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The problems and issues that the research team tracked during QDR 1997 are far from being resolved and there is no clear guidance on what will be demanded in QDR 2001. The services remain skeptical of the Joint Staff dealing with tough issues that could redirect their own programmatic decisions. Although there is promise of improvement in organization and process, the most glaring problems are the lack of a comprehensive approach to treating resources and understanding the effects of resources on strategy and transformation alternatives. It is essential that good working relationships be established now with a clear understanding of the different responsibilities and capabilities of the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). It will be important to identify an appropriate set of mega-issues (with an appropriate set of supporting specific issues) and initiate studies and analysis on the most important ones. Thorough preparation, efficiently managed, will establish credibility for the Joint Staff with the OSD staff and will facilitate integration within the Joint Staff and with the Commanders in Chief.

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