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Combat Air Power: Joint Mission Assessments Could Enhance Investment Decisions (Testimony, 03/05/97, GAO/T-NSIAD-97-105).

GAO discussed the combat air power capabilities of the United States,
focusing on: (1) joint warfighting requirements; (2) the aggregate
capabilities of U.S. combat air power forces to meet those requirements;
and (3) the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to place greater
emphasis on joint considerations in program and budget decisions.

GAO noted that: (1) the United States possesses a larger inventory of
modern high-performance fighter and attack aircraft than any other
country; (2) the capabilities of these aircraft continue to be enhanced
through key improvements in the aircraft, the weapons they use, and the
targeting information they are provided; (3) conversely, the air defense
forces of potential adversaries have not been substantially improved
and, for the foreseeable future, are not likely to pose a serious threat
to U.S. air power's successful execution of its missions; (4) long-range
bombers and missiles and attack helicopters are increasingly
supplementing fighter and attack aircraft in providing the capability to
attack ground targets; (5) the result is an extensive inventory of
capabilities to accomplish many of the same missions; (6) yet, the
services are modifying current systems and developing new systems at
substantial costs, even though they have not compared aggregate
capabilities with joint mission needs; (7) comprehensive assessments of
requirements and capabilities from a joint mission perspective would aid
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to carry out his
responsibilities as the senior military advisor to the Secretary of
Defense on the requirements, programs, and budgets of the military
services; and (8) while progress has been made in achieving a stronger
joint orientation in DOD, ongoing cross-service mission studies should
allow DOD to identify unnecessary duplications in capabilities and make
difficult program tradeoff decisions so defense resources can be used
more efficiently.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  T-NSIAD-97-105
     TITLE:  Combat Air Power: Joint Mission Assessments Could Enhance 
             Investment Decisions
      DATE:  03/05/97
   SUBJECT:  Defense procurement
             Advanced weapons systems
             Air warfare
             Combat readiness
             Defense capabilities
             Air defense systems
             Fighter aircraft
             Defense economic analysis
             Tactical air forces
             Military inventories
IDENTIFIER:  F-15 Aircraft
             F-15E Aircraft
             F-16 Aircraft
             F/A-18 Aircraft
             F-14 Aircraft
             F-14A/D Aircraft
             F-117 Aircraft
             F/A-18C/D Aircraft
             B-1B Aircraft
             B-2 Aircraft
             B-52 Aircraft
             A-6E Aircraft
             AV-8B Aircraft
             Cobra Helicopter
             Tomahawk Cruise Missile
             Apache Helicopter
             Army Tactical Missile System
             Joint Strike Fighter
             F-22 Aircraft
             AH-1 Helicopter
             AH-64 Helicopter
             DOD Future Years Defense Program
             JWARS
             OH-58D Helicopter
             Kiowa Helicopter
             Eagle Aircraft
             Falcon Aircraft
             Hornet Aircraft
             Tomcat Aircraft
             Intruder Aircraft
             Harrier Aircraft
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Before the Subcommittee on Airland Forces, Committee on Armed
Services, United States Senate

For Release on Delivery
Expected at
10:00 a.m., EST
Wednesday,
March 5, 1997

COMBAT AIR POWER - JOINT MISSION
ASSESSMENTS COULD ENHANCE
INVESTMENT DECISIONS

Statement of Richard Davis, Director, National Security Analysis,
National Security and International Affairs Division

GAO/T-NSIAD-97-105

GAO/NSIAD-97-105T


(701110)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  CBO - Congressional Budget Office
  CINC - Commander in chief
  DOD - Department of Defense
  JROC - Joint Requirements Oversight Council
  JWCA - joint warfighting capabilities assessment
  PGM - precision-guided munitionMr.  Chairman and Members of the
     Subcommittee: 

============================================================ Chapter 0

Mr.  Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

I am pleased to be here today to discuss the combat air power
capabilities of the United States.  There has been considerable
discussion in recent months about the Department of Defense's (DOD)
aircraft modernization programs.  Much of the discussion has focused
on whether DOD will be able to "afford" the large number of new
combat aircraft it currently plans to buy.  Today, I would like to
focus more on joint warfighting requirements, the aggregate
capabilities of U.S.  combat air power forces to meet those
requirements, and DOD efforts to place greater emphasis on joint
considerations in program and budget decisions. 

My testimony is based on a comprehensive report of the major issues
related to U.S.  combat air power.\1 This report synthesized the
findings from our reviews of six key air power mission areas\2 and
other recent reviews of individual weapon systems.  The overall
objective of our work was to determine whether sufficient information
is being developed from a joint perspective to help the Secretary of
Defense decide whether new air power investments should be made,
whether programmed investments should continue to be funded, and what
priority should be given to competing programs.  To provide context
for this assessment, we examined major changes in U.S.  air power
capabilities since the Persian Gulf War in relation to those of
potential adversaries. 

Today, I would like to make three points based on our work: 

1.  The United States possesses a larger inventory of modern
high-performance fighter and attack aircraft than any other country. 
The capabilities of these aircraft continue to be enhanced through
key improvements in the aircraft, the weapons they use, and the
targeting information they are provided.  Conversely, the air defense
forces of potential adversaries have not been substantially improved
and, for the foreseeable future, are not likely to pose a serious
threat to U.S.  air power's successful execution of its missions. 

2.  Long-range bombers and missiles and attack helicopters are
increasingly supplementing fighter and attack aircraft in providing
the capability to attack ground targets.  The result is an extensive
inventory of capabilities to accomplish many of the same missions. 
Yet, the services are modifying current systems and developing new
systems at substantial costs, even though they have not compared
aggregate capabilities with joint mission needs. 

3.  Comprehensive assessments of requirements and capabilities from a
joint mission perspective would aid the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff to carry out his responsibilities as the senior military
advisor to the Secretary of Defense on the requirements, programs,
and budgets of the military services.  While progress has been made
in achieving a stronger joint orientation in DOD, ongoing
cross-service mission studies should allow DOD to identify
unnecessary duplications in capabilities and make difficult program
tradeoff decisions so defense resources can be used more efficiently. 


--------------------
\1 Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/NSIAD-96-177, Sept.  1996). 

\2 These include interdiction, air superiority, close support, air
refueling, suppression of enemy air defenses, and surveillance and
reconnaissance. 


   ALTHOUGH SMALLER, CURRENT U.S. 
   AIR POWER FORCES REMAIN HIGHLY
   CAPABLE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:1

Despite downsizing, U.S.  forces remain highly capable.  While DOD
has reduced its number of combat aircraft, it has retired older
aircraft while adding new aircraft and enhancing the capabilities of
existing aircraft.  These actions have yielded a force that, in many
areas, is more capable than the larger Cold War force.  DOD's total
inventory of combat aircraft has declined from about 8,200 in 1991 to
about 5,900 in 1996, as shown in the following chart.  The quantities
shown include aircraft designated for operational missions as well as
aircraft set aside for testing and training. 



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  Departments of the
   Army, the Navy, and the Air
   Force.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fixed-wing fighter and attack
aircraft and Air Force bombers have been reduced the most--from about
6,400 in 1991 to about 4,100 in 1996.  The services have achieved
these reductions primarily by retiring older aircraft that have been
costly to operate and maintain.  At the same time, they have added
many newer model aircraft--about 70 F-15E strike fighters, about 250
F-16 multimission fighters, and about 200 F/A-18 fighter and attack
aircraft.  These assets have bolstered U.S.  combat air capabilities. 

The total number of attack helicopters has only declined by 79. 
Although 600 older AH-1 Cobras were retired between 1991 and 1996,
both the Army and the Marine Corps have added newer more capable
helicopters.  These include about 150 Apache attack helicopters and
300 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopters in the Army
and about 70 Cobras in the Marine Corps. 

Although DOD now has fewer aircraft, many of the aircraft being
retained have been qualitatively improved.  For example, DOD has
improved the navigation, night fighting, target acquisition, and
self-protection capabilities of many aircraft and has made more
aircraft capable of delivering advanced munitions.  These
capabilities contributed significantly to the effectiveness of
tactical aircraft in the Gulf War.  DOD is also substantially
increasing its inventory of long-range missiles and precision-guided
munitions (PGM).  It is presumed that the growth in PGMs could reduce
the number of flights and aircraft needed to destroy designated
targets.  The following chart shows the added capabilities in these
areas since 1991. 



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Note:  Long-range missiles
   include the Tomahawk cruise
   missile and the Army Tactical
   Missile System.  Night-fighting
   aircraft includes those
   designed to permit use of
   night-vision goggles and/or
   those equipped with infrared
   detection devices.  PGM
   capability refers to the
   ability of aircraft to
   autonomously employ PGMs using
   laser designators.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  Departments of the
   Army, the Navy, and the Air
   Force.

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


   THREATS TO U.S.  AIR POWER ARE
   LIMITED
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2

Potential regional adversaries currently possess defensive and
offensive weapons that are considered technologically inferior to
U.S.  forces.  Improvements in these capabilities are dependent on
the acquisition of weapons and technology from outside sources. 

The current air defense capabilities of potential adversaries have
limitations.  Regarding aircraft, these nations have only small
quantities of modern fighters for air defense.  The bulk of their air
forces are older and less capable, and their fleets are not expected
to be bolstered by many modern aircraft.  Similarly, for their
surface-to-air defense forces, these nations tend to rely on older
systems for high-altitude long-range defense and to use the more
modern and effective systems, when available, at low altitudes and
short ranges.  The most prevalent threats are assessed to be overcome
by U.S.  aircraft with the use of tactics and countermeasures. 
Furthermore, the location of the most threatening air defense assets
tends to be known. 

For offensive operations, like defense forces, the bulk of potential
adversaries' aviation forces, which may comprise significant numbers,
are older and less capable aircraft.  The same assessment applies to
long-range missile capabilities.  Some potential adversaries possess
significant quantities of ballistic missiles, but they tend to be of
low technology and of limited military use.  The potential
land-attack cruise missile capabilities of these nations are low and
are not expected to increase in sophistication until the middle of
the next decade, if at all.  Though the threat to military forces
from conventionally armed missiles is low, the possibility that such
weapons could be used for political purposes--and possibly armed with
nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads--may affect the employment
of U.S.  forces. 

Air defense is a high priority of potential adversaries, and it is
believed most potential adversaries are trying to improve their
effectiveness and survivability by upgrading existing systems,
purchasing more modern weapons, and using camouflage and decoys. 
These improvements, if achieved, could delay U.S.  combat air power
from achieving air superiority quickly and cause higher U.S.  and
allied casualties.  These nations would also like to improve their
aviation and ballistic and cruise missile capabilities. 

Several factors are likely to inhibit these nations from improving
their capabilities quickly.  First, they lack the indigenous
capability to develop and produce the advanced systems that would
permit them to significantly enhance their capabilities.  Therefore,
advances will likely be confined to upgrades of existing equipment
and the possible acquisition of advanced systems from outside
sources.  Second, worldwide arms transfers have fallen significantly
in recent years and are not expected to reach former levels any time
soon.  The following chart illustrates both the decline in the
international arms market between 1987 and 1995 and the dominance of
Western suppliers. 



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

   Source:  World Military
   Expenditures and Arms
   Transfers, 1996 , (preliminary
   data) Arms Control and
   Disarmament Agency. 

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Third, the United States and its allies are cooperating to limit
conventional arms transfers to certain nations.  For example, the
United Nations imposed sanctions on several nations in the 1990s. 
These sanctions prohibited the transfer of weapons or commercial
technology that could be used for military purposes to these nations. 
No measurable arms transfers were made to these nations after the
sanctions were imposed. 

Fourth, the high technology weapons that could seriously threaten
U.S.  air power are expensive, no matter what the source.  For
example, an advanced air defense system like the Patriot PAC-3 costs
over $100 million for each battery.  Given the state of the economies
of potential adversaries, it would be difficult for them to purchase
many high-cost systems. 

To summarize, available information suggests that no potential
adversary possesses sufficient capabilities to prevent U.S.  forces
from achieving their objectives in a military engagement.  This was
perhaps best captured recently by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff when he said:  "the delta between us and anyone who could
possibly wish us ill today is greater than it certainly has ever been
in my lifetime." This advantage is expected to carry into the next
century, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  In a
January 1997 report,\3 CBO, using Office of Naval Intelligence data,
estimated that in 2005, the United States would have about twice as
many of the latest generation fighters as Russia, and about 15 times
as many as China, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq combined.  Efforts by
potential adversaries to narrow this delta will likely continue to be
inhibited by declines in the post-Cold War arms market, national and
international efforts to limit the proliferation of conventional
arms, and the high cost of advanced weapons. 


--------------------
\3 A CBO Study, A Look at Tomorrow's Tactical Air Forces, January
1997. 


   EXTENSIVE CAPABILITIES EXIST
   AMONG U.S.  FORCES TO
   ACCOMPLISH THE SAME MISSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3

During the Cold War, the military services invested hundreds of
billions of dollars to develop largely autonomous combat air power
capabilities, primarily to prepare for a global war with the Soviet
Union.  The Air Force acquired bombers to deliver massive nuclear
strikes against the Soviets and fighter and attack aircraft for
conventional and theater-nuclear missions in the major land theaters,
principally Europe.  The Navy built an extensive carrier-based
aviation force focused on controlling the seas and projecting power
into the maritime flanks of the Soviet Union.  The Army developed
attack helicopters to provide air support to its ground troops.  The
Marine Corps acquired fighter and attack aircraft and attack
helicopters to support its ground forces in their areas of operation. 
The United States ended up with four essentially autonomous air
forces with many similar capabilities, but each largely operated
within its own warfighting domains. 

Today, there is no longer a clear division of labor among aviation
forces based on where they operate or what functions they carry out. 
The air power components of the four services are now focused on
joint conventional operations in regional conflicts with many of the
assets having the same missions.  Most of the likely theaters of
operation are small enough that all types of aircraft can reach most
targets.  And while the number of combat aircraft has been reduced,
the reductions have been largely offset by an expansion in the types
of assets and capabilities available to the combatant commanders. 

The overlapping air power capabilities of the current force structure
do provide combatant commanders with operational flexibility to
respond to any circumstance.  The question is whether maintaining the
current levels of duplication, in the post-Cold War era, is necessary
and is the most efficient use of resources.  The Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently that, in his judgment,
unnecessary duplications exist.  From our reviews of the
interdiction, air-to-air combat, and close support of ground forces
mission areas, it is evident that U.S.  capabilities are overlapping
and substantial.  Planned investments in new weapons may, in some
cases, be adding little needed military capability at a very high
cost. 

The total inventory of assets that can be used to interdict enemy
ground targets illustrates the condition that exist.  As shown by
table 1, each of the services have extensive inventories of weapons
that can be used to attack ground targets. 



                                Table 1
                
                DOD's Multiple Assets to Interdict Enemy
                             Ground Targets

                                                                  1996
Service            Category           Asset                  Inventory
-----------------  -----------------  ------------------  ------------
Air Force          Fixed-wing         F-15E                        203
                   aircraft

                                      F-16                       1,450

                                      F-117                         54

                                      A/OA-10                      369

                                      B-1B                          95

                                      B-2                           17

                                      B-52                          66

Navy and           Fixed-wing         A-6E                          63
Marine Corps       aircraft

                                      AV-8B                        184

                                      F-14A/D                      323

                                      F/A-18                       806

                   Helicopters        Cobra                        176

                   Missiles           Tomahawk                   2,339

Army               Helicopters        Apache                       798

                                      Cobra/Kiowa                  758
                                      Warrior

                   Missiles           Army Tactical              1,456
                                      Missile System\
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. 

Based on our analysis of DOD's targeting data, the services
collectively have at least 10 ways to hit 65 percent of the thousands
of expected ground targets in two major regional conflicts.  In
addition, interdiction assets can provide 140 to 160 percent coverage
for many types of targets.  Despite this level of capability, the
services are modifying current platforms and developing new systems
that will provide new and enhanced interdiction capabilities over the
next 15 to 20 years at a total estimated cost of over $200 billion. 
This figure excludes the Joint Strike Fighter program, which will
also provide interdiction capabilities. 

In the area of air-to-air combat--a critical mission to achieve and
retain air superiority--over 600 combat-designated F-14 and F-15
fighter aircraft are initially dedicated to this mission.  This
number far exceeds the quantity and quality of fighter aircraft
potential adversaries are projected to have.  In addition, about
1,900 other combat-designated multirole fighter aircraft, such as
F-16s and F/A-18C/Ds, while not dedicated to air superiority
missions, are very capable air superiority fighters.  These aircraft
could assist F-14s and F-15s to defeat enemy fighters before being
used for other missions such as interdiction and close support.  The
capabilities of these fighter aircraft have also been enhanced
extensively with the procurement of advanced weapons--particularly
over 7,400 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles--and through
continuing improvements to these weapons and to support platforms,
such as airborne warning and control system aircraft, that help the
fighters locate, identify, track, and attack enemy aircraft at great
distances.  Despite these unparalleled capabilities, the Air Force
plans to begin to replace its F-15s with 438 F-22 fighters in 2004,
at an estimated average unit procurement cost of about $111 million,
and to design and develop the multirole Joint Strike Fighter, which
will have air-to-air combat capabilities. 


   DECISIONS ON AIR POWER PROGRAMS
   AND PRIORITIES REQUIRE
   COMPREHENSIVE JOINT ASSESSMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4

Through key legislation, Congress has sought to better integrate the
capabilities of the military forces, provide for improved military
advice to the Secretary of Defense apart from that provided by the
military services, and strengthen the joint orientation of DOD. 
Although DOD has improved its joint orientation in many respects, the
services continue to heavily influence defense decisions,
particularly those related to investments in weapons.  Stronger
military advice from a joint perspective is needed if the Secretary
is to objectively weigh the merits not only of combat air power but
also of other defense capabilities and programs. 

The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of
1986 made the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, responsible for
providing military advice from a joint perspective to the Secretary
of Defense.  As senior military advisor to the Secretary, the
Chairman is expected to advise the Secretary on the requirements,
programs, and budgets of the military services.  The act directs the
Chairman to (1) provide advice on the priorities of requirements
identified by the regional commanders, (2) determine the extent to
which service program recommendations and budget proposals conform
with the regional commanders' priorities, (3) submit alternative
program recommendations and budget proposals within projected
resource levels to achieve greater conformance with these priorities,
and (4) assess the military requirements for defense acquisition
programs.  The National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years
1993 and 1996 further directed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff to examine how DOD might eliminate or reduce duplicative
capabilities and authorized him, through the Joint Requirements
Oversight Council (JROC), to assess military needs from a joint
warfighting perspective. 

Although progress is being made, we believe that the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff needs to do more to effectively carry out these
responsibilities.  For example, DOD established a joint warfighting
capabilities assessment (JWCA) process, under which assessment teams
are examining issues related to 10 selected mission areas. 
Established in 1994 to support the JROC, these assessment teams have
identified ways to improve joint warfighting and have proposed other
operational improvements.  However, the teams so far have had little
impact in reducing unneeded overlaps and duplication in existing
capabilities.  Also, they have not been directed to delve into more
controversial issues related to U.S.  air power, such as assessing
alternative ways to modernize U.S.  air power capabilities. 

Additionally, we found little evidence that the JROC, with the
support of the JWCA process, has developed specific proposals to
transfer resources from one service to another to meet higher
priority needs.  A review of Future Years Defense Program data also
indicated no notable shifts in acquisition funding among the services
between fiscal year 1994 and 2001.  A key goal in expanding the
JROC's role in 1994 was, according to the Office of the Vice Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to enhance force capability by
assisting the Chairman in proposing cross-service transfers of
resources.  Additionally, Joint Staff officials told us that funding
has not been shifted from one program to another as a result of the
JWCA team assessments to reflect higher priorities from a joint
perspective. 

In assessing the impact of the JROC and the JWCA process on combat
air power, we examined two important ultimate outputs of the
process--the Chairman's Program Assessment and Program
Recommendations to the Secretary of Defense.  Under its broadened
mandate, the JROC has been made a focal point for addressing joint
warfighting needs.  It is expected to support the Chairman in
advising the Secretary by making specific programmatic
recommendations that will, among other things, lead to increased
joint warfighting capability and reduce unnecessary redundancies and
marginally effective systems, within existing budget levels. 
However, in reviewing the Chairman's 1994 and 1995 program
assessments and 1995 program recommendations, we found little to
suggest that this type of advice is being provided.  The documents
did not offer specific substantive proposals to reduce or eliminate
duplication among existing service systems or otherwise aid in
addressing the problem of funding recapitalization.  In fact, the
Chairman's 1995 Program Assessment indicated a reluctance on the
Chairman's part, at least at that point, to propose changes in
service programs and budgets.  While the Chairman expressed serious
concerns in his assessment about the need for and cost of
recapitalizing warfighting capabilities and said that the power of
joint operations allows for the identification of programs to be
canceled or reduced, his advice was to defer to the services to make
such choices. 


   DOD MUST OVERCOME CERTAIN
   OBSTACLES TO ACHIEVE A STRONGER
   JOINT ORIENTATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5

DOD must overcome several obstacles that have inhibited JWCA teams
and others that try to assess joint mission requirements and the
services' aggregate capabilities to fulfill combat missions.  Major
impediments include (1) a dearth of information on joint mission
requirements and the aggregate capabilities of the services to meet
those requirements, (2) weak analytical tools and databases to assist
in-depth joint mission area analyses, and (3) the services'
resistance to changes affecting their programs. 


      COMPREHENSIVE JOINT MISSION
      AREA ANALYSES HAVE NOT BEEN
      PERFORMED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5.1

DOD has done little analysis to establish joint mission area
requirements for specific combat air power missions or to plan the
aggregate capabilities needed by each of the services to meet those
requirements.  Studies that may provide such information on several
key air power missions have been initiated but have not yet been
completed.  Without such analyses, decisions on the need for new
weapon systems, major modifications, and added capabilities evolve
from requirements generation and weapons acquisition processes that
encourage each service to maintain its own view of how its own
capabilities should be enhanced to meet warfighting needs. 

In its May 1995 report, the Commission on Roles and Missions of the
Armed Forces substantiated what our reviews of defense programs have
found, that "each Service is fully engaged in trying to deliver to
the CINCs (regional commanders) what the Service views as the best
possible set of its specific capabilities--without taking into
account the similar capabilities provided by the other Services." The
analyses used to generate weapon system requirements for new
acquisition programs are most often narrowly focused.  They do not
fully consider whether the capabilities of the other services to
perform a given mission mitigate the need for a new acquisition or
major modification. 

Significant limitations in study methodologies and the use of
questionable assumptions that can result in overstated requirements
are apparent in three DOD bomber requirements studies we examined. 
None of the studies assessed whether fighters or long-range missiles
could accomplish the non-nuclear mission more cost-effectively than
bombers.  One of the studies, done by the Air Force and used by it to
estimate and justify bomber requirements, assumed that only bombers
would be available to strike time-critical targets during the first 5
days of a major regional conflict.  This assumption seems to conflict
with DOD planning guidance, which assumes that Air Force and Navy
combat aircraft would arrive early enough in theater to attack
targets at the outset of a major regional conflict. 

The services' analyses of alternatives to meet mission needs can also
be limited.  A 1995 study done at the request of the Chairman of the
JROC identified this as a problem.  The study team found that
analyses done to support JROC deliberations frequently concentrate
only on the capability of the DOD component's proposed system to fill
stated gaps in warfighter needs.  Potential alternatives are given
little consideration. 

Thus, while DOD has decision support systems to assist senior
officials in making critical decisions, reviews like those done by
the JROC and by the staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
are very dependent on the services for analytical support.  They do
not have the benefit of information on joint mission requirements and
the aggregate capabilities of the services to meet those requirements
to aid them in their oversight and review role.  They are heavily
dependent on the services to provide much of the supporting analyses. 
Therefore, such oversight reviews can provide little assurance that
there is a valid mission need, that force capabilities are being
properly sized to meet requirements, and that the more cost-effective
alternative has been identified. 


      BETTER ANALYTICAL TOOLS AND
      DATA ARE NEEDED TO IMPROVE
      JOINT ASSESSMENTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5.2

DOD officials acknowledge that current analytical tools, such as
computer models and war games used in warfighting analyses, need to
be improved if they are to be effectively used to analyze joint
warfighting.  They told us these tools often do not accurately
represent all aspects of a truly joint force, frequently focus on
either land or naval aspects, and often do not consider the
contribution of surveillance and reconnaissance and command and
control assets to the warfighter.  Some models are grounded in Cold
War theory and must be augmented with other evaluations to minimize
their inherent deficiencies. 

DOD representatives and analysts from the military operations
research community also observe that there are serious limitations in
the data to support analyses of joint capabilities and requirements. 
Presently, anytime DOD wants to study joint requirements, a database
must be developed.  Concerns then arise over whether the databases
developed and used are consistent, valid, and accurate.  Efforts have
been made in the past to collect joint data and develop appropriate
models for analyzing joint warfare.  These efforts, however, fell
short, as there was not a consistent, compelling need across enough
of the analytic community to do the job adequately. 

A current major initiative aimed at improving analytical support is
the design and development of a new model--JWARS--that will simulate
joint warfare.  JWARS will seek to overcome past shortcomings and
will include the contributions of surveillance and reconnaissance and
command, control, and communication assets to the warfighter.  This
initiative was developed as part of DOD's joint analytic model
improvement program because of the Secretary of Defense's concern
that current models used for warfare analysis are no longer adequate
to deal with the complex issues confronting senior decisionmakers. 
Under this program, DOD will upgrade and refine current warfighting
models to keep them usable until a new generation of models to
address joint warfare issues can be developed.  The new models are
intended to help decisionmakers assess the value of various force
structure mixes.  As part of this broad initiative, DOD also intends
to develop a central database for use in mission area studies and
analyses. 


      DESIRE TO HAVE CONSENSUS CAN
      INHIBIT NEEDED CHANGES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5.3

DOD has reduced its force structure and terminated some weapon
programs to reflect changes in the National Military Strategy and
reduced defense budgets.  But further attempts to cancel weapon
programs and reduce unnecessary overlaps and duplications among
forces are likely to generate considerable debate and resistance
within DOD.  Because such initiatives can threaten service plans and
budgets, the tendency has been to avoid debates involving tradeoffs
among the services' systems.  The potential effects of program
reductions or cancellations on careers, the distribution of funds to
localities, jobs, and the industrial base also serve as disincentives
for comprehensive assessments and dialogue on program alternatives. 

The Chairman's 1995 Program Assessment indicates the difficulty the
Chairman has had in identifying programs and capabilities to cancel
or reduce.  While the Chairman recognized that the increasing
jointness of military operations should permit additional program
cancellations or reductions, he noted that the Joint Chiefs--despite
the added support of the JROC and the JWCA process--had been unable
to define with sufficient detail what should not be funded.  The
Chairman recommended that the Secretary of Defense look to the
military services to identify programs that can be slowed or
terminated.  He said for this to happen, however, the services would
have to be provided incentives.  The Chairman recommended that the
Secretary return to the services any savings they identify for
application toward priority recapitalization or readiness and
personnel programs. 

Joint Staff officials indicated that the Chairman's reluctance to
propose changes to major service programs may be attributable to the
need for the Chairman to be a team builder and not be at odds with
the service chiefs over their modernization programs.  Adoption of
the Chairman's proposal could lead the services to reduce or
eliminate programs and otherwise more efficiently operate their
agencies, including reducing infrastructure costs.  However, it is
difficult to appreciate how these unilateral decisions by the
services will provide for the most efficient and effective use of
defense resources. 


   CONCLUSION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:6

Air power plays a pivotal role in national military strategy.  The
United States' dominant air power capabilities provide combatant
commanders the capability to seize and control the skies, to hold
vital enemy capabilities at risk, and to help destroy the enemy's
ability to wage war.  To maintain this dominance and ensure a
combat-ready force in the future within likely defense budgets, the
Secretary of Defense will need to make difficult decisions in at
least two critical areas--how best to reduce unneeded duplication and
overlap in existing capabilities and how to modernize the force in
the most cost-effective manner.  To aid the Secretary in making such
decisions, DOD needs to conduct broader, more comprehensive joint
assessments. 

To be of most value, such assessments should be done on a continuing
basis and should, at a minimum, (1) assess total joint warfighting
requirements in each mission area; (2) inventory aggregate service
capabilities, including the full range of assets available to carry
out each mission; (3) compare aggregate capabilities to joint
requirements to identify shortages or excesses, considering existing
and projected capabilities of potential adversaries and the adequacy
of existing capabilities to meet joint requirements; (4) determine
the most cost-effective means to satisfy any shortages; and (5) where
excesses exist, assess the relative merits of retiring alternative
assets, reducing procurement quantities, or canceling acquisition
programs. 

These assessments, while very demanding, should provide insights into
how best to scale back air power modernization plans, reduce
duplicative capabilities, and otherwise make more efficient use of
defense resources.  An example of such an assessment is the ongoing
deep attack weapons mix study which was recommended by the 1995
Commission on Roles and Missions.  The objective of the first phase
of the study is to identify the appropriate mix of different
munitions, focusing on tradeoffs between standoff and direct attack
weapons and the needed inventories of different munitions.  The
second phase will focus on the potential that the growing inventory
and the increasing capabilities of weapons could allow some
consolidation of the ships, aircraft, and missiles that deliver the
weapons.  The results of this study should aid the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the Secretary on the requirements,
programs, and budgets of the military services.  The services could
also draw upon the study's database to broaden their analyses of
mission needs.  Similar studies need to be completed in other mission
areas. 

One concluding thought.  Last month the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, in his 1997 posture statement, said

     "With all of the talk about today's dangerous world and the
     difficulties Americans have faced, it is easy to overlook the
     fact that today the United States and its Allies are much safer
     than they were in the dark days of the Cold War.  This
     'strategic pause,' where the United States has no adversaries
     who are global powers, is providing us with the time to regroup,
     reflect on the challenges ahead, and prepare America's forces
     for the next millennium."

To take full advantage of this opportunity--"strategic pause"--and
make the most efficient use of defense resources to prepare U.S. 
forces for the next century, DOD needs to proceed with the type of
comprehensive assessments I have described.  Such assessments will
provide the type of information required to make the hard tradeoff
decisions that will be needed. 


-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:6.1

Mr.  Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement.  I would be
happy to respond to any questions you or other members of the
Subcommittee may have. 


SELECTED GAO REPORTS RELATED TO
THIS TESTIMONY
=========================================================== Appendix 1

Combat Air Power:  Joint Assessment of Air Superiority Can Be
Improved (GAO/NSIAD-97-77, Feb.  1997). 

Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/NSIAD-96-177, Sept.  1996). 

U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Aging Refueling Aircraft Are Costly to
Maintain and Operate (GAO/NSIAD-96-160, Aug.  1996). 

Navy Aviation:  F/A-18E/F Will Provide Marginal Operational
Improvement at High Cost (GAO/NSIAD-96-98, June 1996). 

Combat Air Power:  Assessment of Joint Close Support Requirements and
Capabilities Is Needed (GAO/NSIAD-96-45, June 1996). 

Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize Interdiction
Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May 1996). 

Defense Infrastructure:  Budget Estimates for 1996-2001 Offer Little
Savings for Modernization (GAO/NSIAD-96-131, Apr.  1996). 

Combat Air Power:  Funding Priority for Suppression of Enemy Air
Defenses May Be Too Low (GAO/NSIAD-96-128, Apr.  1996). 

Navy Aviation:  AV-8B Harrier Remanufacture Strategy Is Not the Most
Cost-Effective Option (GAO/NSIAD-96-49, Feb.  1996). 

Aircraft Requirements:  Air Force and Navy Need to Establish
Realistic Criteria for Backup Aircraft (GAO/NSIAD-95-180, Sept. 
1995). 

Weapons Acquisition:  Precision Guided Munitions in Inventory,
Production, and Development (GAO/NSIAD-95-95, June 1995). 

Tactical Aircraft:  Concurrency in Development and Production of F-22
Aircraft Should Be Reduced (GAO/NSIAD-95-59, Apr.  1995). 

Cruise Missiles:  Proven Capability Should Affect Aircraft and Force
Structure Requirements (GAO/NSIAD-95-116, Apr.  1995). 

Army Aviation:  Modernization Strategy Needs to Be Reassessed
(GAO/NSIAD-95-9, Nov.  1994). 

Tactical Aircraft:  F-15 Replacement Is Premature as Currently
Planned (GAO/NSIAD-94-118, Mar.  1994). 

Strategic Bomber:  Issues Relating to the B-1B's Availability to
Perform Conventional Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-81, Jan.  1994). 


*** End of document. ***

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