WHY THE AIR FORCE SHOULD IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PROPOSED AIR FORCE ISR CAPABILITY PLANNING AND ANALYSIS PROCESS
Given the increasingly competitive, congested, contested, connected global environment, the U.S. military will continue to face numerous national security risks from a wide spectrum of real and potential adversaries. To address such risks, the DoD is increasingly encouraging closer working relationships between services and the IC in order to reduce redundancy of effort and funds expended. The Air Force also can improve its processes for contributing ISR capabilities to other services and the intelligence community.12 The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently stated: “The U.S. armed services must achieve unprecedented synergy to ensure access to contested waters, skies, land, space and networks in the face of emerging weapons.. . .”13 The importance of ISR systems in providing critical, essential, affordable contributions to our national security, including indications and warning, missile defense, and global strike, cannot be overstated. At the same time, there is a significant disconnect between those who view managing ISR as simply acquiring and managing more platforms and those who view managing ISR as acquiring and managing capability. The value inherent in the proposed ISR CP&A process is sevenfold: (1) It enhances the quality, transparency, repeatability, and credibility of proposed investments. (2) It provides greater insight into cost, risk, and mission utility assessments. (3) It scales from quick-look through long-term analyses. (4) It expands the consideration and analysis of Joint and interagency capabilities. (5) It more fully addresses all ISR domains (air, space, land, maritime, cyberspace). (6) It encompasses the complete “sensor-to-user” chain including PCPAD. (7) It reduces the amount of time and labor required to answer investment questions.
12The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in 2011: “The military services each have their own ISR plans and roadmaps that focus on their respective ISR activities and are not integrated with other services’ plans. For example, the Air Force maintains its own ISR plan and metrics separate from DoD’s ISR Integration Roadmap and the other service roadmaps, and the other services have developed several roadmaps outlining ISR priorities and capability gaps.” SOURCE: GAO. 2011. “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance: Actions Are Needed to Increase Integration and Efficiencies of DoD’s ISR Enterprise,” p. 9. Available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/319163.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2012.
13Christopher J. Castelli. “Dempsey Urges Unprecedented Synergy to Counter New Threats,” InsideDefense. com, December 7, 2011.