From: Allen Thomson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Operational role for MDA? Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated Date: 2003-08-23 11:14:00 PST So does this mean that MDA will, at least for some interim period, effectively become a separate military service? Quite a fascinating prospect, IMO. http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0803/082003gsn1.htm August 20, 2003 Pentagon backs off acquisition approach for missile defense By Joe Fiorill, Global Security Newswire [EXCERPT] HUNTSVILLE, Ala.-A White House-backed "new model" for acquisitions is posing problems for U.S. missile defense development and complicating congressional support for missile defense, a top Defense Department acquisition official said Tuesday. As a result, said Kent Stansberry, "For the time being, we're going to set aside our [new] acquisition model." Stansberry is deputy director for defense systems in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. The new approach, which involves assigning responsibility for different aspects of the missile defense program to different agencies, "gives rise to a number of problems," Stansberry said at the Space and Missile Defense Conference here. In an approach championed in recent years by President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Missile Defense Agency is to have responsibility for research, development, testing and evaluation of missile defense technology, while the various armed services would be responsible for deploying and operating the final missile defense systems. "Moving things from MDA into a service" in this way, though, means giving the service responsibility for systems it did not develop or test, Stansberry said. Ideally, he said, programs would experience a "birth-to-death" shepherding by a single agency through all stages of their existence. ----------------------------------------------------------------- From: Allen Thomson (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Wolfowitz: Prototype NMD in two years Newsgroups: sci.space.policy, alt.war.nuclear Date: 2002-03-02 08:48:01 PST [Redacted] wrote > Therefore, the ability to defend those freedoms, in spite of a world > where local hierarchs are hostile to those freedoms, and where they > have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, requires a multi-layered (3+ > layers, IMHO) BMD system that is continually updated, with new > systems being introduced in one layer or another every 5 years or so. > > Those ballistic missiles, that the current BMD policy would negate, > are in small arsenals, and will not be able to saturate the defenses > we can afford, if both Congress and the Administration are serious > about funding the needed multi-generation engineering developments, as > new systems are needed to counter new penetration aids. [Redacted] has been noting these things -- completely correctly, IMHO -- for quite some time now. Also IMO, they are really important aspects of the missile defense topic with programatic and budget implications that seldom receive the attention they deserve. We aren't talking about just procuring and operating one thing, but rather entering into a complex, probably expensive process that will extend into the indefinite future. This will require continuing political committment even if specific threats are sometimes absent or remote, and in the face of competing demands on tax dollars. Which demands are expected to become increasingly great in the next decade. Another aspect of the competition for money is likely to arise because the Missile Defense Agency is slightly misnamed; it's really the Missile Defense *Development* Agency: From www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2002/b01042002_bt008-02.html See also www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2002/d20020102mda.pdf "The MDA is charged with developing the missile defense system and baselining the capability and configuration of its elements. The military departments will procure and provide for missile defense operations and support." I.e., MDA gets to develop the systems, but the services get to buy and operate them. What happens when the Air Force has to make a choice between buying space-based lasers or F-22s? Also, because BMD is famously and correctly described as a "system of systems", the services are going to have to do a lot more cooperating and trusting each other than has been the norm. As an example, Navy anti-ICBM systems will be totally dependent on Air Force systems for early warning and mid-course tracking and discrimination functions. In some cases there are also roles-and-missions implications. For example, an Aegis cruiser will become less robust in the air-defense/anti-cruise missile role in proportion to the number of MK-41 cells it loads with SM-3 and successor ABMs. Etc. None of this makes BMD impossible, merely very demanding in terms of national and bureaucratic politics.