ing idea is appropriate (Development), or if a developed product is ready and simply needs to be acquired (Acquisition). It may be the case that activities could be started at more than one R-D-A level to build in a need to address near-term needs with a spiral development process that will fundamentally change the product in the future. It would be expected that more projects would be started in the research phase than the development phase, and even less in the acquisition phase. If the R-D-A process is conducted so there are multiple projects and available options (“shots on goal”) then it is essential that a robust, independent down-selection process is established. In the development and acquisition phases, regular assessments are also essential. These assessments should evaluate technical quality as well as progress toward project and program goals. Such assessments provide the most credible way to make down-selection decisions.


In considering the strategic planning process necessary to support the Chemical and Biological Defense Program, the committee identified the following principle findings and recommendations.

Capabilities-Based Planning, Development, and Acquisition

Finding 4.1: A requirements-driven S&T process is not a good match for the CBDP. The planning and experimentation carried out by the CBDP is usually so removed from plausible use that it is difficult to believe that the Combatant Commands would know how to understand and evaluate the program’s impact, how best to protect their forces, to carry out their operations in the face of current and/or high-probability future threats. Planning tends to focus on narrow conceptions of threats and responses derived from historical events. Outcomes tend to be described in terms of consequences which can be easily measured, such as fatalities and injuries. Options tend to be developed based on incremental modifications to current materiel and operations. Each of these approaches is inadequate for addressing the evolving and innovative nature of chemical and biological threats. Moreover, the perceived goal of “100% protection” appears to impact all aspects of the program such that few products reach the field in a timely manner, especially in the medical countermeasures part of the program.

Recommendation 4.1: The Office of the Secretary of Defense (through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs) should evaluate a shift to capabilities-based

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