The end of the Cold War has resulted in a deliberate major reduction in all aspects of the armed forces of the United States. The execution of this reduction has been referred to as downsizing. It has also caused a major reduction to take place in the capacity of the defense industry. Downsizing has resulted in a restructuring of our defense acquisition process based on modern management techniques and the adoption of best practices, as appropriate, from the private sector and from within DoD.
184.108.40.206 Downsizing To Date. A summary of downsizing until the
present was provided by the Secretary of Defense when he said, "The forces
which we use today to carry out our deter or defeat strategy are
dramatically changed from the Cold War days. Since the mid-1980s, we have
cut our defense budget by 40 percent, cut our forces by 30 percent — to
include withdrawing two-thirds of the ground forces and three-quarters of
our air forces from Europe, and cut our weapon acquisition by 70 percent. At
the same time, we discarded our strategies designed to fight a major war in
Europe and developed new strategies and tactics for deterring and fighting
regional conflicts. We reoriented our training centers to focus on this kind
of conflict as well as other potential threats. For example, in order to get
ready for Bosnia, we turned one of our training centers in Germany into a
mini-Bosnia, complete with burned-out villages, refugees and paramilitary
forces. And finally, we focused on quality — quality weapons systems,
quality people and quality living conditions for our troops and their
Contributing to downsizing are several DoD initiatives and administration
220.127.116.11 Modernization. Modernization does not only mean new
systems or upgrades to existing systems. It also means joint planning and
joint training. It means small procurements of essentials such as tactical
communications, trucks, ammunition, armored personnel carriers, etc. When
applied to a major program such as shipbuilding, modernization means a
submarine or surface combatant being fully capable of participating in joint
operations. Thus, the jointness aspect of modernization takes a lot of
training, cooperation, and trust among the Services. It is not easy, but it
is critically important. Modernization when combined with readiness in the
context of a smaller force structure, in the words of former Secretary of
Defense Perry, gives us more than mere technological superiority; it gives
us a force that is capable of dominating any potential foe across the full
spectrum of military operations. In this regard, the Deputy Undersecretary
of Defense for Acquisition Reform noted early in 1995 that in what was then
the 10th year of declining defense budgets, it was time to start investing
in modernization again in view of the fact that the cascading effect of
modern equipment going to a smaller number of troops had run its course.
The base realignment and closure process is also linked to modernization
and long-term readiness. Former Secretary of Defense Perry stated that as we
downsize the military force, we must also reduce our Cold War
infrastructure. Future efforts will be aimed at correcting the imbalances
between force structure and infrastructure that remain.
18.104.22.168 Science and Technology
(S&T). The emphasis placed on this area was best ex-plained by
Secretary of Defense Perry in May 1996 when he noted, "The challenge for the
Department's science and technology program is to put the best available
technology into the hands of the customer — the warfighter — in a way
that is timely and cost effective both tomorrow and far into the future.
Doing this requires close, continuous and effective interaction between our
warfighters and our technology managers. It also requires maintaining a
world-class base of people and facilities. We have such a base today. I am
committed to maintaining it into the future. Our Science and Technology
program will keep our warfighters at the cutting edge of new technology and
ensure our dominance on future battlefields."
6Defense Issues, Vol. 11, Nr.
97, "A pragmatic U. S.-Russian Partnership," prepared remarks by SecDef
William J. Perry to the Military Academy of the Russian General Staff,
Moscow, Oct. 17, 1996.