The United States Special Operations Command Resource Management Process

An Application of the Strategy-to-Tasks Framework

by Leslie Lewis, James A. Coggin, Charles Robert Roll, Jr.

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This report discusses how a structured methodology called Strategy-to-Tasks can help the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) improve its resource allocation and management process. Analysis of USSOCOM's processes and program requirements suggests that RAND's Strategy-to-Tasks methodology might be able to accomplish the task of linking USSOCOM's programs and resources to national security strategy. Specifically, the methodology meets three critical requirements in USSOCOM's program that do not now exist: (1) a top-to-bottom linkage of Special Operations Forces (SOF) programs; (2) a more disciplined Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) that includes a clearer understanding of the resource issues (the process includes analytical tools and linked databases); and (3) a structured process that involves the components in the resource debate. The study created a baseline taxonomy that provides a traceable audit trail from national security and military strategies through operational concept to force elements. It also fosters operationally oriented statements to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and Congress about special operations force capabilities.

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