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National Security Analysis Issue Area Plan--Fiscal Years 1996-98

(Letter Report, 05/01/96, GAO/IAP-96-4)

GAO provided information on its national security analysis issue area
plan, focusing on the: (1) military services' roles and functions and
how they can best be accomplished; (2) effectiveness and affordability
of the Department of Defense's (DOD) planned force structure; (3) extent
to which planned defense budgets are affordable and consistent with
national security priorities; and (4) extent to which the intelligence
community is adequately addressing the change in threat and new

GAO plans to: (1) evaluate the changing DOD role in carrying out new
missions, the sizes of the active and reserve forces, the affordability
of proposed DOD programs, and the accuracy of intelligence estimates
used to support force structure and weapons acquisitions; (2) assess the
DOD system for identifying needed changes in service roles and
functions, DOD requirements for nuclear forces, alternative force
structure options, whether the DOD financial plan and budget match its
priorities, and the role of intelligence agencies in supporting new
missions; (3) identify opportunities for greater specialization or
consolidation of key combat functions; (4) determine whether military
forces are properly shaped to support warfighting requirements, whether
DOD budgets are based on accurate data and realistic assumptions, and
whether unnecessary duplication exists between intelligence
organizations and programs; and (5) analyze the options for meeting
requirements for forward presence.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  National Security Analysis Issue Area Plan--Fiscal Years 
      DATE:  05/01/96
   SUBJECT:  Defense cost control
             Strategic forces
             Strategic planning
             Defense budgets
             Defense capabilities
             Military intelligence operations
             Defense contingency planning
             National defense operations
             Military forces
             Combat readiness
IDENTIFIER:  DOD Future Years Defense Program
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================================================================ COVER

National Security and International Affairs Division

May 1996



=============================================================== ABBREV

============================================================ Chapter 0

As the investigative arm of Congress and the nation's auditor, the
General Accounting Office is charged with following the federal
dollar wherever it goes.  Reflecting stringent standards of
objectivity and independence, GAO's audits, evaluations, and
investigations promote a more efficient and cost-effective
government; expose waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in federal
programs; help Congress target budget reductions; assess financial
information management; and alert Congress to developing trends that
may have significant fiscal or budgetary consequences.  In fulfilling
its responsibilities, GAO performs original research and uses
hundreds of databases or creates its own when information is
unavailable elsewhere. 

To ensure that GAO's resources are directed toward the most important
issues facing Congress, each of GAO's 35 issue areas develops a
strategic plan that describes the significance of the issues it
addresses, its objectives, and the focus of its work.  Each issue
area relies heavily on input from congressional committees, agency
officials, and subject-matter experts in developing its strategic

The National Security Analysis issue area covers programs of the
Department of Defense (DOD), the individual military services, and
other supporting defense agencies.  GAO's work in the National
Security Analysis issue area focuses on roles and functions of the
military services, force structure, budget and affordability, and the
activities of the intelligence community.  The principal issues we
cover are the following: 

  -- the military services' roles and functions and how they can best
     be accomplished,

  -- the effectiveness and affordability of DOD's planned force

  -- the extent to which planned defense budgets are affordable and
     consistent with national security priorities, and

  -- the extent to which the intelligence community is adequately
     addressing the changed threat and new requirements. 

Our planned work will emphasize the issues of force structure and
budget and affordability.  In the pages that follow, we describe our
key planned work. 

Because events may significantly affect even the best of plans, our
process allows for updating the plan and provides the flexibility to
respond quickly to emerging issues.  If you have any questions or
suggestions about this plan, please call me at (202) 512-3504. 

Richard Davis
National Security Analysis

============================================================ Chapter 1

---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:1


---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:2


---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3


---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:4


=========================================================== Appendix 2

Issue                         Significance
----------------------------  --------------------------------------------------
Roles and functions: What     During the Cold War, the services spent billions
roles and functions should    of dollars developing costly, overlapping
U.S. military forces fulfill  capabilities. Efforts to reduce or eliminate
and how can they best be      overlapping capabilities are becoming more
accomplished?                 important as DOD seeks to identify funds that can
                              be shifted to support force modernization.

Force structure: Are DOD's    The Congress continues to be concerned about the
restructuring plans likely    adequacy of DOD's planned force structure. There
to produce an affordable and  is likely to be a major reassessment of the
effective force?              nation's national security strategy and military
                              needs in 1997.

Budget and affordability:     There is a widespread concern in the Congress that
Are budgets for national      planned defense budgets are inadequate to support
security programs affordable  the planned military force and that defense
and consistent with security  budgets may be insufficient to fund planned
priorities?                   modernization.

Intelligence: Is the U.S.     The United States spends tens of billions of
intelligence community        dollars each year on intelligence programs, most
adequately addressing the     of which were developed during the Cold War years.
changed threat and new        The intelligence community is undergoing major
requirements?                 changes under its new director.

Objectives                    Focus of work
----------------------------  --------------------------------------------------
 Evaluate the changing role   Opportunities to better adapt air power to the
of U.S. forces in carrying    changing national security environment within
out new missions.             reduced defense budgets

 Assess DOD's process for     Implementation of the recommendations on roles
identifying needed changes    and functions made by the Commission on Roles and
in service roles and          Missions and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

 Identify opportunities for
greater specialization or
consolidation of key combat

 Assess whether the force     Composition of active forces
structure is properly shaped
to support warfighting         Size and role of reserve forces
                               DOD's forward presence requirements
 Assess the active/reserve
force mix.                     Future U.S. nuclear posture

 Evaluate options for
meeting changing
requirements for forward

 Assess DOD's requirements
for nuclear forces and
evaluate alternative force
structure options.

 Evaluate affordability of    Affordability of defense programs within planned
DOD's proposed programs.      defense budgets

 Assess whether DOD's         Budgetary analysis of infrastructure,
budgets are based on          personnel, and operation and maintenance accounts
accurate data and realistic
assumptions.                   Comparison of spending plans, military
                              deficiencies, and stated defense priorities
 Assess whether DOD's
financial plan and budget
execution match its

 Determine whether            Consistency of force structure and weapons needs
unnecessary duplication       with threat estimates
exists between intelligence
organizations and programs.    Intelligence support for peace operations

 Evaluate the accuracy of
intelligence estimates used
to support force structure
and weapon acquisitions.

 Assess the role of
intelligence agencies in
supporting new missions.

=========================================================== Appendix 3

Issue                      Planned major job starts
-------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------
Roles and functions         Capping report encompassing the results of our six
                           comprehensive cross-service reviews of combat air
                           power to offer opportunities for improved matching of
                           assets to requirements

                            Evaluations of selected DOD reviews stemming from
                           the Commission on Roles and Missions report

Force structure             Review of alternatives for providing overseas

                            Individual reviews of Air Force, Army, and Navy
                           planned distribution of personnel among combat,
                           support, and other activities\a

                            Assessment of the savings in force structure that
                           might be achieved by introducing selected
                           technological innovations

                            Evaluation of how DOD uses computer modeling in
                           assessing the adequacy of force structure

                            Adequacy of current force structure to support the
                           deployment of forces to implement the Bosnia peace

                            Evaluation of an anticipated reevaluation of the
                           National Security and Military Strategies

Budget and                  Analysis of infrastructure costs in the Future
affordability              Years Defense Program\a

                            Compilation and costing of GAO options for reducing
                           DOD's infrastructure\a

                            Comparison of fiscal years 1996 and 1997 Future
                           Years Defense Programs

                            Continuing analysis of costs and funding to conduct
                           peace operations\a

                            Analysis of selected appropriations accounts
                           (operation and maintenance, military personnel,
                           research and development)

Intelligence                Reviews of selected intelligence programs as
                           congressional interests dictate

\a Ongoing jobs

============================================================ Chapter 4

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:0.1

Richard Davis (202) 512-3504

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:0.2

Carol R.  Schuster (202) 512-3966

-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:0.3

Marvin E.  Casterline
Fred Dziadek
Richard J.  Herley
Robert Pelletier
Sharon L.  Pickup
Steven H.  Sternlieb
Janet A.  St.  Laurent
Gary K.  Weeter

*** End of document. ***