April 13, 2023

Buying Time: Logistics for a New American Way of War

Washington, April 13, 2023—Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, "Buying Time: Logistics for a New American Way of War," from author Chris Dougherty.

In the report, the author asserts that despite the critical role of logistics in military operations, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has systemically underinvested in logistics in terms of money, mental energy, physical assets, and personnel. To overcome these challenges, the author argues that the DoD must start developing an adaptive concept for joint logistics—one in which methods of support shift in response to threats, operational demands, and the availability of information.

The author notes that building an adaptive logistics concept will require major changes across the entire joint logistics enterprise, to include:

  • Building a more resilient overseas posture;
  • Creating a larger and more diverse fleet of connectors, such as airlift, sealift, trucks, aerial refueling tankers, and fleet oilers;
  • Acquiring information systems that balance visibility and security; and
  • Investing in a larger and better-trained workforce.

The report also provides an outline of the changes in budget, processes, and culture necessary to implement this paradigm shift.

Read the report for a full breakdown of the adaptive logistics concept and its importance for the U.S. in deterring or defeating aggression by China or Russia.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the report authors, please contact Cameron Edinburgh at cedinburgh@cnas.org


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  • Chris Dougherty

    Former Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Chris Dougherty is a former Senior Fellow for the Defense Program at CNAS. His primary areas of research included defense strategy, operational concepts, and force planning. H...