biological threats (of greater concern post 2001 anthrax mailings), and to address the rise of sub- or transnational perpetrators. Accompanying the strategy shift have been changes in investment priorities, but not necessarily in a comparably balanced way. Seeking to have impact quickly, leadership first de-emphasized contamination avoidance in favor of broad-spectrum medical countermeasures. More recently that too has shifted to greater international cooperative public health monitoring and threat reduction. The changes have resulted in rapid ramp-up of investments initially in the Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative (TMTI) in 2005, followed more recently by a decline in TMT funding1 but upticks in biosurveillance and the biological aspects of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.
While it is difficult to argue against the importance of any of these principle mission areas, all of them demand sustained investments over many years to achieve both fielded capabilities and a robust S&T base to support and advance the state of the art against threats that are not static. Significant variations in funding over three- to four-year cycles are unlikely to yield much progress. For example, the complexities of the development and approval process for a new medical countermeasure require a commitment of approximately eight to ten years. A different set of challenges faces implementation of an international biosurveillance network as it will require that information from many, varied data streams must be carefully integrated in order for analysis to be meaningful.
The committee believes in the wisdom of a defense-in-depth strategy, which balances investments end to end, from pre- to post-event elements. Moreover, sustained investments over appropriate periods of time are required. This approach does not translate to guaranteed funding to performers—they should still be accountable for progress—but it does mean that program decisions come with leadership commitment of continued support as milestones are met on the path to fielded new or improved capabilities.
1 The committee heard from several former TMT performers; one possible conclusion is that TMT became a “Big Science” project that outgrew the CBD organizational structure and management culture that was geared toward managing small, independent projects within distinct divisions (e.g., Diagnostics, Medical Countermeasures, etc.). It appears likely that this small-science managerial culture still predominates throughout the Department of Defense (DoD), which has potential implications for the newly growing programs, particularly since their success requires effective managerial coordination across both the JSTO-CBD and the JPEO-CBD.