FORCE MANAGEMENT: FORM & JUSTIFICATION

FORCE MANAGEMENT: FORM & JUSTIFICATION
FORCE MANAGEMENT: FORM & JUSTIFICATION

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FORCE MANAGEMENT: FORM & JUSTIFICATION

INTRODUCTION

Just as it would be in any other organization, there is need to have mechanisms in place to aid in the management of a force. It would be naive to assume that in terms of organizational management, in the context of the forces, there is no need for management. This brief discussion paper aims to enumerate the different aspects of force management and discusses the different bases for the establishment of clear structure for force management. This paper is divided into four thematic areas. There shall be an attempt to ensure that there is synergy in the presentation.

  1. THE PHASES OF FORCE DEVELOPMENT

As rightfully enumerated, force management entails, among other things development of organizational models, determination of organizational authorizations and document organizational authorizations. The three speak to different issues and needs in the superstructure of force management. For instance the development of organizational models comes first because it helps the management have a clear variety of models that can be adopted.

Secondly, the determination of authorization models ensures that there are clear hierarchical structures that can be exploited before an officer gets authorization to deal with a particular issue. This may be as serious as activities in the field of fire or simple administrative decisions at the camp. The last head among the three is the question of document organizational authorizations. There reaches a point where there is need for express and documented authorization for the carrying out of particular tasks.

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This part attempts to highlight the features of the paper on the foregoing. The Paper notes the evolving needs of the army and the USA at large and points out that the same must have an influence on how the United States treats and organizes its army. In a world where the interests of the states remain the same, there is an evolution in the form of the threats that the USA is facing.

This makes it a necessity to change the arrangement after reflection albeit the formation of the army in combat remains the same. The paper spells out the numbers that are already being scaled down be it those in the reserve or those in active combat.  Importantly, the report noted the constant state of the government of the United States which is in a constant state of deficit which is intricately tied to the foreign interests of the United States.

In light of the foregoing, turn to the question of which of the three processes is going to be most affected by the issues enumerated by the paper. The paper comes at a time that the force is retreating form war. This is after more than a decade of are in Iraq and we are having the nature of combat in Afghanistan slowly evolving. I submit that the factor that is going to be most has to be the organizational models that are to be adopted going forward. With less direct combat the models of the force are going to change substantially.

This explains the reason why there is an ongoing research according to General Odierno which aims to help the force understand some of the best models that will work going forward.[2] It is suggested by the general that there is a real possibility that going forward, the nature of the military shall take the form of an expeditionary force which will be leaner and more efficient in light of the needs of the time and the overall budget of the united states of America.

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  • REFORM OF THE ACQUISITION SYSTEM: BETTER AUTHOTITIES AND ACCOUNTABILITY

There is definitely need to reform the force acquisition systems. The CRS Report discusses this extensively and specifically elucidates the issues surrounding question of accountability.  The Report notes that the bases for reform range from the increased complexity of the acquisition process, the fluidity of the process which constantly changes thanks to legislative process, the slowly changing landscape of the acquisition process and the persisting costs and low performance.

There have been successful effort of reform.  The Example given by Moshe is the Weapon Systems Acquisitions Reform Act of 2009. As noted, this Act did not bring in wide sweeping changes. It was pigeon holed to reform in the area of initial stages of acquisition and this explains why there was the creation of the portfolio of the Director of Cost Assessment and Project Evaluation, Director of Developmental Test and Evaluation, Director of Systems Engineering among others.

It is clear from a keen reading of the Act and its provisions that the intention of Congress was to insulate the government form faulty acquisitions of weapons which may fail after a lot of expenditure is incurred to purchase them.

However, a more important area of reform is what Moshe terms establishment of authority and accountability in the process of acquisition. In this area, we need to allow those persons with responsibility to be given the lee way to do what they are expected to do. For instance if a person is given the responsibility to deal with analyzing the potency of a particular product being purchased form a particular supplier, there should be a framework within which he is allowed to do so with little interference.

The problem we have currently is that ta large number of people can say no to the execution of diverse mandates regardless of how insignificant the said mandate is. In this case, we end up having bottlenecks on the form of bureaucracies. Ultimately, the process of acquisition is made slower and more costly. Suppliers would then rather deal with others or in more efficient markets and products.

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  • NEWLY PROPOSED INTEGRATION MODEL AND THE CHALLENGES THAT ABOUND

The lapse of a phase of war has necessitated the rearrangement of the outlook of the army to suit the changed times. The new model is based on the resource priority list which has, a priori, evolved with the times. As mentioned by General Ordieno, the budgetary constrictions require that the army strategizes on how it can continually have its presence felt effectively in the new era without drastically reducing its capacity and capabilities as one of the most lethal and well equipped armies in the whole world. A new outlook is being proposed.

According to the 2013 Army Strategic Planning Guidance, the aim is to sustain the capability of the army to meet its current and emerging combatant and commander requirements.  A keen analysis of the proposed changes show that there is a greater preference for an army that strikes a balance between its active and reserve troops in a model that can actively deploy the said armies rapidly and flexibly. This new model deals with the question of excess costs which are often not required in times when there is heightened sensitivity on issues of budgetary allocations.

The new model will consist of a mission force pool, a rotational force pool and an operational sustenance force pool. The mission force pool is a force that is ever ready and is properly trained for combat for instance the 20th Support Command which will be maintained at the highest readiness level. The second pool will be manned and be fully equipped. These units move through the Reset, Train/ Ready, and Available cycles in preparation for a rotation into a known deployment.[5]  The last category will not be fully equipped as those already deployed as the preceding two categories. They will be trained based on available training days.

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The challenge as noted by Odierno begins with proper financing of all these categories. Certainly, having a typology that only mans and equips according to need is efficient and sustainable only to the extent that there do not arise situations which overwhelm and require rapid deployment leading to an exhaustion of the standing and current combat battalions. An example is that troops such as the Calvary Regiment at the National Training Centre may end up being overwhelmed in case they are suddenly required for deployment.

  • RELIANCE ON COTRACT SUPPORT

I think that it is right for the army to reduce its reliance on contract support. As rightly pointed out by General Odierno, these are times when the overwhelming need for such contracts during the Iraqi and Afghan wars have reduced. The buildup in terms of orders that were put to the army reached unprecedented levels and it might be wise if the reliance on such contacts is cut down. The supply of goods and services on the basis of contracts cannot possibly be done away with entirely. However, to increase efficiency and cut down on expenditure it is a wise move to continue the reduction efforts.

Foremost, this will cut down on costs if the army personnel are properly equipped to deal with the issues of supply and demand themselves. This may take the form of equipping them with skills to maintain our systems. The officers better understand the needs of the army and in the event they are properly trained to deal, there will be a reduced rate of error and the civilians will be allowed to deal with civilian affairs. 

Secondly, over the period, it has been discovered that some of those tasks were inherently public functions and could be better performed by army civilians as opposed to private individuals. This saw the conversion of thousands of portfolios into state jobs which however the same period has cut down operation costs by over 13%.

Works Cited.

General Odierno, ” Feb. 24, 2012 – Gen. Odierno AUSA Winter Symposium,” US Department of the Army,  News Archives,  February 28, 2012. Transcript of speech given by General Odierno. (Accessed 6 June 2014.) http://www.army.mil/article/74650/Feb__24__2012___Gen__Odierno_AUSA_Winter_Symposium/

HQ, Department of the Army G8, Army Equipping Guidance 2013 through 2016 (Washington, DC: HQDA, 20 June 2013), 18-19

Statement of Moshe Schwartz Specialist in Defence Acquisition Before the Committee on Armed Services, Twenty-Five Years of Acquisition Reform: Where Do We Go from Here 29 October 2013.  (On file with author)


[1] General Odierno, ” Feb. 24, 2012 – Gen. Odierno AUSA Winter Symposium,” US Department of the Army,  News Archives,  February 28, 2012. Transcript of speech given by General Odierno. (Accessed 6 June 2014.) http://www.army.mil/article/74650/Feb__24__2012___Gen__Odierno_AUSA_Winter_Symposium/

[2] Odierno, Supra 2012

[3] See the Statement of Moshe Schwartz Specialist in Defence Acquisition Before the Committee on Armed Services, Twenty-Five Years of Acquisition Reform: Where Do We Go from Here 29 October 2013.  (On file with author)

[4] Moshe, Supra 2013 at 10.

[5] HQ, Department of the Army G8, Army Equipping Guidance 2013 through 2016 (Washington, DC: HQDA, 20 June 2013), 18-19.  

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