The Department of Defense (DoD) in the United States is one of the biggest and complex institutions in the world. DoD operates on a budget which doubles the world’s largest organizations and undertakes millions of operations globally (Panetta, 2011). The management of these high-level operations is possible through the development and maintenance of approximately 400 business activities and systems.
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The magnitude and complexity of operations, coupled with the fast pace of change posits that the military must engage in responsive, agile, and efficient practices. In an effort to pursue business transformation, efforts have been put into place to facilitate the realization of protecting the interests of US citizens and propel national goals. This business plan seeks to evaluate the US security forces in term of the cost effective measure, to address future challenges. While the current budget has not addressed security concerns amicably, it is felt that adept measures can still help promote efficiency with minimal costs.
This business plan proposes ways in which the DoD would undertake its operations to spearhead its targets of enhancing the security of US citizens and, by extension, the entire the World. The approach on costs reduction without compromising the security operations is the core objective that this plan institutes. The realization of these efforts will require the application of knowledge, technology, and perception of the activities to be undertaken, to supplement the goals achieved concurrently. Currently, a partnership has been established internally between Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO) and external collaborators to facilitate collective efficiency, accountability, and strategy in an effort to provide the best support possible to the military (US Department of Defense [DoD] (2012).
Strategic Approach to Better Service Delivery
The need to eliminate inefficiency has been at the forefront in attempts to ensure that the budgetary allocation for the country at war is not compromised (Panetta, 2011). This can be realized through transformation of business activities without compromising accountability across various departments. DoD leadership also needs to improve timely, reliable, and cost effective resources, which are aligned towards its mission. Improving the capacity to attain fact-based and practical managerial decision is a fundamental strategic priority for the improvement of business operations. Addressing the challenges such as information gaps, installation of modern systems and undertaking internal audits needs a focused approach and strong oversight. This can only be realized through effective management practices.
The 2013 budgetary allocation is targeted at creating a transition from the current emphasis on wars to advance preparedness for future uncertainties, protect the US security interests and spearhead reform initiatives for reduction of government spending on security. Procurement of military equipment, slow rate of compensation and the need to restructure operations have been the current challenges experienced by the DoD (DoD, 2012). Costs associated with Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) have been on the rise especially in Afghanistan and Iraq which have been reduced to $88.5 billion; a reduction by $26.6 in 2012 budget request (DoD, 2012).
Application of Technology
A balanced approach in the usage of resources can significantly address the budgetary challenges in terms of creation of potential savings. This can only become a reality with improved efficiency, reduction of personnel costs, elimination of additional overheads and adoption of modernization programs (DoD, 2012). The implementation of this plan will therefore enhance the process of conducting business through reduction of costs without compromising the quality of services. The change in force structure and innovation is another strategy, which will ensure lighter, flexible and more agile force. Lessons learnt from previous conflicts and innovations will enhance the realization of a stronger defense force, which will not only address the current, but also the future needs (Thompson, 2011).
Technological innovations also need to be applied in the acquisition of defense material through effective procurement procedures (Gansler, Lucyshyn, & Arendt, 2009). Contracts need to be awarded on merit and cost effectiveness which will immensely contribute towards productivity. Government bureaucracies also need to be streamlined to avoid costs that arise from turbulences in communication and decision-making. The ability to create a vibrant and financially sound security industry will significantly address the current situation by ensuring that resources are well managed. The reward system also need to be improved whereby security sectors which register higher levels of efficiency are rewarded while losses occurring in the course of duty are compensated.
Several countries in the world are realizing higher growth rates, which have translated into improved security. Competition should therefore be enhanced to make sure that the activities of DoD are not only suitable for the US economy but also for the global economy. Contracting and procurement of security equipment also need to be enhanced to ensure that the most qualified and technologically sound bidders are considered. Activities that can be delegated to other sectors of the economy and services, which can be privatized, should be entrenched in the economic policy. Allocation of funds should be determined by the nature of the situation in terms of its magnitude and urgency. Countries that are more susceptible to terror attacks will be targeted first before non-potential circumstances can be considered. The returns occurring because of specific security initiatives should be prioritized when sharing benefits.
Support of Volunteer Forces
America has engaged the services of both the civilians and volunteer forces in conflict management and mitigation processes (Gansler, Lucyshyn & Arendt, 2009). These efforts require immense support to ensure that preventive measures are prioritized as compared to curative measures. Salaries and allowances of security forces and compensation to their families is a major consideration in motivating and appreciating their contributions. Maser and Thompson (2011) note that the costs associated with salaries, allowances and medical care have been on the rise but active duty has continued to deteriorate. It is on this proposal that this business plan seeks to improve service delivery but adopting joint approach and management based conflict resolution programs.
Preventive measures can significantly address security concerns and tend to consume fewer resources (Panetta, 2011). Private security firms will need to be empowered in dealing with internal aggressions by allowing them to run their affairs professionally and without state interferences. This is due to the dynamic nature of their operations and ability to deal with minor security concerns. The reward systems can also be enforced on the suppliers by awarding them more tenders after successful performance of a particular task. The managerial approach should also be cost effective and efficient whereby the acquisition workforce should be reinforced, internal control systems improved and affordable engagements should be encouraged.
Productivity will be improved through stable production capacities and reduction in redundancy levels. This will ensure that security missions abroad serve according to the objective for which they were sent. Engaging professionals and senior managers in the procurement and material outsourcing processes will need to be improved for reducing wastage of resources and ensure quality services. Currently, the challenges faced by many security forces in the world are the poor adoption of innovative technologies in security matters (Maser & Thompson, 2011). This will therefore require more commitment to ensure that research and development is improved.
Leadership priorities are also influential in providing a strategic guidance within security echelons. DoD (2012) report proposes that a 2020 blueprint needs to be institutionalized to guide decisions pertaining to the magnitude and structure of the force in terms of budget allocation beginning 2013 cycle. This joint force will enhance sustainability of US global leadership of the security systems within the 21st century. An increased capacity for dealing with future threats will target investing in people and effective industrial foundation. The death of Osama bin Laden and the downfall of many of the senior leaders of Al Qaeda have confirmed the commitment of US forces. However, this does not eliminate the threat from terrorists since sympathizers and extremists have remained a threat to the global peace (Thompson, 2011). It is on this proposal that confirms that US security does not merely involve domestic concern but global and regional challenge and opportunities. The case of Middle East has been a US concern for long and the continued presence of the military remains part of security strategic framework.
United States has spent large sums of financial resources in the advancement of peace in the world (Thompson, 2011). This has, however, been faced with enormous budgetary allocations which have constrained the taxpayers greatly. This plan seeks to involve other stakeholders on a responsibility sharing approach, which will diversify the burden to other able countries. Some of the activities that the DoD has engaged in have only lead to increased expenditure without proportionate returns. The level of spending has also shot up drastically in the recent years with salaries and benefits contributing about half of the total budget. Efficiency in the utilization of resources will significantly address productivity challenges where the government is able to get value for its investment. The current budget on warfare need not be increased but the productivity level needs to be improved through technological innovations and improved training.
The use of resources equitably and efficiently is the most fundamental steps towards the realization of the global security challenges (Panetta, 2011). The execution of $700 budget will average $2- $3 per day will require prioritization of issues and preventive strategies to dealing with security concerns (Panetta, 2011). This situation can, however be improved if internal audit mechanisms are pursued and documented to reassure the public of their regular concern of spending of the taxes.
Gansler, J., Lucyshyn, W. & Arendt, M. (2009). Bid Protests in the Department of Defense: An analysis of recent trends. College Park, MD: Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland UMD-CM-09-135.
Maser, S. & Thompson, F. (2011). Mitigating Spirals of Conflict in DoD: Source Selections. Defense Acquisition research Journal, 58, 160-175.
Maser, S. (2012). Improving Government Contracting: lessons from Bid Protests of Department of Defense Source Selections. International Center for the Business of Government. Retrieved from http://www.businessofgovernment.org/sites/default/files/Improving%20Government%20Contracting.pdf
Panetta, L. E. (2011). Testimony by Secretary Panetta Before the Senate Armed Services Committee. US Department of Defense. Retrieved from http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4887
Keegan, M.J. (2011). Managing a responsive supply chain in support of US military operations. IBM Center for the Business of Government: Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.businessofgovernment.org/blog/business-government/managing-responsive-supply-chain-support-us-military-operations
US Department of Defense [DoD] (2012, February). Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/ Chief Financial Officer. Retrieved from http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY2013_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf