Even this gradual approach will mean a commitment to shifting resources from ongoing programs and operations to new and challenging concepts, and accepting the risk that there will be failures in some cases. There must obviously be a broad base of support for such actions within the Department of the Navy and throughout the Defense Department, the Executive Branch, and the Congress. Without it, the naval forces could not be confident that resources made available by enhancing efficiency or reducing some current capabilities of lesser priority could be retained for application to the desired new capabilities. Building the base of support will be part of the restructuring task.
Preliminary steps toward restructuring the naval forces have already begun, in approaches to using information in warfare, in the emerging Operational Maneuver From the Sea doctrine and concepts of operation, in personnel management, in new and proposed ships, aircraft, submarines, weapons, and their employment and logistic support, and in joint operations and usage. Review of an illustrative example (in Chapter 8 ) shows that a feasible evolutionary path, accounting for past and current investments in durable systems over their useful service lives, can be followed that will lead to the revolutionary new naval force capabilities that the force restructuring will bring into being. The resulting forces will be more capable and more adaptable to the unexpected challenges of an uncertain future than are today's forces, thus warranting the risks entailed.
The desired future capabilities identified in this study are in the areas of information, people, fleet combat systems, undersea warfare, Marines' combat capability, logistics, and modeling and simulation, with an essential, focused, steadily supported R&D program underlying all of them.
Priorities in creating these capabilities cannot follow hard and fast rules, but rather must reflect a flexible rationale based on progress in crafting the new forces. Priorities may change as programs go through various stages of planning, acquisition, and deployment. In addition, some investments will merit attention simply because technology advances will offer important opportunities for improved effectiveness at modest cost and risk.
The following approach for assigning priorities is suggested:
First are the technologies that lead to information superiority and more effective use of people. Without the information advantage, the forces will not know precisely where to go, what targets to engage, and how to fight. Technologies for effective use of people must be given priority because it is people, operating increasingly complex and automated weapon and support systems, who fight and win wars, or ensure that wars are deterred, and because the naval forces are especially seeking to make more effective use of people in their resource-constrained environment.
Next are the weapon systems that constitute the strength of the fighting forces: surface and air systems, undersea systems, and land-combat systems.
Once the capabilities and needs generated in the previous two areas are