This just-released report provides an overview of the recently completed Defense-Wide Review (DWR), a major DoD initiative personally led by the Secretary of Defense, to improve alignment of time, money, and people to NDS priorities.

In total, the Secretary of Defense, and/or the Deputy Secretary of Defense, hosted 21 review sessions examining $99 billion of appropriated resources across roughly 50 Defense-Wide (DW) organizations and activities. Similar to the “Night Court” review process Secretary Esper led during his time as Secretary of the Army, the DWR was a comprehensive examination of DoD organizations outside of the military departments. However, unlike the Army Night Court, the DWR was not a full bottom-up review, as there was insu cient time for a more exhaustive examination to inform the FY 2021 President’s Budget. As such, we will review these agencies more fully in 2020.

Savings Identified for Harvest

The DWR identified significant savings in each of the functional categories. The largest savings occurred within the “Warfighting & Support” category due primarily to reductions of legacy missions that do not advance the NDS. The Review also identified savings within the Working Capital Funds (WCF) as well as through transfers of DWR activities and functions to the military departments and other agencies, for increased effective and efficient management. The figure below provides details on the savings and transfers for each functional category.

Areas for Investment

The purpose of generating these DWR savings was to reinvest in NDS priorities. Every dollar spent on overhead, redundant e orts, and lower priority programs is a dollar not spent on lethality and readiness. Without the DWR savings, the full extent of these investments would not have been possible or would have had to been made by realigning resources from existing war ghting capability in the military departments. Key investments made possible by the DWR include:

  • NUCLEAR MODERNIZATION: Maintaining a strong nuclear deterrent is the highest modernization priority in the NDS. All three legs of the nuclear triad (land, air, and sea) are being modernized simultaneously and DWR savings enabled increased investment in this modernization effort.
  • SPACE: The FY 2020 NDAA created the sixth Armed Service, the U.S. Space Force (USSF), to transform our ability to ght and win future conflicts. The DWR enabled DoD to fund the establishment of the USSF from within available resources. In addition, the DWR enabled substantial new investments in space capabilities, including resilience of the use of space and enhancements in our ability to control space.
  • MISSILE DEFENSE: The 2019 Missile Defense Review reiterated U.S. commitment to robust defenses against rogue regime missile threats. DWR savings enable increased missile defense capacity and capability, and allows MDA to pursue a multi-layered approach to homeland missile defense. This approach includes development and deployment of a Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) for Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) and development and demonstration of lower altitude interceptors that can provide additional defense against threat missiles.
  • HYPERSONIC WEAPONS: The FY 2020 budget established a significant program of investment in hypersonic weapons. The DWR enabled a major increase in this investment to accelerate development and fielding of hypersonic weapons over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP).
  • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI): AI is a key technology for the future and the United States has been trailing our adversaries in investment. Thee DWR signi cantly accelerated investment in AI to increase the scope and capability of AI applications elded across the full range of DoD missions. This investment will support and speed development of applications for maneuver, intelligent business automation and logistics, warfighter health analysis, and intelligence data processing.
  • 5TH GENERATION (5G) COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES: The DWR enabled DoD to resource key investments in secure and resilient 5G technologies and networks and speed their adoption by providing at-scale test facilities for rapid and extensive experimentation and application prototyping. These investments will allow our forces to leverage the dynamic spectrum without impediment across the battle eld as well as establish the foundation for Next Generation technologies through collaboration with industry, academia, and international spectrum access and communications standards organizations.
  • RESPONSE FORCE READINESS: The new Immediate Response Force (IRF) and Contingency Response Force (CRF) enable the U.S. to rapidly confront incidents and threats to its interests across the globe with mission-ready units from all of the services. DWR savings resource substantial investments to IRF and CRF readiness allowing DoD to fully exercise these capabilities and further advance Dynamic Force Employment.