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How Much Will Be Enough? Assessing Changing Defense Strategies Implications for Army Resource Requirements

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The Army must be able to assess the implications of choices and changes of national defense strategy for the resources it needs and how it allocates them. Department of Defense DoD officials perceptions of defense strategies likely costs will weigh heavily in their assessment of alternative strategies utility. Ergo, the Army and other force providers owe it to DoD to explain resource implications while such alternative strategies are under consideration such as during a Quadrennial Defense Review rather than after one has been adopted. Current cost assessment processes, however, take months to generate results and require considerable resources to execute. Although these processes result in precise, reasonably accurate estimates of costs for a particular strategy after it has been adopted, they cannot produce a responsive, preliminary estimate in time to influence the selection of that strategy. Moreover, decisionmakers and the analysts who support them lack tools for estimating aggregate generating force costs. The Army does have tools for estimating generating force manpower requirements and processes for establishing budgetary needs, but these tools and processes are scattered among multiple organizations, at multiple levels of responsibility. They are not readily available to support responsive, first-order estimates of alternative strategies costs. This is especially important given that generating force activities consume around half of the Army s budget. For these reasons, the Army asked RAND s Arroyo Center to develop and convey a method to estimate changes in Army resource needs and allocation as a function of choice among alternative national defense strategies. A chain of strategic analysis enables cost estimation, as described in earlier RAND publications. This report builds on the earlier work to focus on cost estimation, with particular emphasis on the generating force. Through analysis of historical data, both quantitative and documentary, we w

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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