The three major challenges--interoperability, information systems security, and DOD process and culture--are discussed in more detail below. For each area, a high-level goal is stated. Principles relevant to achieving that goal then follow; these principles are derived primarily from the committee's professional experiences and expertise in the civilian and military worlds set against what the committee saw and learned in its briefings and site visits. The committee's findings in each area are based on what the committee learned in the briefings it received and in the site visits it conducted, against the backdrop of these principles. Finally, specific and actionable recommendations in each area are made.
The principles and the findings and recommendations have different time horizons. The latter are tied to "today," that is, to the specific time frame in which the committee undertook this study. Five years from now, they may well no longer be timely. By contrast, the principles are intended to be more enduring, in that they frame useful questions that can be asked of DOD's efforts in C4I both today and in the future.
Because the recommendations are intended to be actionable today, the committee tried to identify specific offices that could take management action to make something happen. On the other hand, DOD--especially the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff--is engaged in an ongoing restructuring and streamlining effort. Thus, while the recommendations do identify action offices that the committee believes are appropriate, the intent is to focus more on what needs to be done than on the details of who is to do it. Finally, in the interests of space, the findings and recommendations are supported in this executive summary by highly condensed versions of the argument and explanation that accompany them in the main text. Readers are urged to consult the main text for more detailed support.