Competitive Advantage, Uncertainty, and Weapons Procurement: Striking Balance for the Future
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Secretary Gates has established balance as the defining principle of our National Defense Strategy. Accomplishing balance in an era full of surprise and uncertainty with discontinuities and disruptive forces is immensely challenging. The ongoing overhaul of our strategic planning and acquisition processes is focused on creating the right balance of investments, all leading to a sustained competitive advantage. This paper presents an analysis of how effective this overhaul has been in creating asymmetric capabilities that provide an enduring competitive advantage. Analysis indicates that our strategic planning process lacks the flexibility and adaptability necessary to deal with uncertainty. Concurrently, our weapons procurement system is mired in process and consistently fails to deliver on time. Therefore, change must occur. We must aggressively develop scenarios of alternate futures that drive an adaptable hedging strategy. Along with this, our weapons procurement system must thrive in time-based competition, delivering timely asymmetric capabilities. Finally, we can never truly quantify the future therefore, we must learn rapidly and adapt to disruptions with speed and agility. Through these measures we can in some measure balance our strategy, manage risk, and deliver asymmetric capabilities at the right time, thus sustaining our competitive advantage.
- Government and Political Science
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies