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entitled 'Ballistic Missile Defense: Actions Needed to Improve Process 
for Identifying and Addressing Combatant Command Priorities' which was 
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Report to the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Committee on Armed 
Services, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

July 2008: 

Ballistic Missile Defense: 

Actions Needed to Improve Process for Identifying and Addressing 
Combatant Command Priorities: 

GAO-08-740: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-740, a report to the Subcommittee on Strategic 
Forces, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

In 2002, the Department of Defense (DOD) established the Missile 
Defense Agency to develop and deploy globally integrated ballistic 
missile defenses to protect the U.S. homeland, deployed forces, 
friends, and allies. To deliver an operational capability as quickly as 
possible, the agency was not subject to traditional DOD requirements 
and oversight processes. While directed to work closely with the 
combatant commands, the agency was not required to build missile 
defenses to meet specific operational requirements. GAO was asked to 
assess the extent to which DOD has developed a process that identifies, 
prioritizes, and addresses overall combatant command priorities as the 
Missile Defense Agency develops ballistic missile defense capabilities. 
To conduct its work, GAO reviewed relevant documents and visited 
several combatant commands, the Missile Defense Agency, Joint Staff, 
and other DOD organizations. 

What GAO Found: 

DOD has taken some steps to address the combatant commandsí ballistic 
missile defense needs, but it has not yet established an effective 
process to identify, prioritize, and address these needs, or to provide 
a DOD-wide perspective on which priorities are the most important. U.S. 
Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency created the Warfighter 
Involvement Process in 2005. Although the process is still evolving, 
the Missile Defense Agency has addressed some combatant command 
capability needs. However, even as they move forward with the process, 
U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency have not yet 
overcome three interrelated limitations to the processís effectiveness: 

* First, U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency have not 
put into place the approved and complete guidance needed to implement 
the Warfighter Involvement Process, which would clearly define each 
organizationís respective roles and responsibilities for identifying, 
prioritizing, and addressing the combatant commandsí capability needs. 
This has left the combatant commands without an agreed-upon mechanism 
for influencing agency investments. 

* Second, the Missile Defense Agency has lacked clear information about 
how to best address the commandsí needs, and until recently has not 
clearly communicated how it has adjusted its investments in response to 
these needs. Without such information, the commands have not been able 
to provide feedback to the Missile Defense Agency about how well the 
agency has addressed their priorities in its funding plans. 

* Third, senior civilian DOD leadership has not been involved in 
adjudicating potential differences among the commandsí priorities. 
Instead, U.S. Strategic Command has consolidated and submitted the 
commandsí prioritized capability needs to the Missile Defense Agency 
without first vetting these priorities though senior civilian DOD 
officials with departmentwide responsibilities for assessing risk and 
allocating resources. As a result, the Missile Defense Agency has not 
benefited from receiving a broader, departmentwide perspective on which 
of the commandsí needs were the most significant. 

DOD has established a new board to advise senior Office of the 
Secretary of Defense officials on ballistic missile defense priorities; 
however, whether this board will be involved in reviewing or 
adjudicating differences among the commandsí priorities is unclear. 
Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command officials stated that 
the Warfighter Involvement Process is evolving. However, unless and 
until they overcome these interrelated limitations, DOD remains at risk 
of not effectively providing the combatant commands with the missile 
defense capabilities they need. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that DOD improve its process for identifying, 
prioritizing, and addressing combatant command priorities by completing 
and publishing guidance that clearly defines each organizationís 
responsibilities; establishing effective methodologies; comparing the 
Missile Defense Agencyís funding plans to the commandsí priorities; and 
providing a DOD-wide perspective on the commandsí priorities. DOD 
generally agreed with GAOís recommendations. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-740]. For more 
information, contact John H. Pendleton, 404-679-1816, or 
pendletonj@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Warfighter Involvement Process Has Helped the Missile Defense Agency 
Address Some Capability Needs but the Process Faces Key Limitations: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: The 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Ballistic Missile Threat Categories: 

Table 2: Organizations and Offices Contacted during Our Review: 

Table 3: Capabilities on the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List: 

Abbreviation: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, DC 20548: 

July 31, 2008: 

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

In 2002, the President directed the development and deployment of a 
globally integrated ballistic missile defense system to protect the 
United States, deployed forces, friends, and allies from the threat of 
ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. Also in 
2002, the Secretary of Defense established the Missile Defense Agency 
and directed it to develop and deploy a useful military capability to 
detect, track, intercept, and defeat short-, medium-, intermediate-, 
and long-range ballistic missiles in all phases of flight.[Footnote 1] 
With the establishment of the Missile Defense Agency, the Secretary of 
Defense delegated it the authority to manage all ballistic missile 
defense systems then under development by the military services. Funded 
at $8 billion to nearly $10 billion annually since its creation, the 
Missile Defense Agency is responsible for managing the largest research 
and development program in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget. 
Since the 1980s, DOD has spent more than $100 billion to develop and 
deploy missile defenses. 

To expedite the delivery of an operationally capable missile defense 
system to the combatant commands, the Secretary of Defense directed 
that the Missile Defense Agency would not be subject to DOD's 
traditional joint requirements determination and oversight processes. 
Combatant commanders are responsible for performing missions assigned 
to their command by the President or the Secretary of Defense. These 
responsibilities include deterring attacks against the United States, 
its territories, possessions, and bases, and employing appropriate 
force should deterrence fail. Under DOD's traditional requirements 
processes, the combatant commands play a key role in setting 
operational requirements for new weapon systems. However, DOD concluded 
that streamlined executive oversight, instead of its traditional 
process, was needed to rapidly deliver needed missile defense 
capabilities to the commands. Instead, the Secretary of Defense gave 
the Missile Defense Agency expanded responsibility and authority to 
define the ballistic missile defense system's technical requirements, 
change goals and plans, and allocate resources. Although not required 
to build systems to meet specific operational requirements as it would 
under traditional DOD processes, the Secretary of Defense directed the 
Missile Defense Agency to work closely with the combatant commands when 
developing ballistic missile defense capabilities. 

Other organizations have a stake in developing defenses against 
ballistic missiles. Even as DOD established the Missile Defense Agency, 
the President established U.S. Strategic Command in 2002 to more 
effectively and efficiently anticipate and counter the diverse and 
increasingly complex global threats the United States faces for the 
foreseeable future, including the threats posed by ballistic missiles. 
[Footnote 2] In 2003, the President made U.S. Strategic Command 
responsible for advocating for desirable missile defense 
characteristics and capabilities on behalf of all combatant commands to 
the Missile Defense Agency.[Footnote 3] To carry out this 
responsibility, U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency 
created the Warfighter Involvement Process in 2005.[Footnote 4] A 
primary focus of the Warfighter Involvement Process has been to 
identify and prioritize the combatant commands' capability needs and 
provide the resulting Prioritized Capabilities List to the Missile 
Defense Agency. 

Although the Missile Defense Agency has been given a significant amount 
of flexibility to develop ballistic missile defenses, including the 
ability to operate with considerable autonomy to change goals and 
plans, the Office of the Secretary of Defense retains executive 
oversight authority over the agency.[Footnote 5] For example, in 
establishing the Missile Defense Agency in 2002, the Secretary of 
Defense designated responsibility to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, 
as chairman of the Senior Executive Council,[Footnote 6] for providing 
the agency with policy, planning, and programming guidance; overseeing 
DOD missile defense activities; and approving recommendations for 
fielding ballistic missile defense assets. The Secretary of Defense 
also placed the Missile Defense Agency directly under the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and 
assigned responsibility to the Under Secretary's office for 
establishing a single development program for all work needed to 
develop integrated ballistic missile defenses. In 2004, the Deputy 
Secretary of Defense also assigned responsibility to the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics for 
providing acquisition policy direction and overall management oversight 
of the Missile Defense Agency. In March 2007, the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense created a new Missile Defense Executive Board. Comprised of 
senior-level representatives from the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Strategic Command, the military 
departments, and other organizations, the Board is responsible for 
advising the Missile Defense Agency; the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; and for making recommendations 
to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for action. 

To help Congress exercise oversight of ballistic missile defenses as 
these capabilities increasingly become operational, this report 
assesses the extent to which DOD has developed a process that 
identifies, prioritizes, and addresses overall combatant command 
priorities as the Missile Defense Agency develops ballistic missile 
defense capabilities.[Footnote 7] To obtain information on DOD's 
process for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing overall combatant 
command priorities in developing ballistic missile defense 
capabilities, we obtained and reviewed U.S. Strategic Command, Missile 
Defense Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Joint Staff 
guidance, directives, instructions, concepts, testimonies, and plans. 
We reviewed drafts of U.S. Strategic Command's instruction establishing 
the Warfighter Involvement Process,[Footnote 8] and obtained from U.S. 
Strategic Command the prioritized lists of the combatant commands' 
ballistic missile defense capability needs, which U.S. Strategic 
Command provided to the Missile Defense Agency in 2006 and 2007. We 
reviewed Missile Defense Agency guidance, plans, directives, briefings, 
and other documents that identify key steps, stakeholders, and factors 
that the Missile Defense Agency considers during its process for 
planning, designing, developing, and fielding ballistic missile defense 
capabilities. We also obtained and reviewed briefings describing a 2007 
Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command study of how to more 
effectively involve the combatant commands in developing missile 
defense capabilities. We visited U.S. Strategic Command and met with 
officials to discuss the command's role as advocate for the warfighter 
for ballistic missile defense capabilities, and met with Missile 
Defense Agency officials to obtain their perspectives on how the agency 
has addressed combatant command priorities. We also obtained 
information from U.S. Central Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. 
Northern Command, and U.S. Pacific Command about their respective 
priorities for ballistic missile defenses. We also obtained 
documentation from and met with officials from the Joint Staff and from 
the Office of the Secretary of Defense to understand their 
perspectives. Further, we reviewed DOD directives, memorandums, and 
other guidance to the Missile Defense Agency that establishes DOD's 
overall approach for developing ballistic missile defense capabilities. 
We conducted this performance audit from August 2007 to May 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 on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. Our scope and methodology 
are described in more detail in appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

DOD has taken some steps to address the combatant commands' ballistic 
missile defense needs, but it has not yet established an effective 
process to identify, prioritize, and address these needs, or to provide 
a DOD-wide perspective on which priorities are the most important. U.S. 
Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency created the Warfighter 
Involvement Process in 2005. Although the process is still evolving, it 
has helped the Missile Defense Agency address some of the combatant 
commands' needs. For example, in response to the combatant commands' 
first Prioritized Capabilities List, the Missile Defense Agency 
initiated new programs to develop sea-based defenses against short- 
range ballistic missiles. However, the Warfighter Involvement Process 
has not yet effectively conveyed either the commands' priorities to the 
Missile Defense Agency, or the Missile Defense Agency's planned 
adjustments back to the commands, for three interrelated reasons. 
First, U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency have not 
clarified their respective Warfighter Involvement Process roles and 
responsibilities by putting into place the approved and complete 
guidance needed to implement the process. Lacking such guidance, the 
combatant commands have not had an agreed-upon mechanism for 
influencing Missile Defense Agency investments. Second, in addition to 
lacking approved and complete guidance, U.S. Strategic Command and the 
Missile Defense Agency have not yet established effective methodologies 
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing combatant command needs. 
As a result, the Missile Defense Agency has lacked clear information 
about how to best address the combatant commands' capability needs. 
Additionally, until recently the Missile Defense Agency has not clearly 
communicated how it has adjusted investments in response to the 
commands' needs. Without such information, the commands have not been 
able to provide the Missile Defense Agency feedback about how well the 
agency has addressed the commands' priorities in its funding plans. 
Third, senior civilian DOD leadership has not been involved in the 
Warfighter Involvement Process to adjudicate potential differences 
among the combatant commands' priorities as the leadership would under 
traditional DOD processes. Instead, under the Warfighter Involvement 
Process, U.S. Strategic Command has consolidated and submitted the 
commands' prioritized capability needs to the Missile Defense Agency 
without first vetting these priorities though senior civilian DOD 
officials with departmentwide responsibilities for assessing risk and 
allocating resources. Lacking such participation, the Missile Defense 
Agency has not benefited from receiving a broader, departmentwide 
perspective on which of the commands' needs were the most significant. 
DOD has established a new board to advise the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense on ballistic missile defense priorities; however, it operates 
outside the Warfighter Involvement Process, and the extent to which 
this board will be involved in reviewing or adjudicating differences 
among the commands' priorities is unclear. The Missile Defense Agency 
and U.S. Strategic Command have jointly studied ways to improve the 
Warfighter Involvement Process as this process evolves. However, unless 
and until U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency 
overcome these limitations, DOD remains at risk of not effectively 
providing the combatant commands with the missile defense capabilities 
they need. We are making recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to 
(1) improve DOD's process for identifying and addressing combatant 
command priorities; and (2) provide a DOD-wide perspective on the 
combatant commands' priorities, given the range of ballistic missile 
threats facing the United States. In commenting on a draft of this 
report, DOD agreed with three of our recommendations intending to 
improve DOD's process. While DOD was commenting on our draft, U.S. 
Strategic Command issued guidance to define its roles and 
responsibilities in the Warfighter Involvement Process; this action 
partially implemented our recommendation that the command and the 
Missile Defense Agency complete and publish such guidance. As a result 
of U.S. Strategic Command's action, we modified our recommendation to 
direct U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency to 
regularly review and update their guidance as the Warfighter 
Involvement Process evolves. DOD also partially agreed with two other 
recommendations that are intended to improve DOD's process for 
identifying DOD-wide priorities for ballistic missile defense 
capabilities. DOD's comments are reprinted in appendix III. 

Background: 

The Missile Defense Agency has been charged with developing and 
deploying ballistic missile defenses against threats posed by 
adversaries from all geographic regions, at all ranges, and in all 
phases of flight. At least 25 countries have acquired ballistic 
missiles, including many countries that are also seeking or have 
acquired weapons of mass destruction that could be used on these 
missiles. In response, the Missile Defense Agency has been developing 
defenses against short-, medium-, intermediate-, and intercontinental- 
range ballistic missiles that could be targeted against U.S. forces 
abroad, U.S. friends and allies, and the U.S. homeland.[Footnote 9] For 
example, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, Patriot 
Advanced Capability-3, and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system are 
being developed primarily to provide an integrated capability to defend 
deployed U.S. forces, friends, and allies against short-and medium- 
range ballistic missiles. The Missile Defense Agency is also developing 
sea-based defenses to destroy short-range missiles in the terminal 
phase of flight in order to defend deployed forces. In addition, the 
Missile Defense Agency is developing a Ground-based Midcourse Defense 
system designed to destroy intercontinental-range ballistic missiles 
targeted against the U.S. homeland, deployed U.S. forces, friends, and 
allies. Some ballistic missile defense systems are being designed to 
defend against more than one type of threat. For example, the Aegis 
Ballistic Missile Defense system is being designed not only to defend 
deployed U.S. forces, allies, and friends from short-and medium-range 
missiles, but also to help defend the U.S. homeland from longer range 
missiles. Table 1 summarizes the threat categories to be addressed by 
U.S. ballistic missile defenses. 

Table 1: Ballistic Missile Threat Categories: 

Ballistic missile category: Short-range ballistic missile; 
Maximum range: Less than 600 kilometers (373 miles); 
Primary target of the threat: Deployed U.S. forces, friends, and 
allies. 

Ballistic missile category: Medium-range ballistic missile; 
Maximum range: 600 to 1,300 kilometers (373 to 808 miles); 
Primary target of the threat: Deployed U.S. forces, friends, and 
allies. 

Ballistic missile category: Intermediate-range ballistic missile; 
Maximum range: 1,300 to 5,500 kilometers (808 to 3,418 miles); 
Primary target of the threat: Deployed U.S. forces, friends, and 
allies. 

Ballistic missile category: Intercontinental-range ballistic missile; 
Maximum range: Greater than 5,500 kilometers (3,418 miles); 
Primary target of the threat: U.S. homeland. 

Source: GAO analysis of Missile Defense Agency information. 

[End of table] 

While the Missile Defense Agency is responsible for developing missile 
defenses, the unified combatant commands are the military organizations 
primarily responsible for deterring attacks and for employing forces 
should deterrence fail.[Footnote 10] The Unified Command Plan, which is 
signed by the President, establishes the combatant commanders' missions 
and responsibilities and establishes their geographic areas of 
responsibility. The most recent version of the Unified Command Plan, 
which was published in 2006, identified five combatant commands--U.S. 
Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. 
Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command--with responsibilities 
covering specific geographic regions.[Footnote 11] For example, U.S. 
Northern Command's area of responsibility includes all of North America 
and surrounding waters; for missile defenses, U.S. Northern Command 
would have primary responsibility for defending the continental United 
States from an intercontinental-range missile attack. 

U.S. Strategic Command is a unified combatant command with 
responsibilities to integrate global missions and capabilities that 
cross the boundaries of the geographic commands. Initially assigned 
responsibility for nuclear deterrence, space, and computer network 
operations, the President, in January 2003, expanded the command's 
responsibilities to include several missions not previously assigned to 
a combatant command. These missions were: global strike planning and 
execution; planning, integrating, and coordinating global missile 
defense (including missile defense advocacy); oversight of 
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and global command and 
control; and DOD information operations. In January 2005, the Secretary 
of Defense also assigned the command responsibility for integrating and 
synchronizing DOD's efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction. 
DOD envisioned that U.S. Strategic Command's global operations would 
potentially add value to the geographic combatant commands as they 
carried out their responsibilities, and provide the President and 
Secretary of Defense with an expanded range of military options for 
responding to future threats. 

U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency created the 
Warfighter Involvement Process in 2005 to accomplish U.S. Strategic 
Command's responsibility to advocate for desired global missile defense 
characteristics and capabilities on behalf of all combatant commanders. 
Additionally, U.S. Strategic Command envisions using the process as a 
way for the military services and the Joint Staff to provide the 
Missile Defense Agency with guidance and advice on desired ballistic 
missile defense capabilities, operational approaches, and suitability 
and supportability features. The Warfighter Involvement Process is 
intended to provide a collaborative forum for the combatant commands, 
U.S. Strategic Command, Joint Staff, and military services to identify, 
assess, and articulate capability needs to the Missile Defense Agency, 
analyze the risks associated with capability gaps and redundancies, and 
examine possible solutions and implementation timelines. Although the 
Warfighter Involvement Process involves a variety of organizations, 
U.S. Strategic Command is responsible for administering and managing 
the various analytical activities, software tools, focus groups, and 
review boards that make up the process. 

GAO has previously reviewed DOD's plans to operate ballistic missile 
defense systems as certain systems have transitioned from a research 
and development emphasis to operational military capabilities.[Footnote 
12] For example, in 2006 we assessed DOD's preparations to operate and 
support ballistic missile defenses that are under continuous 
development. In 2007, we reported that DOD's long-term plans to develop 
boost and ascent phase missile defense systems did not consider 
operational perspectives on how many of these systems would be required 
for various deployment periods, or the challenges of establishing bases 
at potential deployment locations. Additionally, in response to a 
congressional mandate, we have annually reported since 2003 on the 
cost, schedule, testing, and performance progress that the Missile 
Defense Agency is making in developing ballistic missile defenses. 
[Footnote 13] 

Warfighter Involvement Process Has Helped the Missile Defense Agency 
Address Some Capability Needs but the Process Faces Key Limitations: 

U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency created the 
Warfighter Involvement Process in 2005 to identify and address the 
combatant commands' ballistic missile defense capability needs, but the 
process has yet to overcome key limitations to its effectiveness. 
Although the Warfighter Involvement Process is still evolving, it has 
helped the Missile Defense Agency address some of the combatant 
commands' needs. However, even as U.S. Strategic Command and the 
Missile Defense Agency move forward with the process, they have not 
finalized the implementation guidance needed to clarify their 
respective roles and responsibilities; have not yet established 
effective methodologies for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing 
combatant command needs; and have not involved senior civilian DOD 
leadership to adjudicate potential differences among the combatant 
commands' priorities and provide a departmentwide perspective about how 
to best allocate resources. As a result, DOD is at risk of not 
addressing the combatant commands' missile defense needs if 
improvements are not made that establish an effective and well 
documented process and provide a DOD-wide perspective when prioritizing 
these needs. 

Warfighter Involvement Process Is Still Evolving but Has Helped the 
Missile Defense Agency Address Some Combatant Command Needs: 

Although the Warfighter Involvement Process was created in 2005 and is 
still evolving, the process has helped the Missile Defense Agency to 
address some combatant command ballistic missile defense capability 
needs. Since 2001, DOD has emphasized a capabilities-based development 
strategy to provide the combatant commands with the capabilities they 
require to deter and defeat a broad range of adversaries.[Footnote 14] 
By establishing the Missile Defense Agency in 2002, DOD intended to 
follow a more streamlined capabilities-based development strategy to 
rapidly develop and field ballistic missile defenses. Through the 
Warfighter Involvement Process, the agency has addressed some of the 
combatant commands' capability needs in developing ballistic missile 
defenses. However, because the Warfighter Involvement Process is still 
evolving, the combatant commands have not yet formally determined the 
extent to which the agency's plans are in line with the commands' 
needs. 

Warfighter Involvement Process Is Still Evolving: 

The Warfighter Involvement Process has not fully evolved to effectively 
convey either the commands' priorities to the Missile Defense Agency or 
the Missile Defense Agency's planned adjustments back to the commands. 
When the Secretary of Defense created the Missile Defense Agency in 
2002, DOD lacked a process for the agency to consider the combatant 
commands' priorities as it developed ballistic missile defenses. 
Instead, the Missile Defense Agency focused on developing and deploying 
capabilities based on its own technology-driven assessment of what 
could be fielded quickly in order to meet the President's direction to 
quickly field a limited ballistic missile defense system by 2004. As a 
result, the Missile Defense Agency expedited its initial designs and 
development plans without formally considering the combatant commands' 
needs, according to the DOD Inspector General.[Footnote 15] 
Additionally, the agency identified long-term ballistic missile defense 
system capability goals before having a process in place to identify 
the commands' capability needs. 

In emphasizing the rapid initial development of ballistic missile 
defense systems, the Missile Defense Agency anticipated that further 
investments could be needed to better meet the combatant commands' 
requirements. Under the Secretary of Defense's 2002 direction, the 
Missile Defense Agency's approach has been to deploy capabilities 
early, which may only partially meet warfighter needs, and then 
incrementally improve the deployed capabilities' effectiveness by 
inserting new technologies as they become available and as the threat 
warrants. To initiate this approach, the agency focused on further 
developing ballistic missile defenses that had been previously under 
development by the military services and subjected to DOD's traditional 
joint requirements determination process. Officials from U.S. Strategic 
Command, U.S. Northern Command, the Missile Defense Agency, and the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense told us that the agency's approach 
resulted in the rapid deployment of operational missile defenses. A 
senior Missile Defense Agency official added that the Secretary of 
Defense reviewed and approved the agency's plans for developing this 
initial defensive capability. However, absent the combatant commands' 
inputs, U.S. Strategic Command concluded in January 2005 that taking 
this approach made it difficult not only for the Missile Defense Agency 
to associate its actions with the commands' requirements, but also for 
the combatant commands to evaluate the agency's progress. According to 
U.S. Strategic Command, the lack of a process also created the 
potential for inefficiencies and unnecessary redundancies in the 
Missile Defense Agency's investments, resulting in increased risk to 
the baseline costs and operational effectiveness of the ballistic 
missile defense systems under development. 

U.S. Strategic Command recognized the need to formalize a process to 
carry out its missile defense advocacy responsibilities, even as the 
Missile Defense Agency was focused on developing and deploying 
capabilities quickly. Following U.S. Strategic Command's creation in 
2002 and assignment of several new missions in January 2003, the 
command took a wide range of actions to implement and integrate these 
missions, such as developing various plans, concepts, and guidance; 
establishing procedures and processes; identifying personnel and 
funding resources; developing new relationships; building communication 
networks; and providing training, education, and exercises. Among these 
activities, U.S. Strategic Command took steps to establish its role as 
the combatant commands' advocate for missile defenses. For example, in 
its November 2003 Strategic Concept for Global Ballistic Missile 
Defense,[Footnote 16] U.S. Strategic Command outlined its initial 
concept for developing and advocating for desired ballistic missile 
defense capabilities. Subsequently, in late 2004 and early 2005, U.S. 
Strategic Command recognized the need for creating a more formalized 
process for identifying and addressing the warfighter's ballistic 
missile defense needs. Additionally, the command undertook several 
reorganizations, the latest occurring in late 2004 and early 2005, 
where it established a new functional component for integrated missile 
defense to bring focus and attention to the command's operational 
responsibilities.[Footnote 17] 

Missile Defense Agency Has Addressed Some Combatant Command Needs 
following the Warfighter Involvement Process's Creation: 

The Missile Defense Agency has addressed some combatant command needs 
since it and U.S. Strategic Command created the Warfighter Involvement 
Process in 2005. A key output of this newly established process is the 
Prioritized Capabilities List, which is intended to specify how the 
combatant commands collectively prioritize the full range of 
capabilities needed to perform ballistic missile defense missions. U.S. 
Strategic Command first provided the Prioritized Capabilities List to 
the Missile Defense Agency in 2006; a revised list was also provided in 
2007. Combatant commands that provided inputs to the Prioritized 
Capabilities List include: U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, 
U.S. Joint Forces Command,[Footnote 18] U.S. Northern Command, U.S. 
Pacific Command, and U.S. Strategic Command. Appendix II identifies 
short descriptions of the 27 capabilities listed in the 2007 
Prioritized Capabilities List. 

Following the Warfighter Involvement Process's creation and preparation 
of the first Prioritized Capabilities List, the Missile Defense Agency 
adjusted some investment programs in response to the combatant 
commands' prioritized requirements. In particular: 

* The Missile Defense Agency created new investment programs to develop 
sea-based defenses against short-range missiles in their terminal phase 
of flight. The first Prioritized Capabilities List identified the 
combatant commands' need for a sea-based terminal defense capability, 
but at that time the Missile Defense Agency was not investing resources 
to develop sea-based terminal defenses. After receiving the first 
Prioritized Capabilities List, the Missile Defense Agency included a 
program in its fiscal year 2008 budget proposal to modify and deploy up 
to 100 Navy Standard Missile-2 interceptors as a near-term option. 
Additionally, the Missile Defense Agency created a second program to 
develop more capable systems that would be available in the long term. 
The Missile Defense Agency's current plans for these programs include 
spending a total of $124 million through fiscal year 2011 on the near- 
term option,[Footnote 19] and $487 million through fiscal year 2013 to 
develop more advanced, long-term options. 

* The Missile Defense Agency shifted funding to place greater emphasis 
on some existing investments because of requirements identified on the 
Prioritized Capabilities List. In particular, the Missile Defense 
Agency has been developing capabilities to sustain ballistic missile 
defense operations while simultaneously making the system available for 
testing, training, upgrades, and maintenance. Although the combatant 
commands had identified this capability need and the Missile Defense 
Agency funded this capability, it took on new urgency when the 
ballistic missile defense system was taken out of test mode and put in 
an operational status for the first time in 2006. While the system was 
operational, it was not available to either the Missile Defense Agency 
for developmental activities and maintenance or to the combatant 
commands for training. To address this shortfall, the Missile Defense 
Agency increased resources to more quickly develop concurrent testing, 
training, and operations capabilities. According to the Missile Defense 
Agency, the agency increased funding for this effort from about $0.5 
million in fiscal year 2006 to $6.9 million in fiscal year 2007. 
[Footnote 20] 

* The Missile Defense Agency has responded to numerous combatant 
command requests to change systems that have already been fielded. 
Working closely with U.S. Strategic Command's functional component for 
integrated missile defense, the Missile Defense Agency has modified 
some systems' hardware and software to meet the combatant commands' 
capability needs. U.S. Strategic Command officials told us that the 
combatant commands typically identify the need for such changes as the 
result of exercises, training, or operational experience. Although 
officials we spoke with viewed the agency's responsiveness to these 
requests as positive, some observed that a more effective process for 
involving the warfighter earlier in developing systems could reduce the 
need to change these systems once they had been developed and fielded. 

Although the Warfighter Involvement Process has not yet fully evolved, 
Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command officials believe the 
agency has generally been responsive to the combatant commands' 
capability needs. For example, a 2007 joint study by the Missile 
Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command concluded that the agency was 
at least partially addressing all of the combatant commands' capability 
needs. Additionally, Missile Defense Agency officials told us that, 
based on the study's results and the agency's assessment of the 2007 
Prioritized Capabilities List, the agency was making adjustments to its 
investment plans to help mitigate potential gaps between the commands' 
needs and the agency's programs. However, for approximately 3 years 
after it began making investments to develop and deploy systems, the 
Missile Defense Agency lacked the ability to ascertain the extent to 
which its efforts were aligned with the commands' needs. Moreover, as 
of May 2008, the combatant commands had not yet formally assessed and 
responded to the Missile Defense Agency's recently revised plans. As a 
result, the commands have not formally determined the extent to which 
the agency's plans are in line with the commands' needs. 

Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command Have Not Yet Overcome 
Key Limitations: 

Although the Warfighter Involvement Process has helped address some of 
the commands' needs, U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense 
Agency have yet to overcome key limitations as they move forward with 
the process. These interrelated limitations include a lack of clear and 
well documented roles and responsibilities; ineffective methodologies 
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing combatant command 
priorities; and the lack of senior civilian DOD participation in the 
process to adjudicate among the commands' priorities and assess 
departmentwide risk about how to best allocate resources. 

U.S. Strategic Command and Missile Defense Agency Roles and 
Responsibilities Are Not Well Documented: 

U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency have not yet 
clarified their respective roles and responsibilities by putting into 
place the approved and complete guidance needed to implement the 
process and to hold them accountable for achieving results. The Office 
of Management and Budget's guidance on establishing internal controls 
emphasizes that agencies should design management structures for 
programs to help ensure accountability for results.[Footnote 21] 
According to GAO's Standards for Internal Control in the Federal 
Government,[Footnote 22] such management structures include clearly 
documented guidance, including policies, procedures, directives, 
instructions, and other documentation that establish roles and 
responsibilities needed to achieve an organization's mission and 
objectives. Additionally, our prior work on internal controls and 
management accountability also has emphasized that complete guidance 
should be approved, current, and binding on all appropriate 
stakeholders. Lacking approved and complete guidance, the combatant 
commands have not had a clear understanding of U.S. Strategic Command's 
and the Missile Defense Agency's roles and responsibilities, and have 
lacked a mechanism to hold either organization accountable for 
effectively identifying, prioritizing, and addressing their needs. 

U.S. Strategic Command has not yet put into place approved guidance 
formally establishing its roles and responsibilities under the 
Warfighter Involvement Process, although it has been developing a 
commandwide instruction to do so since 2005. In preparing the 
instruction, U.S. Strategic Command solicited comments from stakeholder 
organizations, including other combatant commands and the Joint Staff, 
in order to build consensus around key relationships that support the 
Warfighter Involvement Process. Some stakeholders raised key issues 
about U.S. Strategic Command's roles in the Warfighter Involvement 
Process. For example, U.S. Central Command officials commented that a 
draft version of U.S. Strategic Command's instruction conveyed too much 
responsibility to U.S. Strategic Command for speaking on behalf of the 
other commands when advocating for their capability needs. In response, 
U.S. Strategic Command modified its instruction to more clearly limit 
its responsibilities for prioritizing the different commands' needs. In 
addition to addressing stakeholder comments, U.S. Strategic Command 
changed the draft instruction to incorporate recommendations from a 
2007 joint study by the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic 
Command on how to improve the Warfighter Involvement Process. In 
February 2008, the command also updated the draft instruction to 
account for its newly assigned responsibility relating to DOD's efforts 
to integrate air and missile defenses across the department. U.S. 
Strategic Command officials told us that the command plans to approve 
and issue the instruction by mid-2008. However, the command's draft 
instruction recognizes that further clarifications and details for 
implementing the Warfighter Involvement Process are still needed, which 
may require additional revisions after the current draft is approved. 
Until U.S. Strategic Command has approved guidance in place, the 
combatant commands continue to lack a mechanism that holds U.S. 
Strategic Command accountable for its roles and responsibilities under 
the Warfighter Involvement Process. 

The Missile Defense Agency also does not have finalized guidance in 
place detailing its responsibilities in the Warfighter Involvement 
Process. Lacking such guidance, officials from several combatant 
commands told us that the Missile Defense Agency has not provided them 
with enough insight into how it takes their needs into account. 
Although some of the Missile Defense Agency's Warfighter Involvement 
Process responsibilities are identified in U.S. Strategic Command's 
draft instruction, this instruction does not provide specific details 
about how the agency will carry them out. Additionally, the U.S. 
Strategic Command draft instruction will not be binding on the Missile 
Defense Agency once it is completed. In commenting on U.S. Strategic 
Command's draft instruction, Joint Staff officials asked U.S. Strategic 
Command how the Missile Defense Agency would be held accountable for 
its Warfighter Involvement Process responsibilities. U.S. Strategic 
Command responded that its goal was for the Missile Defense Agency to 
either approve the U.S. Strategic Command instruction, or publish a 
complementary document stipulating its responsibilities. Missile 
Defense Agency officials told us in May 2008 that the agency had not 
yet taken either of these actions because U.S. Strategic Command's 
instruction was still incomplete. 

Until recently, the Missile Defense Agency did not plan to prepare its 
own guidance for establishing its roles and responsibilities in the 
Warfighter Involvement Process. In March 2006, a senior Missile Defense 
Agency official stated to the DOD Inspector General that the agency did 
not plan to issue a new directive that complemented U.S. Strategic 
Command's instruction.[Footnote 23] Instead, the official stated that 
the agency's Integrated Program Policy and Systems Engineering Plan 
would be used to document the agency's Warfighter Involvement Process 
responsibilities.[Footnote 24] However, these documents provide top- 
level direction and descriptions of the agency's decision-making 
processes and lack specific details about how the agency would fulfill 
its Warfighter Involvement Process responsibilities. Moreover, the 
agency has not yet updated these documents to identify specific 
Warfighter Involvement Process roles and responsibilities. 
Additionally, a Missile Defense Agency official told us that, based on 
its experience during 2006 and 2007, the agency needed to prepare 
internal guidance to ensure that all of its project offices understood 
and could be held accountable for their responsibilities under the 
process. In May 2008, agency officials told us that the agency not only 
was planning to update some of this internal guidance, but also was 
beginning to prepare its own Warfighter Involvement Process guidance to 
complement U.S. Strategic Command's instruction. Until the Missile 
Defense Agency completes this effort, the combatant commands will 
continue to lack both transparency into the Missile Defense Agency's 
process for addressing their needs, and the means to hold the agency 
accountable. 

Warfighter Involvement Process Has Not Resulted in Effective 
Methodologies for Identifying, Prioritizing, and Addressing Capability 
Needs: 

The Warfighter Involvement Process has not yet resulted in effective 
methodologies for the combatant commands to identify and prioritize 
their capability needs and for the Missile Defense Agency to address 
the combatant commands' capability needs. According to U.S. Strategic 
Command's draft instruction, the goals of the Warfighter Involvement 
Process include providing a unified means for the combatant commands to 
communicate desired capabilities to the Missile Defense Agency, and for 
the Missile Defense Agency to communicate its resultant acquisition 
plans back to the commands. The Prioritized Capabilities List is 
intended to achieve these goals through methodologies that clearly, 
completely, and accurately identify the commands' needed capabilities, 
and distinguish one priority from the next. Additionally, U.S. 
Strategic Command's draft Warfighter Involvement Process instruction 
indicates that an effective methodology for addressing the commands' 
needs would clearly associate the agency's investments with those 
needs. Lacking effective methodologies, the combatant commands have not 
communicated their capability needs in an understandable and useful way 
to the Missile Defense Agency, and the agency has not clearly 
communicated how the combatant commands' capability needs are being 
addressed in its development and investment decisions. 

Some Combatant Commands' Needs Not Clearly Identified: 

Our work revealed several examples where the methodology used to 
develop the Prioritized Capabilities List did not effectively identify 
the specific capability needs of some of the combatant commands. In 
identifying the capability needs on the Prioritized Capabilities List, 
U.S. Strategic Command used a capabilities-based approach to prepare 
broad, generalized statements describing the full range of capabilities 
needed to operate a global ballistic missile defense system. As a 
result of this approach, several of the capabilities on the list 
encompass multiple functional areas, such as interceptors, sensors, and 
communications, which has made it difficult for the Missile Defense 
Agency to identify the specific capabilities that the commands require. 
Additionally, by focusing on developing the capabilities that the 
combatant commands would need in the future,[Footnote 25] U.S. 
Strategic Command officials told us the Prioritized Capabilities List 
has not provided an adequate format for the combatant commands to 
identify their needs for forces to meet ongoing operational 
requirements. Although U.S. Joint Forces Command officials told us that 
the 2007 list clearly identified the capabilities that were important 
to their command, officials from the three geographic combatant 
commands with whom we spoke told us that the list did not effectively 
represent their needs. For example: 

* U.S. Northern Command officials told us that the capabilities did not 
adequately or clearly identify some of their more specific needs 
because the capabilities on the list encompass the specific needs of 
multiple commands, which could obscure the meaning and intent of the 
underlying needs of the individual commands. 

* U.S. Pacific Command officials told us that the 2007 Prioritized 
Capabilities List did not fully meet their command's needs because the 
list was not designed to identify the quantities of interceptors that 
the command needs to meet specific requirements for missile defense 
operations in the Pacific region,[Footnote 26] given the potential 
ballistic missile threats posed to U.S. forces and allies in the 
region. 

* U.S. Central Command officials told us that the 2007 Prioritized 
Capabilities List provided the appropriate detail for systems that have 
yet to be developed. However, the officials also told us that U.S. 
Central Command's primary need is to be sure that the command has 
access to sufficient short-range missile defense systems for operations 
in its region.[Footnote 27] They added that the Prioritized 
Capabilities List has not been an effective tool for advocating for 
these needs because it is focused, instead, on future capability 
requirements. 

U.S. Strategic Command officials stated that they used a capabilities- 
based approach to identify and prioritize capability needs because this 
approach is consistent with DOD's traditional joint requirements 
determination process used by the combatant commands in non-missile- 
defense areas, which initially identifies requirements in broad terms. 
[Footnote 28] U.S. Strategic Command stated that this approach allowed 
it to identify and condense over 100 tasks required to plan and execute 
ballistic missile defense missions into the 27 capabilities on the 2007 
Prioritized Capabilities List. U.S. Strategic Command officials added 
that this approach resulted in a list of manageable length and level of 
detail needed to provide the Missile Defense Agency with insight into 
the commands' needs. The officials further stated that the list was not 
designed to identify the commands' short-term operational requirements, 
adding that U.S. Strategic Command planned to put into place a 
Warfighter Involvement Process function to identify and advocate for 
the commands' operational force requirements. However, the U.S. 
Strategic Command and Missile Defense Agency officials agreed that the 
lists prepared to date have not provided enough specific detail to 
inform the Missile Defense Agency about how to best address the 
commands' needs when developing new capabilities. Until U.S. Strategic 
Command develops a methodology to more clearly identify the commands' 
capability needs, the Prioritized Capabilities List's effectiveness as 
a guide for the Missile Defense Agency for investing resources will 
continue to be limited. 

Combatant Commands' Needs Not Consistently Prioritized: 

In addition to not effectively identifying some of the combatant 
commands' capability needs, the Warfighter Involvement Process also has 
not resulted in a consistent methodology for prioritizing these needs. 
In preparing the 2006 Prioritized Capabilities List, the combatant 
commands grouped the capabilities by the time frames in which they will 
be needed--either near-, mid-, or far-term.[Footnote 29] In contrast, 
for preparing the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List, U.S. Strategic 
Command asked the combatant commands to evaluate each capability's 
relative importance to (1) the command's ballistic missile defense 
mission, weighted at 60 percent; (2) the command's other missions, 
weighted at 30 percent; and (3) other joint capability areas, weighted 
at 10 percent. For each capability, the combatant commands were told to 
assign a rating of 1 (lowest importance) to 5 (highest importance) for 
each factor, multiply the rating by the appropriate weight, and add the 
three ratings up to develop a score for each capability. However, the 
individual combatant commands did not consistently apply this 
methodology: 

* Some combatant commands took additional factors into account when 
prioritizing their individual capability needs. U.S. Strategic Command 
officials told us that each of the combatant commands was best 
positioned to determine for itself how to use the criteria for 
prioritizing the capabilities on the list. However, in the analysis 
accompanying the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List, U.S. Strategic 
Command recognized as a limitation that the commands may have 
considered the current performance of a system or other criteria when 
prioritizing their needs. Missile Defense Agency officials told us that 
some combatant commands appeared to follow U.S. Strategic Command's 
direction and prioritize the capabilities based on their overall 
importance to their current responsibilities, while other commands 
appeared to prioritize their needs based on what capabilities they were 
lacking. As a result, the Missile Defense Agency officials told us that 
the Missile Defense Agency lacked clarity on what the commands were 
trying to communicate in the Prioritized Capabilities List. 

* The combatant commands also did not consistently rank their 
capability needs. For example, U.S. Northern Command officials told us 
that they believed it was important to clearly distinguish among 
priorities by not assigning the same score to more than one capability, 
whereas U.S. Joint Forces Command officials told us that duplicate 
scores indicated that some capabilities were equally important to the 
command. Additionally, U.S. Joint Forces Command officials told us that 
U.S. Strategic Command did not initially provide guidance on whether 
duplicate scores were acceptable; however, they stated that U.S. 
Strategic Command officials later told them that such results were 
valid. In addition to U.S. Joint Forces Command, which assigned the 
second-highest score to four capabilities, U.S. Central Command and 
U.S. Pacific Command both assigned the highest score to four 
capabilities, and U.S. European Command assigned the second-highest 
score to three capabilities. However, Missile Defense Agency officials 
told us that it would be more useful to the agency if the combatant 
commands more clearly distinguished among their prioritized needs by 
not assigning duplicate scores. 

Missile Defense Agency's Response to the Prioritized Capabilities List 
Not Formally Assessed: 

U.S. Strategic Command has not formally assessed the Missile Defense 
Agency's responses to the 2006 and 2007 Prioritized Capabilities Lists 
to determine whether the agency has developed an effective methodology 
for addressing the combatant commands' needs. Such an analysis of the 
Missile Defense Agency's response is envisioned in U.S. Strategic 
Command's draft Warfighter Involvement Process instruction. However, 
U.S. Strategic Command did not prepare a formal response to the 
agency's first Achievable Capabilities List,[Footnote 30] which the 
Missile Defense Agency provided to the combatant commands in 2006. U.S. 
Strategic Command and Missile Defense Agency officials stated that the 
2006 Achievable Capabilities List was ineffective because the agency 
did not analyze its detailed investment programs to determine the 
extent to which its programs were well aligned with the commands' 
priorities. U.S. Strategic Command officials told us that clear, direct 
linkages between the Prioritized Capabilities List and the Missile 
Defense Agency's programs were difficult to establish because the 
capabilities on the Prioritized Capabilities List are at a broad, 
generalized level and the Missile Defense Agency's program of record is 
at a system-specific level. As a result, the Missile Defense Agency's 
response to the first Prioritized Capabilities List did not provide 
U.S. Strategic Command with funding or budget information needed to 
prepare a formal response to the 2006 Achievable Capabilities List. 

The Missile Defense Agency has prepared a more complete and detailed 
response to the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List, but U.S. Strategic 
Command has not yet formally analyzed the agency's response. Missile 
Defense Agency officials told us that compared to the 2006 Achievable 
Capabilities List, the 2007 Achievable Capabilities List provides 
better information about how the agency has addressed the commands' 
needs. Unlike the previous list, the 2007 Achievable Capabilities List 
provides more information, including a capability gap analysis and a 
detailed budget analysis that links each of the commands' 27 capability 
needs to the agency's investment programs. According to the Missile 
Defense Agency, at least four combatant commands have provided 
favorable feedback to the Missile Defense Agency about its 2007 
response. However, the combatant commands have not yet formally 
assessed whether the agency's methodology for addressing their needs is 
effective. As envisioned by the U.S. Strategic Command's Warfighter 
Involvement Process draft instruction, U.S. Strategic Command would 
analyze and reply to the agency's Achievable Capabilities List by 
preparing a Capability Assessment Report. U.S. Strategic Command stated 
that this report is to appraise the Missile Defense Agency's funding 
plans, assess whether the agency's development trends are expected to 
provide effective capabilities, and facilitate further interaction with 
the agency about potential changes to the Missile Defense Agency's 
investments. Having received the agency's most recent Achievable 
Capabilities List in April 2008, U.S. Strategic Command officials told 
us that they plan to complete this assessment and provide the 
Capability Assessment Report to the Missile Defense Agency by mid- 
August 2008. However, the officials told us that they did not expect 
that the Missile Defense Agency would have time to make significant 
adjustments to its fiscal year 2010 budget proposal after receiving the 
Capability Assessment Report. Until U.S. Strategic Command prepares 
this assessment, the agency will lack the commands' formal feedback on 
how well it is addressing their needs and may miss opportunities to 
make adjustments to its plans and future budgets. 

U.S. Strategic Command and Missile Defense Agency Are Taking Steps to 
Improve Warfighter Involvement Process: 

U.S. Strategic Command and Missile Defense Agency officials told us 
that the Warfighter Involvement Process has provided the Missile 
Defense Agency with important information about the combatant commands' 
needed capabilities, and that they are taking steps to improve their 
respective inputs to the process. U.S. Strategic Command officials told 
us that the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List highlighted an overall 
preference among the commands for the Missile Defense Agency to further 
improve existing capabilities, rather than develop new types of 
ballistic missile defenses. Missile Defense Agency officials added that 
the Warfighter Involvement Process has increased the agency's 
interactions with the combatant commands, which has provided the agency 
a broader perspective of the combatant commands' operational 
responsibilities, including insight into their operational needs for 
integrated planning, communications, and consequence management. 
Further, U.S. Strategic Command has sought new methodologies to enhance 
the ability to identify and prioritize the commands' capability needs 
as the process has evolved. Moving forward, U.S. Strategic Command 
plans to improve the Prioritized Capabilities List by distinguishing 
between overall, long-term capability needs and shorter-term 
development goals. Command officials also told us that they intend to 
improve the list by clarifying the capability statements to provide 
better guidance to the Missile Defense Agency. According to the 
officials, this improved list would be prepared in time for the Missile 
Defense Agency to consider when it prepares its 2012 budget proposal. 
However, as of May 2008, U.S. Strategic Command had only begun the 
process of determining the methodologies for identifying and 
prioritizing the commands' capability needs. Until U.S. Strategic 
Command prepares effective and consistent methodologies for identifying 
and prioritizing these capabilities, the Prioritized Capabilities List 
will continue to be of limited use to the Missile Defense Agency. 
Moreover, Missile Defense Agency officials indicated that they may need 
to make further improvements to the agency's approach for addressing 
the commands' needs. Unless the Missile Defense Agency has developed an 
effective methodology for addressing their needs, the commands' ability 
to provide a detailed, formal assessment of the agency's plans will be 
limited. 

Warfighter Involvement Process Lacked Senior Civilian DOD Leadership 
Involvement: 

Unlike DOD's traditional process for prioritizing combatant command 
capability needs when DOD prepares its funding plans, the Warfighter 
Involvement Process has lacked the involvement of senior civilian DOD 
officials with a departmentwide perspective to adjudicate potential 
differences among the combatant commands' priorities. Under DOD's 
traditional process, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, evaluates the 
combatant commands' individual and collective requirements, and advises 
the Secretary of Defense on the extent to which DOD investment plans 
are addressing these requirements. In contrast, the Warfighter 
Involvement Process is not structured to involve senior civilian DOD 
leadership to provide their perspective on how to assess risk and 
allocate resources for missile defenses and other DOD needs. Instead, 
U.S. Strategic Command consolidated each command's capability needs 
into an overall prioritized list, and then provided the list directly 
to the Missile Defense Agency. Lacking the involvement of senior 
civilian DOD officials in reviewing the commands' priorities, the 
Missile Defense Agency has not benefited from receiving a broader, 
departmentwide perspective on which of the commands' needs were the 
most significant. 

Under traditional DOD requirements processes, each combatant command is 
responsible for identifying and seeking the specific military 
capabilities that it needs to implement its own mission. Moreover, the 
commands' capability needs differ and depend on their individual 
mission responsibilities. For example, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. 
Central Command's missions and geographic responsibilities primarily 
call for ballistic missile defenses that can address short-and medium- 
range missile threats to deployed forces and to U.S. friends and 
allies. U.S. Central Command officials added that they also require sea-
based missile defense capabilities to provide greater operational 
flexibility in a politically volatile region. U.S. Northern Command's 
mission is to defend the U.S. homeland, and its primary operational 
focus for ballistic missile defense is on intercontinental threats. As 
the combatant command responsible for developing robust, joint command 
and control capabilities and interoperable systems, U.S. Joint Forces 
Command has emphasized the need to integrate ballistic missile defense 
capabilities with air and cruise missile defenses. U.S. Strategic 
Command, which is responsible for planning, integrating, and 
coordinating global missile defense operations, has worldwide 
responsibilities that include working with all of the geographic 
commands on an equal basis to defend their respective regions. 

Given these varied mission needs, some combatant command officials told 
us that they were not satisfied with U.S. Strategic Command's approach 
for preparing the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List. To prepare the 
list, U.S. Strategic Command determined an overall score for each of 
the 27 capabilities on the list by adding together the scores that the 
commands had assigned to each individual capability. U.S. Strategic 
Command then listed the capabilities from highest to lowest aggregate 
score to consolidate the commands' needs into a single, overall 
prioritized list. U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Joint Forces Command 
officials told us that this was a reasonable approach to follow for 
consolidating the commands' priorities because it equitably represented 
each command's needs. However, other combatant command officials told 
us that they were dissatisfied with this approach. For example, U.S. 
Central Command officials told us this approach had limited utility 
because it did not consider or distinguish among the different 
commands' mission responsibilities. U.S. Pacific Command officials 
similarly told us that compiling a single list should not be based only 
on the sum of each capability's score, but should also consider each 
command's specific military responsibilities relative to each other. 
U.S. Northern Command officials told us that the combatant commands' 
varied mission requirements made it difficult to consolidate the 
commands' capability needs in a meaningful way without judging which 
missile defense missions were the most pressing. 

Although they prefer to have their commands' individual mission 
responsibilities taken into account when preparing the Prioritized 
Capabilities List, some combatant command officials told us that the 
Warfighter Involvement Process was not well structured to adjudicate 
potential differences among their needs. For example, in comments on a 
draft of U.S. Strategic Command's Warfighter Involvement Process 
instruction, U.S. Central Command stated the Unified Command Plan did 
not implicitly or explicitly convey to U.S. Strategic Command the 
responsibility to assess the relative importance of the other commands' 
capability needs. U.S. Northern Command officials told us that although 
U.S. Strategic Command is best positioned among the combatant commands 
to advocate for warfighter-desired ballistic missile defense 
capabilities, they were unsure whether the Unified Command Plan gave 
U.S. Strategic Command the responsibility, as the Warfighter 
Involvement Process administrator, to determine which of the other 
commands' needs were the most important. U.S. Pacific Command officials 
also told us that U.S. Strategic Command may lack the proper 
perspective to assess and evaluate the other commands' mission areas 
when determining overall priorities. The U.S. Pacific Command officials 
added that senior civilian DOD officials could apply a broader 
perspective to help specify whether the prioritized list should 
emphasize one command's mission needs over another's. Although U.S. 
Joint Forces Command officials told us that U.S. Strategic Command has 
the appropriate authorities to develop a Prioritized Capabilities List 
on behalf of the other commands, they stated that U.S. Strategic 
Command would have difficulty reaching consensus among the combatant 
commands about which of their mission needs were the most important, 
which could make the process of preparing a final list unnecessarily 
complicated and difficult. U.S. Strategic Command officials also stated 
that adjudicating the priorities of the other commands is not within 
the scope of the Warfighter Involvement Process; rather, the command 
officials told us that they intended use the Prioritized Capabilities 
List to identify the combatant commands' collective priorities for 
developing a globally integrated ballistic missile defense system. U.S. 
Strategic Command further stated that senior DOD leadership should be 
responsible for instructing the Missile Defense Agency about how to 
best address these priorities. 

U.S. Strategic Command officials stated that, even as they did not 
adjudicate the other commands' mission needs in preparing the 2007 
Prioritized Capabilities List, they did not involve senior civilian DOD 
authorities to do so. Rather, U.S. Strategic Command sought the other 
combatant commands' approval of the list, and then provided the list to 
the Missile Defense Agency without first seeking a review outside the 
Warfighter Involvement Process by DOD officials with responsibilities 
for assessing risk and allocating resources. In particular, U.S. 
Strategic Command convened a meeting of 1-star and 2-star general and 
flag officers from the combatant commands to review the list and 
resolve any disagreements before it was finalized. U.S. Strategic 
Command also circulated drafts of the list for the commands' senior 
leadership to review, and made changes to the list in response to 
critical comments from one of the commands. As a result, while the 
commanders of the combatant commands approved the list before U.S. 
Strategic Command sent it to the Missile Defense Agency, the list did 
not receive a higher-level review to determine which of their 
priorities was most important. 

U.S. Strategic Command officials told us that they recognized that 
consolidating the individual commands' needs into an overall set of 
priorities would result in some commands having their priorities ranked 
higher than those of other commands. However, U.S. Strategic Command 
officials added that they were responsive to the need to make the 
individual commands' priorities transparent. For example, the analysis 
accompanying the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List documented how each 
command individually ranked the 27 capabilities on the list, so that 
the Missile Defense Agency could gain insight into what the individual 
commands needed. Additionally, the analysis accompanying the 2007 list 
highlighted that U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, and U.S. 
Pacific Command gave higher scores for capabilities needed to defend 
deployed forces, U.S. allies, and friends, while U.S. Strategic Command 
and U.S. Northern Command prioritized higher those capabilities needed 
to defend the U.S. homeland. Further, U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. 
Joint Forces Command officials told us that the overall list provided a 
fair perspective on the commands' overall priorities because the 
capabilities ranked highest on the consolidated list were highly ranked 
by multiple commands. However, without involving senior DOD officials 
to provide a departmentwide review of these overall priorities, assess 
the commands' varied mission responsibilities, and provide their 
perspective on which priorities were the most significant, the 
consolidated list could obscure the importance of a key national 
defense priority if that need was ranked highly by only one command. 

In contrast to preparing the Prioritized Capabilities List, other 
aspects of U.S. Strategic Command's ballistic missile defense 
responsibilities involve senior DOD officials for reviewing and 
adjudicating decisions that affect the other combatant commands. For 
example, under U.S. Strategic Command's 2003 concept for planning, 
integrating, and coordinating global ballistic missile defense forces 
during a crisis, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, would be 
responsible for considering a U.S. Strategic Command recommendation to 
reallocate ballistic missile defense forces from one combatant 
command's region to another's. Although U.S. Strategic Command's 
concept states that "in most cases, U.S. Strategic Command's 
recommendations will be understood and accepted by the other combatant 
commands," the affected commands could present alternative 
recommendations to the Secretary of Defense if they disagreed with U.S. 
Strategic Command's proposal. By providing for senior-level involvement 
during planning, U.S. Strategic Command ensures that the decision to 
reallocate forces from one region to another is made based on a full, 
DOD-wide perspective on how to best meet national security needs. 

DOD is taking steps to improve the oversight of ballistic missile 
defense developments, but so far these steps have not included plans to 
involve senior civilian DOD officials to adjudicate the combatant 
commands' priorities. The Missile Defense Executive Board was chartered 
in March 2007 to review and make recommendations on the Missile Defense 
Agency's comprehensive acquisition strategy to the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense. U.S. Northern Command officials stated to us that the Missile 
Defense Executive Board could play a valuable role by reviewing the 
Prioritized Capabilities List before it was provided to the Missile 
Defense Agency. Similarly, U.S. Strategic Command officials told us 
that the Missile Defense Executive Board could provide the combatant 
commands with a venue outside the Warfighter Involvement Process for 
reviewing and adjudicating their differing mission needs after the 
Prioritized Capabilities List is completed, but before the list is 
provided to the Missile Defense Agency. The U.S. Strategic Command 
officials added that the board could provide a perspective that U.S. 
Strategic Command lacked on the cost, risk, and benefits of allocating 
resources to develop specific priorities. Since late 2007 the board has 
been considering new processes to improve the management of DOD 
resources to develop and operate ballistic missile defenses. Chaired by 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and 
Logistics, the Board's membership includes senior-level representatives 
from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
U.S. Strategic Command, and other organizations. As a result, the board 
is expected to provide DOD with a means to exercise broader oversight 
of the Missile Defense Agency than its predecessor organizations. 
[Footnote 31] However, U.S. Strategic Command and Office of the 
Secretary of Defense officials told us that the board's current focus 
is to align the services' and Missile Defense Agency's resource plans 
to support ballistic missile defense operations, rather than assess the 
relative importance of the combatant commands' ballistic missile 
defense mission responsibilities and corresponding capability needs. 
Unless senior civilian DOD officials get involved in adjudicating the 
commands' overall priorities before DOD makes resource decisions, the 
Missile Defense Agency will lack a departmentwide perspective on how to 
best allocate resources to meet the broad array of missile threats that 
confront U.S. national security. 

Conclusions: 

The Warfighter Involvement Process continues to evolve and mature as 
U.S. Strategic Command works with the other combatant commands to 
identify priorities and communicate them to the Missile Defense Agency. 
Because the process is distinct from DOD's traditional process, U.S. 
Strategic Command has had to build consensus around new roles, 
responsibilities, and authorities needed to make the combatant 
commands' capability needs known to the Missile Defense Agency. Even 
without a mature and effective Warfighter Involvement Process in place, 
the Missile Defense Agency has adjusted some of its investments to 
better meet the combatant commands' capability needs. However, U.S. 
Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency have yet to overcome 
key limitations that complicate both U.S. Strategic Command's efforts 
to advocate on behalf of the other commands, and the Missile Defense 
Agency's ability to address their needs. Although U.S. Strategic 
Command has been drafting implementation guidance since 2005, neither 
the command nor the Missile Defense Agency has finalized such guidance, 
which is needed to clarify their respective roles and responsibilities. 
Additionally, the Prioritized Capabilities List has not been a clear 
and effective guide for the Missile Defense Agency to follow when 
making investment decisions. Moreover, the Missile Defense Agency has 
only recently analyzed the combatant commands' needs and linked them to 
its investment programs; until the combatant commands formally assess 
and respond to the agency's analysis, the extent to which the agency 
has effectively addressed the commands' needs will remain unclear. 
Finally, the Warfighter Involvement Process faces challenges in 
determining the relative importance of the combatant commands' varied 
ballistic missile defense responsibilities. Unless these priorities are 
vetted by senior civilian DOD officials with departmentwide 
responsibilities for assessing risk and allocating resources, the 
Missile Defense Agency will be left to act on the commands' priorities 
without the benefit of a DOD-wide perspective on the best approach to 
counter the short-, medium-, intermediate-, and intercontinental-range 
missile threats facing the United States. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To improve DOD's process for identifying and addressing combatant 
command priorities for ballistic missile defense capabilities, we 
recommend the Secretary of Defense direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic 
Command, in conjunction with the Director, Missile Defense Agency, to 
take the following two actions: 

1. complete and publish the implementation guidance needed to clearly 
define each organization's roles and responsibilities for identifying, 
prioritizing, and addressing combatant command capability needs for 
ballistic missile defenses, and review and update such guidance, as 
needed, as DOD's process continues to evolve; and: 

2. establish effective methodologies for identifying, prioritizing, and 
addressing combatant command capability needs for ballistic missile 
defenses. 

Further, to provide the Missile Defense Agency with feedback as to how 
well it has addressed the combatant commands' priorities in preparing 
future funding plans, we recommend the Secretary of Defense direct the 
Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in conjunction with the other 
combatant commands, to prepare an assessment of the Missile Defense 
Agency's funding plans compared to the commands' priorities, and 
provide the assessment to the Director, Missile Defense Agency. 

To provide a DOD-wide perspective on the combatant commands' 
priorities, given their views on the range of ballistic missile threats 
facing the United States, we recommend the Secretary of Defense direct 
the Missile Defense Executive Board to review each Prioritized 
Capabilities List upon its release, including the individual commands' 
priorities, and recommend to the Deputy Secretary of Defense an overall 
DOD-wide list of prioritized capabilities. We further recommend the 
Secretary of Defense direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense to provide 
guidance to the Director, Missile Defense Agency, on program priorities 
taking into account the Missile Defense Executive Board's 
recommendation. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with three 
recommendations and partially agreed with two recommendations. DOD also 
provided technical comments that we incorporated as appropriate. DOD's 
comments are reprinted in appendix III. 

DOD agreed with our recommendation that U.S. Strategic Command and the 
Missile Defense Agency complete and publish implementation guidance 
needed to clearly define each organization's roles and responsibilities 
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing combatant command 
capability needs for ballistic missile defenses. In its comments, DOD 
stated that the department has initiated the implementing guidance to 
define organizational roles and responsibilities. Specifically, DOD 
commented that on June 25, 2008, U.S. Strategic Command approved an 
instruction, titled Missile Defense Warfighter Involvement Process, 
that defines and establishes the process and outlines the command's 
roles and responsibilities to influence the development, coordination, 
administration, and advocacy of global missile defense capabilities. We 
believe this is a positive step. However, the issued instruction 
indicates that the command anticipates the need for future revisions to 
the instruction as the process continues to evolve and as DOD 
undertakes efforts to integrate air and missile defenses across the 
department. Since U.S. Strategic Command issued the instruction when 
our draft report was with DOD for comment, we modified the 
recommendation to direct U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense 
Agency to regularly review and update their guidance as the process 
evolves. DOD also commented that the Missile Defense Agency is defining 
its own guidance for its organizational roles and responsibilities to 
complement U.S. Strategic Command's guidance; however, DOD's comments 
did not provide us with a schedule or time frame for the completion of 
this effort. Until the Missile Defense Agency's guidance is completed, 
the combatant commands will continue to lack transparency into the 
Missile Defense Agency's process for addressing their needs and the 
means to hold the agency accountable. 

DOD also agreed with our recommendation that U.S. Strategic Command and 
the Missile Defense Agency establish effective methodologies for 
identifying, prioritizing, and addressing the combatant commands' 
capability needs for ballistic missile defenses. In its comments, DOD 
stated that U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency are 
implementing effective methodologies for identifying, prioritizing, and 
addressing combatant command capability needs. Yet DOD also 
acknowledged that these methodologies continue to be refined. Our 
report recognizes that U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense 
Agency are taking steps to improve the methodologies used in the 
Warfighter Involvement Process; however, we identified limitations with 
the current methodologies used to identify and prioritize the combatant 
commands' capability needs. For example, we found that the Prioritized 
Capabilities List did not fully identify some of the combatant 
commands' specific needs. We also determined that the combatant 
commands did not consistently apply criteria for prioritizing their 
capability needs, and also did not clearly distinguish among their 
priorities. As U.S. Strategic Command works to refine the methodologies 
for identifying and prioritizing capabilities, it will need to overcome 
these challenges. 

DOD agreed with our recommendation that U.S. Strategic Command, in 
conjunction with the other combatant commands, prepare an assessment of 
the Missile Defense Agency's funding plans compared to the commands' 
priorities and provide feedback to the Missile Defense Agency. In its 
comments, DOD stated that U.S. Strategic Command is preparing a 
Capabilities Assessment Report that examines the effectiveness and 
programmatic aspects of the ballistic missile defense system compared 
to the commands' priorities, which it will present to the Missile 
Defense Agency in the fall of 2008. DOD also commented that U.S. 
Strategic Command has prepared a "Quick Look" of this report, which it 
provided to the Missile Defense Agency in June 2008. We encourage U.S. 
Strategic Command to provide the final assessment to the Missile 
Defense Agency as soon as possible so that the agency can consider the 
results of the assessment in developing its future funding plans. 

DOD partially agreed with both of our recommendations intended to 
provide the Missile Defense Agency with a DOD-wide perspective on the 
combatant commands' priorities. First, DOD partially agreed with our 
recommendation to direct the Missile Defense Executive Board to review 
each Prioritized Capabilities List upon its release, including the 
individual commands' priorities, and recommend to the Deputy Secretary 
of Defense an overall DOD-wide list of prioritized capabilities. 
Second, DOD partially agreed with our recommendation to direct the 
Deputy Secretary of Defense to provide guidance to the Missile Defense 
Agency on program priorities based on the Missile Defense Executive 
Board's recommendation. However, it is not clear how DOD intends to 
implement these recommendations. In its comments, DOD stated that the 
Missile Defense Executive Board reviews the Prioritized Capability List 
prepared by U.S. Strategic Command, but added that a DOD-wide list of 
prioritized capabilities is not needed because the U.S. Strategic 
Command-prepared list provides the agency with a single list of 
prioritized needs. DOD also commented that it disagreed with the need 
for the Deputy Secretary of Defense to provide additional guidance to 
the Missile Defense Agency. We believe that additional actions to 
implement both recommendations are needed. First, officials from U.S. 
Strategic Command and other combatant commands told us during our 
review that the Warfighter Involvement Process was not well structured 
to consider the combatant commands' individual mission responsibilities 
when preparing a consolidated list of the commands' priorities. As a 
result, U.S. Strategic Command's list could obscure the importance of a 
key ballistic missile defense capability if that capability was ranked 
high by only one of the combatant commands. Comprised of senior-level 
representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Strategic Command, the military departments, and 
other organizations, the Missile Defense Executive Board could provide 
a broader, defensewide perspective factoring in the cost, risk, and 
benefits of supporting one command's priorities over another's. Absent 
a DOD-wide list of prioritized capabilities, the Missile Defense Agency 
will continue to lack the benefit of a departmentwide perspective on 
which of the combatant commands' priorities are the most significant. 
Additionally, we continue to believe that the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense should provide the Missile Defense Agency with guidance on 
program priorities based on a DOD-wide list of prioritized 
capabilities. In its comments, DOD stated that the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, as chairman of the 
Missile Defense Executive Board, has established a process for issuing 
Acquisition Decision Memorandums to the Director, Missile Defense 
Agency. Although the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics is responsible for overseeing the Missile 
Defense Agency, the Deputy Secretary of Defense has been responsible 
for providing policy, planning, and programming guidance to the Missile 
Defense Agency since the agency's establishment in 2002. Further, as 
discussed in our report, the Missile Defense Executive Board is 
responsible for making recommendations to the Deputy Secretary of 
Defense on the Missile Defense Agency's comprehensive acquisition 
strategy. 

We are sending electronic copies of this report to interested 
congressional committees; the Secretary of Defense; the Chairman, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff; the Director, Missile Defense Agency; 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 staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at 404-679-1816 or pendletonj@gao.gov. Contact points for 
our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found 
on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions 
to this report are listed in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

John H. Pendleton: 
Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

During this review, we focused on assessing the Department of Defense's 
(DOD) process for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing overall 
combatant command priorities in developing ballistic missile defense 
capabilities. To do so, we obtained and reviewed key documentation from 
U.S. Strategic Command relevant to how the combatant commands identify 
and prioritize their ballistic missile defense capability needs. The 
U.S. Strategic Command documentation that we obtained included the July 
4, 2007, October 31, 2007, and February 29, 2008, versions of a draft 
U.S. Strategic Command instruction establishing the Warfighter 
Involvement Process, U.S. Strategic Command's November 2003 Strategic 
Concept for Global Ballistic Missile Defense, and the command's 
November 2007 Report to Congress on USSTRATCOM Warfighter Involvement 
Process. We also obtained and reviewed U.S. Strategic Command briefings 
on the evolution of the Warfighter Involvement Process, current 
features of the process, and efforts to improve the process. 
Additionally, we obtained and reviewed the 2006 and 2007 Prioritized 
Capabilities Lists to understand the commands' prioritized capability 
needs and U.S. Strategic Command's approach for preparing these lists. 
To further our knowledge, we obtained and reviewed minutes of 
Warfighter Involvement Process management and focus group meetings, 
including the minutes of the meeting where the 2007 Prioritized 
Capabilities List was approved before it was sent to the Missile 
Defense Agency. In addition to U.S. Strategic Command documentation, we 
also obtained written comments provided by U.S. Central Command, U.S. 
European Command, U.S. Northern Command, and U.S. Pacific Command to 
U.S. Strategic Command on the draft Warfighter Involvement Process 
instruction. We also obtained combatant command comments provided to 
U.S. Strategic Command to help develop the Prioritized Capabilities 
Lists. We also reviewed testimonies from the commanders of U.S. Central 
Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific 
Command, and U.S. Strategic Command to help us better understand each 
command's specific ballistic missile defense capability needs. In order 
to gain the Missile Defense Agency's perspective on how it is 
addressing combatant command priorities, we reviewed Missile Defense 
Agency guidance, plans, directives, briefings, and other documentation 
that identifies key steps, stakeholders, and factors that the Missile 
Defense Agency considers during its process for planning, designing, 
developing, and fielding ballistic missile defense capabilities. For 
example, we reviewed the Missile Defense Agency's Integrated Program 
Policy, dated July 2005, Ballistic Missile Defense Integrated Program 
Policy Implementation Guide, dated June 2005, and System Engineering 
Plan, dated July 2006, in order to understand the extent to which the 
agency has documented how it addresses combatant command priorities in 
its decision making. We also reviewed the Missile Defense Agency's 2006 
Achievable Capabilities List, which was its response to the 2006 
Prioritized Capabilities List, and examined Missile Defense Agency 
briefings, budget documents, and testimonies by the Director, Missile 
Defense Agency. We also obtained and reviewed briefings describing a 
2007 Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Strategic Command study of how to 
make the Warfighter Involvement Process more effective, and reviewed 
the 2007 Achievable Capabilities List to identify changes in the 
Missile Defense Agency's approach for addressing combatant command 
priorities. Additionally, we obtained and reviewed drafts of the 
agency's directive and instruction for implementing the Warfighter 
Involvement Process. We also reviewed public law, presidential 
guidance, and DOD directives, memorandums, briefings, and other 
documentation that establishes DOD's overall approach to developing 
missile defense capabilities. Such documentation included chapters 5 
and 6 of Title 10 of the United States Code; National Security 
Presidential Directive 23 dated December 16, 2002; the Unified Command 
Plan dated May 2006; DOD Directive 5134.9, Subject: Missile Defense 
Agency, dated October 9, 2004; and other Secretary of Defense guidance 
outlining the Missile Defense Agency's roles and responsibilities. We 
also obtained and reviewed the Missile Defense Executive Board's 
charter, as well as agendas and minutes from board meetings held in 
2007. 

In conducting our work, we contacted officials at the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Missile Defense Agency, U.S. 
Strategic Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, 
U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, the military services, and 
other organizations. Table 2 provides information on the organizations 
and offices contacted during our review. We conducted this performance 
audit from August 2007 to May 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 on 
our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a 
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit 
objectives. 

Table 2: Organizations and Offices Contacted during Our Review: 

Department of Defense: 
* Office of the Secretary of Defense; 
- Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics; 
- Office of the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation; 
* Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff Directorate; 
- Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment-Joint Theater Air and 
Missile Defense Office; 
* Office of the Department of Defense Inspector General. 

U.S. Strategic Command: 
* Capabilities and Resource Integration Directorate; 
* U.S. Strategic Command Functional and Service Components; 
- Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; 
- U.S. Air Force Space Command; 
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. 

Missile Defense Agency: 
* Office of the Executive Director; 
* Office of the Deputy for Engineering; 
* Office of the Deputy for Integration and Fielding; 
* Office of the Deputy for Acquisition Management. 

Other Combatant Commands: 
* U.S. Central Command; 
* U.S. Joint Forces Command; 
* U.S. Northern Command; 
* U.S. Pacific Command. 

Military Services: 
* Office of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Strategic Plans and 
Policy Division, Missile Defense; 
* Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff G-8, 
Force Development Directorate, Air and Missile Defense and Space 
Division; 
* Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Surface Warfare Division, 
Theater Air and Missile Defense Branch. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: The 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List: 

The Prioritized Capabilities List provided to the Missile Defense 
Agency in 2007 includes four categories of desired capabilities: 
weapons, sensors, battle management, and cross-functional capabilities. 
Each of the desired capabilities on the list is identified by a title 
and short description, and includes the following information: 

* listing of the overall priority ranking of the capability, and 
whether the capability was ranked as one of the five highest priorities 
by one or more of the combatant commands; 

* rationale for the capability; 

* mission effect if the capability is not satisfied; 

* summary of the applicable phases of flight, threats, and regions of 
operations; and: 

* key attributes, measures, and criteria for satisfying the capability. 

Additionally, the classified U.S. Strategic Command report that conveys 
the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List to the Missile Defense Agency 
included a table that lists the combatant commands' consolidated 
capability needs in order from highest to lowest priority. This table 
also identifies the scores that each of the participating combatant 
commands assigned to these capabilities. 

In preparing the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List, U.S. Strategic 
Command updated the 26 capabilities that had been identified and 
provided to the Missile Defense Agency in the first list in 2006. These 
updates and revisions were intended to eliminate redundancies and more 
clearly communicate the commands' intent. For example, the 2007 
Prioritized Capabilities List included a 27th capability capturing the 
need for effective communication standards, which previously had been 
embedded into multiple capabilities on the 2006 list. Short 
descriptions of the capabilities on the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities 
List are provided in table 3. 

Table 3: Capabilities on the 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List: 

I. Weapons Capabilities: 

Employ Mobile Active Defense Assets in Response to Emergent Threats[A]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to employ mobile 
active defense assets that are able to defeat ballistic missile threats 
of all ranges in response to emergent threats. 

Defend the Homeland Against Ballistic Missiles Other Than 
Intercontinental-Range Ballistic Missiles: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to defend the homeland 
against ballistic missile threats other than intercontinental-range 
ballistic missiles. 

Defeat Ballistic Missiles in the Terminal Phase (Sea-Based): 
Provide the joint warfighter with a sea-based capability to defeat 
ballistic missile threats in the terminal phase from appropriate named 
area of interest. 

Defeat Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to simultaneously 
defeat intercontinental ballistic missile threats from different 
regions, e.g., Northeast Asia and the Middle East. 

Defeat Ballistic Missiles in the Boost Phase: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to defeat in the boost 
phase all ballistic missile threats launched from any named area of 
interest. 

Defeat Ballistic Missiles in the Terminal Phase: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to defeat in the 
terminal phase all ballistic missiles that threaten the designated 
defended area. 

II. Sensor Capabilities: 

Determine Accurate Launch and Impact Points[B]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to predict accurate 
launch and impact points of threat objects early in the battlespace. 

Discriminate Warhead/Reentry Vehicles[C]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to discriminate 
warheads and reentry vehicles during midcourse and terminal phases of 
flight. 

Classify Threat Missiles: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to classify each 
threat missile. 

Recall Multi-Mission Sensors to the Missile Defense Mission: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to rapidly recall all 
missile defense capable multi-mission sensors to the missile defense 
mission. 

Deploy and Integrate Mobile Sensors in Response to Emergent Threats[D]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to deploy and 
integrate mobile sensors with existing systems in response to emergent 
threats. 

Assess Engagement Success: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to assess engagement 
success in all phases of flight (boost, midcourse, and terminal) 
against all types of missiles. 

Detect, Track, and Correlate Threat Objects[E]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to detect and track 
threat objects and correlate their trajectories from named areas of 
interest in order to successfully perform engagement operations. 

Use Missile Defense Sensors to Support Other Mission Areas: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to use missile defense 
sensors to support other mission areas. 

Track and Report Predicted Impact Points of Debris: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to track and report 
projected impact points of all meaningful debris from an intercept, 
including partial or unsuccessful intercept. 

III. Battle Management Capabilities: 

Conform to Communication Management Infrastructure Requirements: 
Provide the joint warfighter with ballistic missile defense 
communication systems, whose elements conform to current warfighter 
communication management infrastructure requirements, both theater and 
strategic. 

Conduct Integrated Planning: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to conduct integrated 
planning. 

Manage Multiple Engagements: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to manage multiple 
engagements simultaneously within their theater/area of responsibility. 

Interoperate with DOD Command, Control, Communications, and Computer 
Systems and Infrastructure: 
Provide the joint warfighter with a missile defense system that 
interoperates with fielded DOD command, control, communications, and 
computer systems and an infrastructure that supports communications and 
data transfer. 

IV. Cross-Functional Capabilities: 

Conduct Training: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to conduct 
distributed, high fidelity, and end-to-end training for missile defense 
operations that incorporates missile warning activity. 

Provide Single Integrated Ballistic Missile Defense Picture[F]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with a single integrated ballistic missile 
defense picture. 

Share Releasable Missile Defense System Data with Allies: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability for allies to share 
releasable missile defense system data. Inherent in this capability is 
the ability to receive data from our allies as well. 

Avoid Hazards and Safeguard Against Inadvertent Firing of Weapons and 
Misidentification of Space Launches: 
Provide the joint warfighter with a missile defense system that avoids 
unnecessary hazards to operators and non-combatants and safeguards 
against inadvertent firing of weapons and misidentification of space 
launches. 

Sustain Operations: 
Provide the joint warfighter with the capability to sustain operations 
while simultaneously supporting concurrent research, development, test, 
and evaluation; maintenance; training; and system upgrade activities 
without degrading protection capability. 

Provide System Modeling Tools: 
Provide the joint warfighter with system modeling tools that reflect 
the most accurate and realistic estimates of system performance to 
support capability analysis; training; tactics, techniques, and 
procedure development; and contingency and crisis action planning. 

Maintain Operational Availability: 
Provide the joint warfighter with a missile defense system that 
maintains operational availability through all natural and induced 
environments. 

Ensure Missile Defense Communications[G]: 
Provide the joint warfighter with missile defense system communications 
that enable desired information exchange requirements within 
operational timelines. 

Source: U.S. Strategic Command. 

[A] Originally titled "Employ Mobile Active Defense"; re-written to 
more clearly identify the need for mobile assets that can be deployed 
where needed. 

[B] Originally titled "Predict Accurate Impact Points"; rewritten to 
more fully capture the intent of the capability. 

[C] Originally titled "Discriminate Threat Objects"; rewritten to use 
more precise terminology. 

[D] Originally titled "Deploy and Integrate Sensors"; rewritten to more 
clearly identify the need for mobile assets that can be deployed where 
needed. 

[E] Originally titled "Detect, Track, and Classify Threat 
Trajectories"; rewritten to eliminate redundancy with another 
capability statement ("Classify Missile Threats") and to more clearly 
identify the need for track correlation. 

[F] Originally titled "Provide a Single Integrated Ballistic Missile 
Defense Picture"; rewritten to reflect preferred terminology. 

[G] Does not identify a new capability, but reduces redundancy from the 
2006 list by capturing communications standards within a single 
capability statement. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
Acquisition Technology And Logistics: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

July 23, 2008: 

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

Dear Mr. Pendleton: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO Draft 
Report, GAO-08-740, "Ballistic Missile Defense: Actions Needed to 
Improve Process for Identifying and Addressing Combatant Command 
Priorities," dated June 18, 2008 (GAO Code 351081). 

The DoD concurs with three and partially concurs with two of the five 
draft report recommendations. The rationales for our positions are 
included in the enclosure. 

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the draft report. My point 
of contact for this effort is Mr. Greg Hulcher, (703) 695-2680, 
greg.hulcher@osd.mil. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

David G. Ahern Director: 
Portfolio Systems Acquisition: 

Enclosure: As stated: 

GAO Draft Report Dated June 18, 2008: 
GAO-08-740 (GAO CODE 351081): 

"Ballistic Missile Defense: Actions Needed To Improve Process For 
Identifying And Addressing Combatant Command Priorities" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The GAO Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in conjunction with the 
Director, Missile Defense Agency, to complete and publish the 
implementation guidance needed to clearly define each organization's 
roles and responsibilities for identifying, prioritizing, and 
addressing combatant command capability needs for ballistic missile 
defenses. 

DOD Response: Concur. Department of Defense has initiated the 
implementing guidance to define the organizational roles and 
responsibilities for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing 
combatant command capability needs for ballistic missile defenses. As 
recommended, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) established 
implementation guidance by approving United States Strategic Command 
Instruction (SI) 538-3, "Missile Defense Warfighter Involvement Process 
(WIP)," on June 25, 2008. This implementing instruction defines and 
establishes the missile defense WIP and outlines USSTRATCOM's roles and 
responsibilities to influence the development, coordination, 
administration, and advocacy of global missile defense capabilities. To 
complement the USSTRATCOM guidance, the Missile Defense Agency is in 
the process of defining guidance for their organizational roles and 
responsibilities. 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in conjunction with the 
Director, Missile Defense Agency, to establish effective methodologies 
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing combatant command 
capability needs for ballistic missile defenses. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Commander, U.S. Strategic Command 
(USSTRATCOM) and the Director, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) are 
implementing effective methodologies for identifying, prioritizing, and 
addressing combatant command capability needs for ballistic missile 
defenses under the Ballistic Missile Defense System structure. The 
USSTRATCOM, Combatant Commands, Services and MDA continue to refine the 
methodology for identifying and prioritizing combatant command 
capability needs for ballistic missile defenses. The methodology 
refinements will be used in development of the third list, Prioritized 
Capabilities List 2009. The two preceding efforts provided valuable 
information to MDA to meet warfighter needs. USSTRATCOM expects 
additional methodology refinement to most effectively identify, 
prioritize, and address Combatant Command capability needs. Prior 
iterations have led to an increasingly sophisticated product to impact 
MDA decisions. However, this does not invalidate prior activity. The 
Department's goal remains a clear portrayal of Combatant Commands' 
needs. 

Recommendation 3: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, in conjunction with the 
other Combatant Commands, to prepare an assessment of the Missile 
Defense Agency's funding plans compared to the commands' priorities, 
and provide the assessment to the Director, Missile Defense Agency. 

DOD Response: Concur. U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), as 
operational proponent and advocate for the Combatant Commands, is 
preparing a Capabilities Assessment Report of the Ballistic Missile 
Defense System, in accordance with Department of Defense Instruction 
5134.9. The report examines the effectiveness and programmatic aspects 
of the ballistic missile defense system compared to the commands' 
priorities, examines the current capability acquisition funding, and 
identifies capability areas requiring greater emphasis. Although a 
prioritized list implicitly offers lower ranked items as sources of 
funding, no capability area may be totally overlooked if advances are 
to be made. Each item contributes to provision of ballistic missile 
defense capability to the warfighter. A Quick Look of this report was 
provided to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in June of 2008. 
USSTRATCOM will present the final assessment to the Director, MDA in 
the fall of 2008. 

Recommendation 4: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Missile Defense Executive Board to review each Prioritized 
Capabilities List upon its release, including the individual commands' 
priorities, and recommend to the Deputy Secretary of Defense an overall 
DoD-wide list of prioritized capabilities. 

DOD Response: Partially concur. The Missile Defense Executive Board 
reviews the Prioritized Capability List produced by U.S. Strategic 
Command (USSTRATCOM) as operational proponent and advocate for the 
Combatant Commands. Under Department of Defense Instruction 5134.9, 
"Missile Defense Agency" and United States Strategic Command 
Instruction 538-3 "Missile Defense Warfighter Involvement Process", 
USSTRATCOM develops, with Combatant Command participation, the 
Prioritized Capabilities List only for missile defense. DoD disagrees 
with the need for an overall DoD-wide list of prioritized capabilities 
as the USSTRATCOM Prioritized Capabilities List provides the Missile 
Defense Agency with a single prioritized list of warfighter needs. 

Recommendation 5: The GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense to provide guidance to the 
Director, Missile Defense Agency, on program priorities taking into 
account the Missile Defense Executive Board's recommendation. 

DOD Response: Partially concur. Department of Defense (DoD) disagrees 
with the need for additional guidance from Deputy Secretary of Defense. 
DoD has adequate guidance for the Missile Defense Executive Board's 
recommendations to be considered by the Director, Missile Defense 
Agency (MDA). Under DoD Instruction 5134.9, the Director, MDA, reports 
to the Under Secretary for Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and 
Logistics). in addition, Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 
"Missile Defense Executive Board", March 15, 2007, appointed the Under 
Secretary as Chair, Missile Defense Executive Board, with the Director 
as Executive Secretary. As Chair, Missile Defense Executive Board, the 
Under Secretary has recently established the process of issuing 
Acquisition Decision Memorandums to the Director regarding issues of 
importance to the Missile Defense Executive Board. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

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

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Gwendolyn R. Jaffe, Assistant 
Director; Grace A. Coleman; Nicolaas C. Cornelisse; Ronald La Due Lake; 
Jennifer E. Neer; Kevin L. O'Neill, Analyst in Charge; and Karen D. 
Thornton made significant contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] A missile attack involves four phases from launch to impact: (1) 
the boost phase is the period immediately after launch when the 
missile's booster stages are still thrusting and typically lasts 3-5 
minutes for intercontinental ballistic missiles; (2) the ascent phase 
is when the booster stages have stopped thrusting and dropped away 
leaving a warhead and possible decoys; (3) the midcourse phase, lasting 
for about 20 minutes for intercontinental ballistic missiles, begins 
after the missile has stopped accelerating and the warhead travels 
through space; and (4) the terminal phase begins when the warhead 
reenters the atmosphere and lasts approximately a minute or less. 

[2] A previous unified command, also called U.S. Strategic Command, had 
been established in 1992 and had primary responsibility for strategic 
nuclear forces. The new U.S. Strategic Command was formed from 
combining the nuclear deterrence mission of the previous command and 
the space and computer network operations missions of the also 
disestablished U.S. Space Command. 

[3] We have issued a report on U.S. Strategic Command's efforts to 
establish and implement several missions that before 2003 had not 
previously been assigned to a combatant command. These missions include 
integrated missile defense; global strike; global command and control; 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; DOD information 
operations; and combating weapons of mass destruction. See GAO, 
Military Transformation: Additional Actions Needed by U.S. Strategic 
Command to Strengthen Implementation of Its Many Missions and New 
Organization, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-847] 
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 8, 2006). 

[4] In keeping with the intended scope of the Warfighter Involvement 
Process, this report uses the term "warfighter" to refer to both the 
combatant commands and the military services unless otherwise 
indicated. 

[5] Our prior work has shown that the flexibility given by the Office 
of the Secretary of Defense to the Missile Defense Agency has diluted 
transparency into the agency's acquisition processes, making it 
difficult to conduct oversight and hold the agency accountable. See 
GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Progress Made in Fielding Missile Defense, 
but Program Is Short of Meeting Goals, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-448] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 
14, 2008). 

[6] The Senior Executive Council was created in July 2001 to advise the 
Secretary of Defense in the application of sound business practices in 
the military departments, DOD agencies, and other DOD organizations. 

[7] This report complements other ongoing work, also at your request, 
to review DOD's plans for preparing to operate ballistic missile 
defense elements and support operations in the long term, including 
plans to transition these elements from the Missile Defense Agency to 
the services. We plan to issue a report on this other ongoing work 
later in 2008. 

[8] U.S. Strategic Command issued its instruction SI 538-3, titled 
Missile Defense Warfighter Involvement Process, on June 25, 2008, after 
our draft report had been submitted to DOD for comment. 

[9] DOD defines the U.S. homeland to include the continental United 
States, Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. possessions and territories, and 
surrounding territorial waters and airspace. 

[10] Title 10 of the United States Code defines a unified combatant 
command as a military command which has broad, continuing missions and 
which is composed of forces from two or more military departments. 

[11] In 2007 the President ordered the creation of U.S. Africa Command 
as a new geographic combatant command, but the Unified Command Plan has 
not yet been updated to include the new command. 

[12] GAO, Defense Management: Actions Needed to Improve Operational 
Planning and Visibility of Costs for Ballistic Missile Defense, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-473] (Washington, 
D.C.: May 31, 2006); Missile Defense: Actions Needed to Improve 
Information for Supporting Future Key Decisions for Boost and Ascent 
Phase Elements, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-
430] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 17, 2007). 

[13] GAO, Missile Defense: Actions Are Needed to Enhance Testing and 
Accountability, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-
409] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 23, 2004); Defense Acquisitions: Status of 
Ballistic Missile Defense Program in 2004, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-243] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 
31, 2005); Defense Acquisitions: Missile Defense Agency Fields Initial 
Capability but Falls Short of Original Goals, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-327] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 
15, 2006); Defense Acquisitions: Missile Defense Acquisition Strategy 
Generates Results but Delivers Less at a Higher Cost, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-387] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 
15, 2007); and [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-
448]. 

[14] Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report (Sept. 
30, 2001). 

[15] Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Acquisition: 
Capabilities Definition Process at the Missile Defense Agency, D-2006- 
071 (Arlington, Va., April 2006). 

[16] A combatant commander's strategic concept contains the combatant 
commander's decision and planning guidance for accomplishing tasks and 
missions assigned to the combatant command, and provides the basis for 
more detailed plans to carry out these responsibilities. 

[17] A functional component command is one of the organizations that 
constitute a joint force, is normally comprised of forces from more 
than one military service, and may be established across the range of 
military operations to perform particular operational missions. 

[18] U.S. Joint Forces Command is a unified combatant command without 
specific geographic responsibilities. Its mission areas include joint 
concept development and experimentation, joint training, joint 
capabilities development, and joint force provider. Among its strategic 
goals, U.S. Joint Forces Command seeks to develop robust command and 
control capabilities that ensure decision makers receive information 
when they need it, allowing them to act faster than their adversaries. 

[19] Additionally, according to a Navy official, the Navy has allocated 
about $35 million to conduct an exercise and to begin modifying 
Standard Missile-2 interceptors in cooperation with the Missile Defense 
Agency to develop near-term sea-based terminal defenses. 

[20] Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the agency combined its concurrent 
testing, training, and operations effort with a separate effort to 
develop a system of live, virtual, and constructive training 
environments to support both warfighter and developer needs. This 
separate effort had been appropriated about $25 million in fiscal year 
2007. As reflected in the agency's 2009 budget submission, the agency 
allocated approximately $41.4 million to these combined activities in 
fiscal year 2008, and proposed to allocate $37.7 million in fiscal year 
2009. 

[21] Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-123, Management's 
Responsibility for Internal Control (Washington, D.C., December 2004). 

[22] GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1] 
(Washington, D.C.: November 1999). 

[23] Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, D-2006-071. 

[24] The Integrated Program Policy, last updated in July 2005, provides 
top-level direction from the Director, Missile Defense Agency, that 
identifies and emphasizes the key decisions that the agency must make 
as it acquires ballistic missile defense capabilities, and the products 
that the agency must produce to assure these decisions are based on 
complete and timely information. The Missile Defense Agency's Systems 
Engineering Plan, last updated in June 2006, complements the Integrated 
Program Policy by providing a top-level description of the agency's 
capabilities-based system engineering process, and the technical 
management approach for developing and integrating different missile 
defense capabilities into a global Ballistic Missile Defense System. 

[25] The 2007 Prioritized Capabilities List sought to identify and 
prioritize capabilities needed in 2015. 

[26] U.S. Pacific Command's geographic area of responsibility includes 
Northeast, South, and Southeast Asia, as well as Oceania. 

[27] U.S. Central Command's geographic area of responsibility includes 
the Middle East, eastern Africa, and several of the former Soviet 
republics. 

[28] The traditional DOD requirements development process is the Joint 
Capabilities Integration and Development System. The purpose of this 
system is to support the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint 
Requirement Oversight Council in advising the Secretary of Defense in 
identifying, assessing, and prioritizing joint military capability 
needs. Capabilities represent warfighting needs that are studied as 
part of the system's capabilities-based assessment process. The process 
identifies the operational tasks, conditions, and standards needed to 
achieve military objectives (Functional Area Analysis); assesses the 
ability of current and planned systems to deliver the capabilities and 
tasks identified in the Functional Area Analysis in order to produce a 
list of capability gaps and identify redundancies (Functional Needs 
Analysis); and identifies joint approaches to fill the identified 
capability gaps (Functional Solution Analysis). 

[29] When the first Prioritized Capabilities List was provided to the 
Missile Defense Agency in 2006, it defined near-term needs as those 
that were required immediately, mid-term needs as those required in the 
fiscal year 2008-2010 time frame, and far-term needs as those required 
in fiscal year 2012 or beyond. 

[30] According to the February 29, 2008, draft U.S. Strategic Command 
instruction on the Warfighter Involvement Process, the Achievable 
Capabilities List is an appraisal of the commands' capability needs 
against the Missile Defense Agency's planned investments where the 
Missile Defense Agency describes the achievable time frames for 
delivering each of the warfighters' desired capabilities. 

[31] When the Missile Defense Support Group was chartered in 2002, it 
was to provide constructive advice to the Director, Missile Defense 
Agency. However, the Director was not required to follow the advice of 
the group. According to a DOD official, although the support group met 
many times initially, it did not meet after June 2005. This led, in 
2007, to the formation of the Missile Defense Executive Board. See 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-448], p. 36. 

[End of section] 

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