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Logistics Reform and the Military Strategy of the United States: Will the Revolution in Defense Logistics Support the Revolution in Military Affairs or is it a Cost-Savings Program That May Weaken Our Strategy

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Master's thesis

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Over the past several years several major issues, two of which are the premise that a Revolution in Military Affairs RMA is underway and that the national defense share of federal resources should be reduced, have led DOD to undertake what has been termed a Revolution in Defense Logistics. This revolution is intended to develop a more efficient and effective vision for the logistics concepts that will support the style of warfare the RMA envisions in our future. The purpose of this paper is to review DODs plan and its progress by analyzing the fundamental changes identified in a speech by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. The central thesis in exploring this topic is to assess whether these revolutionary changes represent a true revolution in the military effectiveness and strategic thinking of RMA-style warfare of the future or primarily a way to improve the cost-efficiency of U.S. armed forces in order to free up funding for other purposes. The study was conducted primarily by review of operational and logistics doctrine, lessons learned from recent contingencies and current writings on logistics support to warfighting forces of the future. As a result of this study, while these changes are touted as revolutionary thinking, overall it appears most of the initiatives actually represent evolutionary changes which primarily affect cost-efficiency rather than true RMA-type changes in logistics thinking.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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