed, to adapt to changing 
circumstances. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. As the civilian co-lead for the Force 
Application CPM, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology and Logistics, will lead a comprehensive, capability-based 
review and prioritization of the global strike investment strategy 
within the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP). Specifically, for CPGS, 
the FY08- 13 FYDP goal is to apply, advance, and demonstrate 
engineering for the selection and development of material solutions to 
the CPGS mission area in order that individual service acquisition 
programs may be funded and executed. FY08 and FY09 Research and 
Development (R&D) will be directed at technical capabilities for 
precision guidance and control, payload delivery vehicle (PDV) 
construction and performance, warhead effectiveness, test-range 
development, and alternative booster rocket assessments. An R&D and 
testing plan will describe the strategy and investment needed over the 
next five years to develop and field full-mission prototypes. The CPGS 
R&D testing plan will be submitted to Congress in April 2008 as 
required by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY08. 
Additionally, the Department recently formed a Joint Analysis Team for 
PGS that will address these exact issues. 

Recommendation 8: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the 
Deputy's Advisory Working Group, the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and the Director, Program 
Analysis and Evaluation, to determine the appropriateness of using a 
portfolio management approach for global strike to align its 
investments with strategic goals and performance measures and provide a 
sound basis to justify the commitment of resources, develop a 
prioritized investment strategy, and manage development and acquisition 
of global strike capabilities. 

DOD Response: DoD concurs. With the creation of the President's Budget-
09 Defense- wide Research, Development, Test and Evaluation program 
element for PGS, a portfolio management approach is already underway. 
For CPGS, the Department fully supports using a portfolio management 
approach to align its investments with strategic goals and performance 
measures and provide a sound basis to justify the commitment of 
resources, develop a prioritized investment strategy, and manage 
development and acquisition of conventional prompt global strike 
capabilities. Additionally, the Department recently formed a Defense- 
Wide Account, managed by the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, that will address these exact 
issues.

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

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

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Gwendolyn R. Jaffe, 
Assistant Director; Lisa M. Canini; Grace A. Coleman; David G. Hubbell; 
Jason E. Porter, Sr; and Mark J. Wielgoszynski, Analyst-in-Charge, made 
key contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes:  

[1] Congress directed the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with 
the Secretary of Energy, to "conduct a comprehensive review of the 
nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years", in 
section 1041 of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act 
for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. No. 106-398). The 2001 Nuclear Posture 
Review was the second post-Cold War review of U.S. strategic nuclear 
forces. The first one was conducted in 1994. 

[2] We issued a report discussing the progress made by DOD in 
determining and allocating resources needed to implement the New Triad-
-a conceptual framework proposed to bring together the capabilities of 
nuclear and conventional offensive strike forces (including global 
strike); active and passive defenses; and a revitalized defense 
infrastructure. See GAO, Military Transformation: Actions Needed by DOD 
to More Clearly Identify New Triad Spending and Develop a Long-term 
Investment Approach, GAO-05-540 and GAO-05-962R (Washington, D.C.: June 
30, 2005, and Aug. 4, 2005). 

[3] Kinetic capabilities are those capabilities that produce effects 
through the direct use of the force or energy of moving objects, such 
as bombs, while nonkinetic capabilities create operational effects that 
do not rely upon explosives or physical momentum, including such 
capabilities as information operations, space operations, computer 
network attack, and directed energy weapons. 

[4] H.R. Rep. No. 110-434, at 240 (2007) (Conf. Rep.) 

[5] We have reported on the fiscal challenges facing DOD in 
transforming its force on several occasions. See: GAO, 21st Century 
Challenges: Reexamining the Base of the Federal Government, GAO-05-
325SP (Washington, D.C.: February 2005); DOD Transformation: Challenges 
and Opportunities, GAO-07-435CG and GAO-07-500CG (Washington, D.C.: 
Jan. 24, 2007, and Feb. 12, 2007); and Defense Acquisitions: 
Assessments of Selected Major Weapon Programs, GAO-06-391 (Washington, 
D.C.: Mar. 31, 2006). 

[6] The FYDP is a report that resides in an automated database and 
provides projections of DOD's near and midterm funding needs and 
reflects the total resources programmed by DOD, by fiscal year. The 
FYDP includes data on estimates for the fiscal year reflected in the 
current budget request and at least 4 subsequent years. Both detailed 
data and a summary report are generally provided to Congress with DOD's 
annual budget submission. 

[7] Section 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2004 (Pub. L. No. 108-136) provides that the Secretary of Defense 
shall establish an integrated plan for developing, deploying, and 
sustaining a prompt global strike capability in the Armed Forces, to be 
updated annually through 2006. The Secretary issued three reports to 
Congress on global strike in June 2004, October 2005, and February 
2007, respectively. 

[8] We issued a report on the progress made by the U.S. Strategic 
Command in developing and integrating its missions, including global 
strike, to provide new capabilities and expand U.S. options for 
responding to global threats. GAO, Military Transformation: Additional 
Actions Needed by U.S. Strategic Command to Strengthen Implementation 
of Its Many Missions and New Organization, GAO-06-847 (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 8, 2006). 

[9] The Joint Staff is conducting an evaluation of alternatives for 
global strike in lieu of the functional solutions analysis--the last of 
the three analyses normally conducted within the Joint Capabilities 
Integration and Development System for assessing capabilities and 
recommending solutions. The evaluation of alternatives is a pilot 
program to bring together selected aspects of the current functional 
solutions analysis and analysis of alternatives activities, which until 
now had been conducted separately and sequentially, into a single, 
integrated analytic effort. 

[10] A Senior Warfighter Forum is a mechanism by which a combatant 
commander can engage with his senior warfighting counterparts to 
identify the issues and capabilities associated with a particular 
mission or function of one or more combatant commands. 

[11] Homeland Security, Joint Publication 3-26, Joint Chiefs of Staff 
(Aug. 2, 2005) and Homeland Defense, Joint Publication 3-27, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff (Jul. 12, 2007). 

[12] Joint Doctrine Development System, Instruction 5120.02A, Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Mar. 31, 2007). 

[13] According to DOD, near term is defined as now to 7 years in the 
future (2007-2013); midterm is from 2013-2020; and long term is 2020 
and beyond. 

[14] The private, nonprofit National Academy of Sciences is a society 
of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering 
research that serves as an adviser to the federal government. The 
conference report accompanying the 2007 DOD appropriations bill (H.R. 
Rep. No. 109-676, at 228 (2006) (Conf. Rep.)) contained a request for 
the academy to conduct a study to analyze the mission requirement for 
using existing Trident II missiles with conventional payloads to 
provide a prompt global strike capability, and where appropriate, 
consider and recommend alternatives that meet the prompt global strike 
mission in the near, mid, and long terms. The National Academies, 
Conventional Prompt Global Strike Capability: Letter Report 
(Washington, D.C.: May 11, 2007). 

[15] Time-critical targets are of high value, require immediate 
response, or have a limited window of vulnerability such as mobile 
theater missiles, surface-to-air missile launchers, and cruise missile 
batteries. 

[16] Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Report of the Defense 
Science Board Task Force on Future Strategic Strike Forces (Washington, 
D.C.: February 2004). 

[17] The RAND Corporation operates three DOD federally funded research 
and development centers that conduct a broad array of national security 
research for the Departments of the Air Force and Army, the Office of 
the Secretary of Defense, defense agencies, the Unified Commands, and 
the Joint Staff. RAND has conducted a number of studies related to 
global strike issues, such as research on concepts for long-range 
strikes. 

[18] GAO, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance: Preliminary 
Observations on DOD's Approach to Managing Requirements for New 
Systems, Existing Assets, and Systems Development, GAO-07-596T 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 19, 2007). 

[19] For the Conventional Trident Modification proposal, the Navy has 
sought funds to develop a conventional version of the Trident submarine-
launched ballistic missile. The Common Aero Vehicle program is 
developing a maneuverable, global range, delivery vehicle carrying 
conventional warheads. Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the Air Force 
transferred the funding for this program to a defensewide account as 
part of a consolidated, multiservice effort, managed by the Office of 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and 
Logistics. The Falcon program intends to develop and demonstrate in 
flight hypersonic technologies that will enable prompt global reach 
missions. 

[20] GAO-05-540 and GAO-05-962R. 

[21] Program elements are the primary data elements in the FYDP that 
generally represent organizational entities and their related 
resources. They represent descriptions of the various missions of DOD 
and are the building blocks of the FYDP, and they may be aggregated in 
different ways, including to show total resources assigned to a 
specific program, or to identify selected functional groupings of 
resources. Each program element can be made up of programs, projects, 
and activities. 

[22] GAO, Best Practices: An Integrated Portfolio Management Approach 
to Weapon System Investments Could Improve DOD's Acquisition Outcomes, 
GAO-07-388 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 30, 2007). Our report 
recommendations included that DOD should establish an integrated, 
portfolio-based approach to investments that incorporates best 
practices of successful commercial companies and establish a single 
point of accountability at the department level with the 
responsibility, authority, and accountability for ensuring that 
portfolio management for weapon system investments is effectively 
implemented across the department. 

[23] See DOD reports: Defense Acquisition Transformation Report to 
Congress, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense, 
February 2007 and July 2007. 

[24] The concept decision pilots are (1) the Joint Lightweight Tactical 
Mobility program, (2) the Integrated Air and Missile Defense program, 
(3) the Global Strike Raid Scenario, and (4) the Joint Rapid Scenario 
Generation program. 

[25] Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Report of the Defense 
Science Board Task Force on Future Strategic Strike Forces (Washington, 
D.C.: February 2004). 

[26] The Future Years Defense Program is a DOD centralized report that 
provides information on DOD's current and planned out-year budget 
requests. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and 
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 GAO's Web site [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Each 
weekday, GAO posts newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence on its Web site. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly 
posted products every afternoon, go to [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov] 
and select "E-mail Updates."  

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: [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm]: 
E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov: 
Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470:  

Congressional Relations:  

Ralph Dawn, Managing Director, dawnr@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4400: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7125: 
Washington, D.C. 20548:  

Public Affairs: 

Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4800: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7149: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: