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A Defense Management Reform Agenda for the Next Administration : War on the Rocks , March 19, , 2020

March 19, 2020

War on the Rocks

From the document: “Sen. John Glenn once described management reform as ‘the grunt work of government.’ Most national security specialists would rather write and think about broad policy issues like great power conflict, responding to cyber threats, or developments in artificial intelligence, but effective management structures and processes are needed to take on the challenges in every one of those areas. The world’s largest bureaucracy is too big and too complex not to have major management problems. The Department of Defense has an annual budget of more than $700 billion, which is transmitted to Congress with more than 100 separate volumes of supporting materials. It runs the largest acquisition system in the world, spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually on everything from nuclear submarines and hypersonic research to truck tires and accounting services. It has a workforce of almost three million active and reserve servicemembers and civilians, who do everything from flying aircraft to delivering babies. As I have argued elsewhere, the department is more like an economy than a business.”

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