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Acquisition Reform: Implications for Procurement, Force Structure Planning, and Warfare

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Research paper

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Future conflicts will increasingly rely on technologically innovative weapons and weapon systems to deliver coercive force, both lethal and nonlethal, offsetting the effects of a shrinking force structure. Declining budgets for Research and Development, Procurement, and Sustainment demand a seamless integration of the civilian and military communities to field effective systems. The limited remaining funds within the Department of Defense DoD budget requires coordinated allocation efforts for the development and procurement of force multiplying weapons and systems. These weapons and systems, in turn, must be of adequate quality and quantity for use by the warfighter. The implications of acquisition reform on procurement and ultimately on the ability of U.S. forces to achieve Operational Objectives that satisfy National Strategies are significant. Optimizing the size and shape of future U.S. forces will be paramount in our ability to project forces abroad and provide credible coercive capacity. Acquisition reform may provide the only source of discretionary capital in future defense budgets. This paper examines current trends in acquisition reform. The work attempts to evaluate the strengths and potential pitfalls of the reforms as they affect procurement, the development of force structure, and that force structures coercive capacity into the next century. Key issues for this future are acquisition reforms dealing with the use of commercial best practices, the elimination of nonessential regulations, the initiation of pilotlead programs, and High Gear and Lightning Bolt Initiatives. Central to this review is the ultimate impact of acquisition reform on the operational effectiveness of U.S. forces.

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

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