Resolving America’s Defense Strategy-Resource Mismatch: The Case for Cost-Per-Effect Analysis

ARLINGTON, VA (July 8, 2020) — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, “Resolving America’s Defense Strategy-Resource Mismatch: The Case for Cost-Per-effect Analysis” by Lt Gen (Ret.) David Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute, and Douglas Birkey, Executive Director of the Mitchell Institute.

Recognizing the fiscal realities driven by COVID-19 and that the Department of Defense’s mission demand will not decline, the authors advocate for using cost-per-effect assessments of procurement initiatives and force management decisions to ensure the most effective, efficient capabilities are prioritized. Comparative assessments should also be made in a joint mission context, not within service stovepipes. Long-standing measures like unit cost or cost per flying hour are increasingly ineffective in predicting the real-world expenses associated with modern hardware and their relative value. New assessment methods must also evolve to reflect new power projection models, where concepts like JADC2 and ABMS will increasingly see teams of assets working together in a highly dynamic fashion to net desired results.

At the virtual rollout, panelists Brig Gen David A. Harris, Director, AFWIC and Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration, and Requirements at USAF HQ and Dr. Bill LaPlante, Senior Vice President and General Manager for MITRE National Security Sector and past Air Force Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics discussed the importance of applying meaningful metrics to Air Force and DOD-wide acquisition choices. Watch video now at link below!

The Mitchell Institute Policy Papers is a series presenting new thinking and policy proposals to respond to the emerging security and aerospace power challenges of the 21st century. These papers are written for lawmakers and their staffs, policy professionals, business and industry, academics, journalists, and the informed public.

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