ILW Defense Reports: Archive

ILW Defense Reports: Archive

Defense Reports are concise, informational papers designed to succinctly provide facts bearing on the most critical 21st century defense challenges. These messages are sent to the leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.

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Defense Reports

 National Commission on the Future of the Army: A Potential Blueprint for the Total Army
(Defense Report 16-2, February 2016)

This Defense Report explains that the NCFA was established by Congress to address two major concerns: first, how best to organize and employ the Army despite a decline in resources; and second, whether the Army should consolidate all AH-64 Apache helicopters into the Regular Army. The commission released its report on 28 January 2016, providing 63 recommendations for the President, Congress, the Department of Defense and the Army to consider. Historically, declining resources following the end of a major conflict have invoked reticent response to overcoming challenges. The NCFA report is the beginning, not the end, of the process to determine how the Army will adjust in the next five to ten years. The majority of the recommendations require the Total Army to conduct detailed analysis to implement the suggested changes. The force structure changes are based on the current threat environment, which is constantly changing within the globalized world. Recommendations to better integrate Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve forces are critical to sustaining and maintaining the all-volunteer force.

 Until They All Come Home: The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency
(Defense Report 16-1, February 2016)

This Defense Report explains that three separate organizations—the Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office, the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command and the Air Force Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory—were merged over the last year to form a single organization, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Action Accounting Agency (DPAA). In laying out the particulars of some of what the DPAA has accomplished, this paper demonstrates how the merger has allowed for better oversight of case research, recovery operations and family communications. Americans owe a great deal to the servicemembers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect their freedom; DPAA is dedicated to ensuring that they are not forgotten.

★ ★ ★      2015      ★ ★ ★

Building Readiness to Sustain Global Responsiveness and Regional Engagement
(Defense Report 15-2, April 2015)

This Defense Report delineates the requirement for an Army methodology that can more efficiently and responsively project unit readiness based on leading indicators. As the velocity of instability accelerates worldwide and global demands for the Army are increasing, associated reductions in fiscal resources place a premium on creating unit readiness more efficiently. However, the inability to apply leading indicators contributes to the inefficient application of resources, reducing the Army’s ability to respond with ready units. This paper argues for the application of Demand-Fulfillment methodology based on leading indicators for manning, equipping, training, services and infrastructure and funding.

The Army Operating Concept 2020–2040: Winning in a Complex World
(Defense Report 15-1, April 2015)

This Defense Report outlines the challenging future operating environment that the Army faces. This environment is unknown, unknowable and constantly changing. To meet these challenges, the Army has created the new AOC to address prompt conduct of joint operations to prevent conflict, shape security environments and win wars. The AOC describes how the future Army forces will operate to accomplish campaign objectives and protect U.S. national interests by winning at the tactical, the operational and—most important— the strategic level of war.

★ ★ ★      2013      ★ ★ ★

The U.S. Army Capstone Concept: Defining the Army of 2020
(Defense Report 13-1, January 2013)

This Defense Report discusses the revised “The U.S. Army Capstone Concept” (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet 525-3-0), released in December 2012, which presents the Army’s initiative to transition into a continental United States (CONUS)-based expedition ready force. The Army Capstone Concept serves as a guide to how the Army will employ its resources to confront an uncertain future and offers an outline for comprehensive investment in Army force structure, modernization and readiness in accordance with national strategy guidance.

★ ★ ★      2012      ★ ★ ★

Army Total Force Policy: Fully Integrating the Operational Reserve
(Defense Report 12-1, December 2012)

This Defense Report discusses the role and implementation of the Army Total Force Policy. Signed by Secretary of the Army John McHugh in September 2012, the document lends official and institutional permanence to the practice of AC and RC Soldiers fighting as one operational force—a practice already employed by Soldiers and commanders on the ground.

★ ★ ★      2011      ★ ★ ★

Unleashing Unlimited Potential: The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program in 2011
(Defense Report 11-4, October 2011)

This Defense Report examines how the Warrior Transition Command (WTC), which oversees the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP), has made impressive progress in automation, documentation and training programs for medical, rehabilitation, patient care, ministry and other professionals who work with each Soldier and family to put together a step-by-step, comprehensive plan for recovery and preparation for the future. Also implemented over the past year is the Army Warrior Care Tracking System (AWCTS), which provides improved capabilities to track each Soldier’s progress every step of the way. Over the past year WTC has addressed all 56 recommendations made by a November 2010 Department of the Army Inspector General (IG) report on the WCTP. This Defense Report discusses the implementation of some of the best practices that resulted from these recommendations.

Network Integration Evaluations: Developing Technologies with the Army’s Industry Partners 
(Defense Report 11-3, October 2011)


This Defense Report examines how Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) represent a new way of doing business for the Army; the NIE series is designed to evaluate and integrate emerging technologies before they are sent downrange. The first NIE is resulting in numerous key lessons learned regarding networking technologies. Future NIEs, currently in the planning stages, will accommodate these changes and work to establish a network baseline. Networking the individual dismounted Soldier so as to ensure improved battlefield awareness is a key element of the ongoing NIE process.

Equipping the Reserve Component for Mission Success at Home and Abroad
(Defense Report 11-2, June 2011)

This Defense Report examines how the Army plans to evaluate and implement recommendations from the Independent Panel Review of Reserve Component Employment in an Era of Persistent Conflict study commissioned by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff, Army in May 2010. Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn triggered a paradigm shift that transitioned the RC from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve.  However, despite the cooperation on the battlefield, changing conditions and preexisting equipment shortages present new issues concerning equipment transfers and automation systems. This Defense Report discusses what steps the Army has taken, with great success, in efforts to develop transparent equipment processes and to better equip Soldiers—both in the RC and AC—who are going into harm’s way with the most capable systems possible.

The French-British Defense Treaty: Setting History Aside?
(Defense Report 11-1, January 2011)

This Defense Report examines the “Declaration on Defence and Security Co-operation,” a defense treaty signed by France and Britain on 2 November 2010. This Defense Report looks at how the treaty may pave the way to a new level of cooperation, surpassing anything previously achieved between the two countries on a bilateral basis. France and Britain are well matched to cooperate on defense as equal partners, given the similarities in national objectives and capabilities. This report discusses how the steps put forth in the treaty will rely on commonality of policy and objectives.

★ ★ ★      2010      ★ ★ ★

Capability Portfolio Reviews
(Defense Report 10-3, September 2010)

This Defense Report takes a look at the Capability Portfolio Review (CPR), a new tool created to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the whole range of Army programs, both material and non-material. While not designed to cut or save a certain dollar amount, the CPR is supposed to reveal potential savings by validating the link between requirements and capabilities. Two of 11 total CPRs have concluded, with the remainder scheduled to proceed over the next five years, ensuring that the warfighter receives the maximum capability and the taxpayer derives maximum value.


The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review: Refocusing Priorities 
(Defense Report 10-2, March 2010) 

This Defense Report discusses the Defense Department's strategy outlined in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report. The report itself describes the security environment and America's role in the world to provide context for its examination of all the elements of the United States' national defense plans, programs and policies. Four broad objectives are established: to prevail in today's wars; to prevent and deter conflict; to prepare to defeat adversaries and succeed in a wide range of contingencies; and to preserve and enhance the All-Volunteer Force. These top priorities set the direction that defense planning will take for the next four years.

The Army Management Enterprise 
(Defense Report 10-1, February 2010) 

This Defense Report briefly examines how the Office of Business Transformation (OBT), established in April 2009, will help the Army run its business operations more effectively and efficiently, including business systems architecture, information technology acquisition oversight and business process reengineering. In October 2009, the Under Secretary of the Army was designated as the Army's Chief Management Officer, who will work with the Army Secretary and other pertinent stakeholders to determine the missions, roles, responsibilities and staffing of the OBT. The Army's business transformation is driven by an urgent requirement to align the end-to-end business processes of the generating force, and the capabilities they provide, to the operational needs of an expeditionary and campaign-capable force.


★ ★ ★      2009      ★ ★ ★

Advance Payments to Small Defense Contractors 
(Defense Report 09-6, December 2009) 

This Defense Report briefly examines the current system for granting contracts to both large and small businesses and discusses how to improve the system by allowing small businesses to receive advance payments to better compete with large companies for contracts. The Army is expected to add 1,400 personnel to its contracting workforce within the next three to five years, but the market remains restricted to large business contractors that have upfront financial support. Thus, small businesses are inherently disadvantaged in their ability to support government contracts. To remedy the situation and ensure that Soldiers are receiving the best products and services from contractors, the Defense Department is supporting measures to authorize advance payments to small businesses for initial costs, allowing them to compete with large companies.

The Kurdish Question 
(Defense Report 09-5, September 2009) 

This Defense Report provides the context and background of the complex and contentious issue of the Kurdish minority in Iraq. The issue is deeply rooted in the history of the country, and it involves several neighboring countries as well. Many unanswered questions surround the extent and status of Kurdish region, and resolving the issue is vital to the long-term stability of the Iraqi nation.

Reforming the National Security Council for the 21st Century: Integrating Homeland Security and Transnational Threats 
(Defense Report 09-4, July 2009) 

This Defense Report discusses the history of the National Security Council (NSC) and its expanding role as an integral component of national security. Because threats are global, transnational and diverse, the NSC, as the President’s national security policymaking and coordinating apparatus, must take a more expansive view of U.S. national security than a traditional military view. The relatively new Homeland Security Council has been integrated into the NSC structure to recognize that homeland security, whether protecting against terrorist attack, natural disaster or the failure of vital infrastructure, is critical to U.S. national security. 

The Future of Army Aviation Requirements
(Defense Report 09-3, May 2009) 

This Defense Report examines the future of the Army's aviation requirements. Two key ideas will guide Army aviation as it develops its future requirements: a joint focus and the multi-role concept. Future aircraft will be flexible enough to fulfill a variety of missions for multiple services, allowing joint force commanders to fully exploit the vertical dimension.

Expanding and Improving the Army’s Contracting Oversight 
(Defense Report 09-2, April 2009) 

This Defense Report describes the Army's plans to expand its contracting workforce and improve contracting oversight pursuant to the recommendations of the Gansler Commission. The commission reported that the Army did not have the necessary structures and processes in place to oversee the large and rapid expansion in contracting of recent years. The Army has made several structural changes, and will hire addiitonal oversight personnel in the coming years.

Improving Care for Wounded Warriors: Warrior Care and Transition Program
(Defense Report 09-1, February 2009) 

This Defense Report assesses the progress of the transformation of Army Warrior Care and its evolution to the Warrior Care and Transition Program. The ultimate goal is to enhance care and improve the transition of wounded warriors back to duty or into civilian life as productive veterans. Including such efforts as the establishment of Warrior Transition Units and the Army Wounded Warrior Program, the Army has made tremendous progress in transforming how it provides health care to its Soldiers, with improvements impacting every aspect of the continuum of care.

 ★ ★ ★      2008      ★ ★ ★

Warrior Care and Transition Program: Making Good on a Promise 
(Defense Report 08-3, October 2008) 

This Defense Report is the third in a series on implementation of the Army Medical Action Plan. (Earlier reports included DR 07-2, “Army Medical Action Plan,” June 2007, and DR 07-3, “Supporting Those Who Have Given So Much: Army Medical Action Plan Update,” September 2007, both available online below.) Formation of Warrior Transition Units and improvements to facilities and procedures have produced a 20 percent increase in Soldier satisfaction over the past year. Future plans call for increased staffing, a Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program to ensure good mental health, and an independent examination of Medical Evaluation and Physical Evaluation Boards processes.

Absentee Voting for Servicemembers 
(Defense Report 08-2, September 2008) 

This Defense Report describes the Defense Department's Federal Voting Assistance Program and talks about how servicemembers, Army civilians and family members can get election information and exercise their right to vote no matter where they may be stationed.

Transforming the Army's Civilian Workforce: A New Vision 
(Defense Report 08-1, August 2008) 

This Defense Report discusses the Army's recognition of the vital role of the civilian workforce in the 21st security environment; the need for enterprise-wide, institutional transformation of its Civilian Corps—evolution of the current civilian career programs into a comprehensive management model with broad career fields and multifunctional paths to senior levels; and the programs and processes being established to make this Army vision a reality. 

 ★ ★ ★      2007      ★ ★ ★

No Supplemental Funding: Implications for the U.S. Army 
(Defense Report 07-4, December 2007) 

This Defense Report briefly discusses the budget shortfall for combat operations and the consequences it will have for the Army, such as employee layoffs, cancelled military contracts and reduced services on military bases. The Army needs full, timely and predictable funding to accomplish the myriad missions to which it has been assigned. Without the necessary funds and resources, by mid-February 2008 the Army will find itself unable to support combatant commanders worldwide.

Supporting Those Who Have Given So Much: Army Medical Action Plan Update 
(Defense Report 07-3, September 2007) 

This Defense Report briefly examines the progress of the first three phases of the AMAP, including the implementation of the Army's "10 Quick Wins"--ten goals to reach by 15 June. Phase IV is set for September 2007-January 2008, when the new organizations will achieve initial operational capability. Full operational capability will occur during Phase V in the beginning of 2008. The overall purpose of the plan is to identify issues and implement solutions, leading to a streamlined system that provides the best possible medical care for Soldiers and their families.

Army Medical Action Plan 
(Defense Report 07-2, June 2007) 

This Defense Report examines the Army’s initiative to develop a sustainable system wherein wounded, injured and ill Soldiers are medically treated and vocationally rehabilitated to prepare them for successful return to duty or transition to active citizenship. This plan will ensure that the needs of operational units, Soldiers and their families are jointly met. Its mission is to support the Army’s Warrior Ethos of “I will never leave a fallen comrade” by identifying and implementing improvements in the Army’s system of caring for warriors in transition, and to establish long-term solutions that provide a lifetime of care.

 ★ ★ ★      2006      ★ ★ ★

No Defense Appropriations Bill--What That Means for the Soldier and the Army 
(Defense Report 06-2, August 2006) 

This Defense Report briefly summarizes the stalemate in Congress over the Defense budget and analyzes some of the reasons for the pause in progress. The Senate began its traditional late-summer recess on 4 August 2006 without passing the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Appropriations bill. If the budget is not signed into law by 1 October 2006, the military will again have to operate under a continuing resolution, which provides funding at the same level as the previous fiscal year's budget, without allowance for new requirements or new contracts.

2006 Quadrennial Defense Review: Shifting Emphasis 
(Defense Report 06-1, March 2006) 

This Defense Report briefly examines the 2006 QDR Report and how it will guide the Department of Defense into the future. Senior civilian and military leaders at DoD used the report as a medium to address the need to “find, fix and finish” combat operations in an era of the unpredictable. Throughout the report, the phrase “the long war” is used by Pentagon officials to describe the irregular nature of current operations that requires the U.S. military to adopt unconventional and indirect approaches to warfighting. The Report stresses that it is not promoting a radical change in direction for the military, but rather a shifting of emphasis from conventional methods of warfare to new challenges facing our troops.

 ★ ★ ★      2005      ★ ★ ★

Base Realignment and Closure 2005: Implications for the Army's Medical Capabilities 
(Defense Report 05-4, June 2005) 

This Defense Report looks at current Department of Defense recommendations for the 2005 round of BRAC and the department's view on restructuring the Military Healthcare System through consolidation of Army medical facilities and joint creation and operation of new "Centers of Excellence" to meet the future needs of the armed forces.

The Transforming Army and Impact Aid: Remembering Military Children 
(Defense Report 05-3, June 2005) 

This Defense Report takes a look at four wide-ranging transformational processes--ongoing privatization of military housing, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round of 2005, the Global Rebasing Initiative and the Army Modular Force Initiative--and how their impact on military populations on and around military bases may, in turn, affect both the education of military children and the well-being of the schools they attend.

New Army Doctrine for a Nation at War 
(Defense Report 05-2, June 2005) 

This Defense Report takes a brief look at just-published Army Field Manual (FM) 1, Operations, which establishes the Army's operational concept while defining the fundamental principles for employing landpower in support of the National Security, Defense and Military Strategies. Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff, FM 1 represents the integration of their shared vision of the Army, defining the purpose, roles and functions of the Army in contemporary terms while establishiong a broad direction for the future of the force.

Anticipating the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review: Issues and Opportunities 
(Defense Report 05-1, March 2005) 

This Defense Report first offers a brief overview of the genesis of the QDR and then looks to 2005, anticipating emphasis on strengthened intelligence, protecting critical operating bases, and working with partners to increase their capabilities, thus reducing some of the burden currently carried by the U.S. military. Other issues that should be included are stability and support operations, strategic forces, Homeland Defense and Homeland Security, and Department of Defense management and business processes. 

 ★ ★ ★      2004      ★ ★ ★

Protecting the Military's Right to Vote 
(Defense Report 04-4, August 2004) 

This Defense Report takes a look at the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 and the Defense Department's Federal Voting Assistance Program--what they mean, how they work and what action is required by servicemembers to exercise their right to vote no matter where they may be stationed.

Equipment for the Soldier: A Most Critical Unfunded Requirement 
(Defense Report 04-3, May 2004) 

This Defense Report takes a look at the Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative and the $1.175 billion budget shortfall that threatens to undermine this expanding effort to address shortages and obsolescence of mission-essential equipment.

The Security Clearance Process: A Defense Dinosaur 
(Defense Report 04-2, May 2004) 

This Defense Report examines the essential role contractors play in our nation's defense. Since September 11, 2001, a huge increase in the demand for jobs requiring security clearances has created a surge in clearance investigations and -- thanks to an antiquated and laborious process -- an immense backlog of cases awaiting investigation or adjudication. This report examines the elements that contribute to the inefficiencies of the clearance process and the impact of those inefficiencies on national defense, and offers some recommendations for fixing the problem.

The Survivor Benefit Plan: Getting What Was Promised — and Paid For
(Defense Report 04-1, April 2004) 

This Defense Report examines the inequities and omissions that make the Survivor Benefit Plan both less supportive than military servicemembers and their survivors have been led to expect and less attractive to those planning to retire; also addressed are some potential solutions to the problem.

★ ★ ★      2003      ★ ★ ★

Comanche — Critical Enabler for Joint and Army Future Force Operations 
(Defense Report 03-5, December 2003) 

This Defense Report looks at the RAH-66 Comanche stealth helicopter and how the program supports Department of Defense Transformation Guidance published in April 2003. The report also addresses the Comanche from an operational perspective and outlines the program development schedule through Fiscal Year 2011.

Army Reserve Bridge to Transformation: Federal Reserve Restructuring Initiative 
(Defense Report 03-4, September 2003) 

This Defense Report presents an overview of the Army Reserve FRRI, a program designed to deliver an Army Reserve force that will be appropriately structured and resourced to meet the future Army’s needs. FRRI, synchronized with the Army’s Transformation Campaign Plan, addresses people, readiness and transformation. The FRRI end-state envisions an Army Reserve force that is fully manned, equipped and resourced, flexible and adaptable to change, and comprising ready, relevant units available for worldwide deployment and capable of split-based operations, reachback and information superiority.

The Army Reserve’s TTHS Account Initiative — The Personnel Management Tool of Choice for Improving Readiness 
(Defense Report 03-3, September 2003) 

This Defense Report looks at the potential benefits of establishing a Trainees, Transients, Holdees and Students account for the Army Reserve to increase unit readiness by removing nondeployable soldiers from troop program unit (TPU) spaces.

Decaying Infrastructure — An Achilles’ Heel to Readiness for the Guard and Reserve 
(Defense Report 03-2, March 2003) 

The Army National Guard and Army Reserve are as plagued by a crumbling infrastructure as the active duty force. To correct the problem, Total Obligation Authority needs to be increased starting in FY 2004.

Comanche — "Eyes and Guide" for the Joint Force 
(Defense Report 03-1, January 2003) 

The Comanche is the first component of the Objective Force and will be a significant system in the Future Combat Systems.

 ★ ★ ★      2002      ★ ★ ★

Examining the September 2002 National Security Strategy 
(Defense Report 02-7W, September 2002) 

This Defense Report analyzes President Bush’s Sept. 20 National Security Strategy, which outlines "American internationalism."

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 — Easing the Burden of Service 
(Defense Report 02-6, August 2002) 

The benefits and protections of the SSCRA need to be extended to National Guard members who are called to active duty under Title 32.

Reserve Retirement — Illuminating Some Gray Areas 
(Defense Report 02-5, August 2002) 

This Defense Report discusses the difference in active and reserve component retirement pay systems. Active duty retirees receive their retirement pay immediately, but reservist must wait until they reach age 60.

Reserve Component Tax Deductions for Soldiers and Employers 
(Defense Report 02-4, August 2002) 

Revisions to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 are needed to help reservists called to active duty and their employers.

Comanche — Critical Enabler for the Objective Force 
(Defense Report 02-3, July 2002) 

As a "system of systems," Comanche will play a significant role in the Future Combat Systems while lowering costs and increasing operational hours.

A First Look at President Bush’s June 2002 West Point Speech 
(Defense Report 02-2, June 2002) 

This Defense Report discusses the implications of the foreign policy agenda set forth in the president’s graduation speech.

The U.S. Army: Too Small for the Tasks at Hand 
(Defense Report 02-1, April 2002) 

This Defense Report discusses why more soldiers are needed to carry on the war against terrorism, protect the homeland, and continue to conduct other operations.


 ★ ★ ★      2001      ★ ★ ★

Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision: In Need of Serious Reform 
(Defense Report 01-4, December 2001) 

The Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision apply uniformly to all government retirees and thus disproportionately cut retirement income of those with the lowest benefits.

Department of the Army Civilians: A "Crisis in Human Capital" 
(Defense Report 01-3, August 2001) 

This Defense Report outlines the reasons the Department of the Army -- along with the entire federal government -- faces a severe employee retention problem.

Pay-Table Reform: The Next Step 
(Defense Report 01-2, April 2001) 

This Defense Report proposes a coordinated set of corrections to existing problems for noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and captains in the military pay system.

The U.S. Army at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Overcommitted and Underresourced 
(Defense Report 01-1, January 2001) 

This Defense Report takes a look at the mismatch between strategy, resources, missions and manning.

 ★ ★ ★      2000      ★ ★ ★

Closing the Pay Gap 
(Defense Report 00-4, October 2000)

Strategic Responsiveness: New Paradigm for a Transformed Army 
(Defense Report 00-3, October 2000) 

The journey to strategic responsiveness must be completed before our nation’s enemies can acquire the asymmetric means to deter or defeat us. A strategically responsive Army—a transformed Army—is an essential investment in our nation’s security.

Some Good News in the Budget 
(Defense Report 00-2, August 2000)

Quadrennial Defense Review: From 1997 to 2001 
(Defense Report 00-1, June 2000) 

This Defense Report examines the genesis of the Quadrennial Defense Review.

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