January 23, 2014

CNAS Visiting Military Fellows Collaborate on Roles and Missions Report

Washington, January 23 -- In a first for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), four visiting military fellows have collaborated on the publication of a report.  Written by CDR Clay Beers, USNLtCol Gordon Miller, USMCCOL Robert Taradash, USA; and Lt Col Parker Wright, USAFZone Defense: A Case for Distinct Service Roles and Missions was released today. The fourth in the CNAS “Disruptive Defense” series, the report urges the Department of Defense (DOD) to clearly delineate military service roles and missions in the changing fiscal and strategic environment to “best position the force for decades to come.” 
Download a copy of Zone Defense: A Case for Distinct Service Roles and Missions here.

The authors note that the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) will likely adjustends for DOD and introduce new ways to move forward, but urge the Department to “make the most of its available means.”  They encourage DOD to change its “mindset” for roles and missions, and “reduce unnecessary redundancies and assign emerging missions, technologies and concepts to the appropriate service.”  “It is increasingly clear that the Department of Defense can no longer afford the status quo that enables excessive redundancy,” they argue. 
All four authors are active-duty military officers, but their views are their own and do not reflect official policy or the position of the military or the Department of Defense.  While they do not make specific recommendations on realignment of service roles and missions, CDR Beers, LtCol Miller, COL Taradash and Lt Col Wright conclude their report with several broad suggestions including calling on the congressionally mandated National Defense Panel to highlight unnecessary mission overlap and wasteful redundancy in its QDR review and urging DOD to take a hard look at roles and missions focusing on service responsibilities rather than capability portfolios.