This is UNOFFICIAL at this time, it has NOT been validated as an official document. The depiction of most Army contractors as small to mid-size businesses with moderate to severe risk of bankruptcy if sequester cuts take place, is a useful point for investigators. What is missing is a global “picture” of what different kinds of cuts mean in terms of mission effectiveness and response times. Absent forward basing, most CONUS-based responses packages will take up to nine days to deliver.
Phi Beta Iota: What would be really fascinating — and very professional — would be an interactive digital map of the world showing all existing Army units around the world, with fixed and variable costs, including specification of which elements are mandated versus enabled by Treaty. The Army has way too many “optional” overseas deployments and way too much in the heavy-metal pipeline — from the cheap seats, without direct knowledge, Army appears to be playing games with the lives of people rather than being serious about finding reasonable necessary cuts to make in programs and global presence.
REVISION: CSA is focusing on manpower and OMA dollars because that is what he has some degree of control over. He is not making the big leap to demanding an inter-service review of all military procurement and construction projects, all military bases overseas, etcetera. What is really missing is a Presidential level review of what the threat really is, what our strategy should be to meet that threat, what force structure we require, and what training and organization we need to make that force structure effective. This is not something Gates or Panetta could handle, and Hagel will probably avoid it as well. Done right, such a review could lead to more than a 30% cut, while protecting the ability to achieve global reach within 24 hours.
PBI: Although another QDR is coming up, it will probably be the same nonsense that was led by Michelle Flourney in the past. QDRs to date have been devoid of intelligence and devoid of integrity. OSD appears incapale of producing or ingesting ethical evidence-based decision-support.
Army is principally a CONUS-based force projection enterprise that responds to theater demands. While closing down overseas bases looks good on paper, it sacrifices regional relationships, regional knowledge, logistics and hence force closure times, and so on. The ability to “own” a heavy lift hub within each continent is particularly critical since most airfields in the Third World are barely C-130 capable. [PBI: There are other ways — including the Chinese approach — of achieving this objective. Theaters are not really that smart — witness SOUTHCOM imploding over Haiti and have no clue on how to leverage regional heavy-lift air and sea ports to break down incoming so as to reach the sixteen small air and sea ports in Haiti — what we really need is a whole new approach to global engagement and global reach. No one is thinking responsibly about that — this would make a great fast book out of Brookings for Hagel to start his own reflections.
The Army cannot reduce its heavy-metal investments without off-setting capabilities increasing in long-reach aviation and those are questionable at best. The Air Force cannot do close air support, never mind mid- and long-range combat support. The Army is acutely conscious of the hard lessons of the 26th Calvary (Philippines), Kasserine Pass (North Africa) and Task Force Smith (Korea). Army is the obedient heart of a rotting corpse (DoD). Without a Secretary of Defense actually capable of devising and then enforcing a coherent strategy and force structure and international forward-base contingency options, Army does what it can in a very sick no-planning, corrupt-programming, idot-budgeting, incoherent-execution environment.