Revamping the Infrastructure that Supports Military Systems

by George L. Donohue, Marygail K. Brauner

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This issue paper presents the results and recommendations of a workshop addressing whether the industrial infrastructure that supports military systems should undergo fundamental redesign. Workshop participants included senior representatives from the Department of Defense (DoD) and private industry, as well as nongovernment policy analysts. Throughout the discussions, participants stressed that although the military has much to learn from private industry where restructuring is concerned, supplying forces in combat is fundamentally different from the goals and tasks of commercial industry. Problems identified with the current DoD approach to restructuring include lack of clear guidelines, legal obstructions to management initiatives, overemphasis on competition, and failure of information-system development. Seven guiding principles were developed to help integrate the complex array of problems, clarify options and tradeoffs, and provide criteria for making decisions. Ten research questions were presented that would yield empirical findings to help policymakers reach informed decisions on restructuring issues.

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