February 25, 2011

Dr. Ashton Carter: Department of Defense Must Continue to Improve Efficiency and Productivity

ongoing economic and fiscal pressure, the Pentagon must continue to improve
efficiency and productivity in defense spending and manage the defense budget
responsibly, said Dr. Ashton B. Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, in a speech hosted by the Center for a
New American Security (CNAS) on February 22, 2011.

Read the full transcript of
Dr. Carter’s speech, “Doing
More Without More: Obtaining Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending
.” Watch
a video or listen to the podcast of his
remarks. CNAS podcasts and videos are also available on YouTube and iTunes.

featured Dr. Carter one week after the Department of Defense released its FY
2012 budget request. CNAS Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel Fick said,
“The world has changed. The industry has changed. It falls on Dr. Carter,
among others, to help frame our response to this new world and align the needs
of war fighters and the obligations to taxpayers with the imperative of
maintaining a thriving and competitive defense industrial base as a strategic
national asset.”

his remarks, Dr. Carter
addressed the problem with running the Department under a continuing
resolution, “We are managing the department’s affairs under a continuing
resolution until at least March 4,” he said. “And what that means is that each
and every program manager in the department is having to upset carefully
calibrated plans, stop or slow activities only to restart them later, defer the
commencement of important new programs, and so on. The result is not only
delay. It is inefficient and uneconomical.” He also spoke about the
need to build military capabilities in a time-efficient manner and for the
“money the country can afford to give us ... We are in the habit of taking
forever, and forever costs an awful lot." 

Dr. Carter also touched on the U.S. government’s commitment to export control
reform, and said that "it is in our interest" both for economic
reasons and to build the military capacities of international
partners. "When we make it difficult for people, they just give up and
go somewhere else to get the equipment they need," he said. 

Center for a New American Security was honored to host Dr. Carter as part of
the National Security Leaders
event series, a platform for senior civilian and military leaders to
address the Washington policy community on the most important national security
issues of the day.