Within the fiscal 2022 defense budget request, the Department of Defense has invested in the next generation of leading emerging technologies and capabilities. Ironically, at the same time, the way in which the funding of these new capabilities is organized is entirely outdated. As a pleasant surprise, however, the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act, which had its House Armed Services Committee markup hearing earlier this month, requires the DoD to provide reports on how to improve defense budget-related materials.
While improvements to budget data materials don’t earn the award for sexiest line in the NDAA, it was a pleasant surprise to see this issue garner some attention. Although we’ve become accustomed to traversing the treasure trove of budget data, improvements to the materials are long overdue — not only to make the lives of budget analysts easier, but to ensure greater transparency and oversight, thus helping ensure resources align to strategy.
As technology advances, Congress and the DoD need to not only focus investments on capabilities, but also on DoD processes and organizational culture.
Each year, the department releases budget justification documents, which consist of essential budget data, in the form of thousands of PDF pages and several Excel files across multiple websites. The format of these materials has not changed for roughly 20 years.
The first major issue with the presentation of defense budget data is that it’s scattered. Data is dispersed across PDFs and Excel files, making it difficult to accurately and comprehensively cover the financial tracks of an entire program. Moreover, the sorting and tagging functions within the materials are rudimentary at best.
Read the full article from Defense News.
More from CNAS
VideoUnited States Military Strategy Should Better Match Interests, Says Defense Research Expert
Becca Wasser discusses how U.S. military strategy has been linked to outdated priorities and should better reflect the country’s interests, including protection of the homelan...
By Becca Wasser
CommentarySpiking the Problem: Developing a Resilient Posture in the Indo-Pacific With Passive Defenses
This article originally appeared in War on the Rocks....
By Stacie Pettyjohn
CommentarySecuring the Global Digital Economy Beyond the China Challenge
A revised route to digital modernization, premised on open participation, can not only offset the local costs of China’s cyber and influence power, but pave the way for an equ...
By Ainikki Riikonen
CommentaryThe Unmet Promise of the Global Posture Review
The review missed an opportunity to realign U.S. military presence overseas with the strategic priorities laid out in the interim National Security Strategic Guidance....
By Becca Wasser