Military Transformation: Actions Needed by DOD to More Clearly Identify New Triad Spending and Develop a Long-term Investment Approach

GAO-05-540 Published: Jun 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2005.
Jump To:
Skip to Highlights
Highlights

In its December 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, the Department of Defense (DOD) created a New Triad by significantly changing its definition and conceptual framework for its strategic capabilities to include not only the nuclear capabilities of the old Triad that consisted of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers, but also the capabilities of offensive conventional strike forces, active and passive defenses, and a revitalized defense infrastructure. GAO was asked to determine the extent to which DOD has (1) identified the projected spending for the New Triad in its Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) and (2) developed a long-term investment approach to identify and manage future spending for the New Triad.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To strengthen DOD's implementation of the New Triad and provide greater transparency of resources that are being applied to developing, acquiring, and sustaining the needed capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Director, Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to develop and obtain approval of a comprehensive list of program elements in the FYDP, which support activities for developing, acquiring, and sustaining New Triad capabilities.
Closed – Not Implemented
DOD did not concur with this recommendation and does not plan to implement it.
Department of Defense To strengthen DOD's implementation of the New Triad and provide greater transparency of resources that are being applied to developing, acquiring, and sustaining the needed capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Director, Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to modify the FYDP to establish a virtual major force program for the New Triad by creating new data fields that would clearly identify and allow aggregation of New Triad-related program elements to provide increased visibility of the resources allocated for New Triad activities.
Closed – Not Implemented
DOD did not concur with this recommendation and does not plan to implement it.
Department of Defense To strengthen DOD's implementation of the New Triad and provide greater transparency of resources that are being applied to developing, acquiring, and sustaining the needed capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Director, Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to report each year the funding levels for New Triad activities and capabilities in the department's summary FYDP report to Congress. The Secretary of Defense should direct that these three actions be completed at or about the time when the President's budget for fiscal year 2007 is submitted to Congress.
Closed – Not Implemented
DOD did not concur with this recommendation and does not plan to implement it.
Department of Defense To strengthen DOD's implementation of the New Triad and provide greater transparency of resources that are being applied to developing, acquiring, and sustaining the needed capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy and Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to develop an overarching and integrated long-term investment approach for the New Triad that provides decision makers with information about future joint requirements, projected resources, spending priorities and trade-offs, milestones, and funding timelines. As part of developing and implementing this approach, DOD should leverage the analyses, assessments, and other information prepared under the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System process. The Secretary of Defense should direct that development of a long-term investment approach be completed in time for it to be considered in the department's preparation of its submission for the President's budget for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and be updated, as needed, to adapt to changing circumstances.
Closed – Implemented
In our report Military Transformation: Actions Needed by DOD to More Clearly Identify New Triad Spending and Develop a Long-term Investment Approach (GAO-05-540) we examined the extent to which DOD had developed a long-term investment approach to identify and manage future spending for the New Triad as defined in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). Long-term capital investment planning is an important tool to help organizations establish priorities and develop future budgets. We found that DOD is likely to face significant affordability challenges in the long-term in deciding the capabilities needed to implement the vision of the New Triad without such a plan. We recommended that DOD take actions to provide greater visibility of the projected spending and future investments for the creation of the New Triad and acquisition of future capabilities. DOD concurred with our recommendation and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reported in the 2006 Program Assessment Rating Tool that DOD had taken steps to develop an overarching and integrated long-term investment approach for New Triad initiatives as GAO recommended. OMB reported that DOD's NPR Strategic Capabilities Assessment identified shortfalls in capabilities that will be used to develop individual investment strategies. These strategies will be used in the overarching integration of these efforts. We also found that DOD integrates the strategies through the New Triad Issues Team, which is co-led by 3 components within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in collaboration with other key DOD components with equities in the New Triad. The New Triad Issues Team analyzes New Triad initiatives, presents options to the Secretary of Defense to optimize funding in line with DOD priorities and identifies programmatic issues associated with New Triad programs and mission areas. The team's OSD components provide oversight on specific aspects of the New Triad long-term strategy by coordinating with the Joint Staff, the Military Services and other DOD elements, and in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the Intelligence Community. To support the New Triad Issues Team the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OUSD (AT&L)), developed a tracking document that links top-level guidance with program outcomes, establishes objectives for the New Triad in the programming process, and supports research and development initiatives, arms control treaty issues, systems assessments, and acquisition decisions. This approach was recently used in the development of the President's Budget submission for fiscal year 2010 and to develop the longer-term investment plans in DOD's Program Objective Memorandum, as well as to guide DOD reallocatiion of funds for New Triad programs

Full Report

GAO Contacts