Commentary

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March, 2017

March 27, 2017

What is Military District 5 [MD5 Podcast]

What is MD5? How was the organization started and where does it fit in the DoD Innovation Mission Spectrum?

March 27, 2017

The Defense Acquisition System: Its Impact on Workforce and Outcomes

The ”Defense Acquisition System” is legislation, policy, and process layered on top of practice. This article outlines how the current Defense Acquisition System impacts performance, cost, and speed. As priorities shift between the three imperatives, the acquisition workforce is expected to navigate the complex layers of legislation, policy, process and practice that govern Defense acquisition in its current state. Such adaptation requires training as well as hands-on experience guided by an ever-shrinking pool of seasoned workers, well-versed in successful practice.

March 8, 2017

PLA Reform in 2017: Likely Directions and Implications for Taiwan

2017 will be a busy year for PLA reform. Key goals include rebalancing towards a greater focus on the navy and air force, restructuring the ground forces, and revising the personnel system to promote stronger joint operations capabilities. Taiwan needs to work, both individually and in concert with the United States, to mitigate the risks of a PLA that will be better organized, trained, and equipped to threaten the island’s safety.

March 7, 2017

President Trump’s Defense Budget: Just a Down Payment

President Trump took the right approach: an incremental first step that demonstrates his commitment. Before he lays out the required long-range strategy to correct the shortcomings in our armed forces, he will need to explain his vision for America’s leadership role in the world. His forthcoming National Security Strategy will lay out that vision, and the National Security Council must assist him in laying out the underpinning role of defense within that overarching strategy. It must also define parameters for a subordinate National Defense Strategy that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his still understaffed team at the Pentagon are responsible for. These more detailed plans will lay out the larger architectural design that the American people and our allies so clearly need to see. But in the absence of the entire design, we should cash the down payment immediately and begin to sharpen the tired instruments we have to work with now.