We've been reporting this week on some fascinating new reports from the Defense Business Board that are worth wrapping up here given their focus on what comes next.
First up is the latest. Our story:
The next defense secretary will inherit a vexing set of financial challenges that demand an "all-or-nothing" approach to cutting the defense budget, including weapon systems and even personnel accounts, according to a key Defense Department advisory panel.
Such “bold action” would mark a departure from the less politically painful and more common practice of dealing with fiscal constraints by imposing small cuts across all accounts, the Defense Business Board says in a new report.
Defense healthcare costs, which have surged 144 percent in the last eight years, are "eating up" the U.S. military budget and now represent an "existential threat" to the Defense Department, a high-level Pentagon advisory panel concludes in a new briefing that urges the next defense secretary and senior military leaders to address this "perilous threat."
Michael Bayer, chairman of the Defense Business Board, and Dov Zakheim, Pentagon comptroller from 2001 to 2005 and a member of the advisory panel, warn in a briefing presented Oct. 23 at the Pentagon that funding for weapon system acquisition programs and operations could soon be pinched by rising healthcare costs.
"Defense healthcare programs are facing an imminent head-on financial train wreck with other critical defense acquisition and operational programs," the panel's briefing slides assert.
The next president is likely to face a major international crisis within his first nine months in office, according to a senior group of business advisers to the defense secretary.
Accordingly, the Defense Business Board says the new administration should set a goal to win Senate confirmation of key Pentagon posts in the first 30 days of the inauguration, in order to have a full team in place to deal with such a contingency.
And two more documents:
Defense Business Board Briefing Slides on 'Focusing a Transition Effort'
In Oct. 23, 2008, briefing slides, the Defense Business Board recommends that the next president will likely face a major international crisis within his first nine months in office, and should set a goal to win Senate confirmation of key Pentagon posts in the first 30 days after the inauguration.
DBB Briefing Slides on 'Improving DOD's Transition Process'
In Oct. 23, 2008, briefing slides, a Defense Business Board task force reviews private sector experience to find lessons relevant to the Defense Department during the transition to a new administration.