Components of Military or Defence Capability?

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Watcher, Nov 14, 2011.

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  1. I'm trying to expound a theory about the methods used by the Armed Forces of all nations to constrain their spend. I'm seeking to identify the elements that make up defence capability and then to analyse how much leeway the military have to affect each in spend terms. The elements of capability that I've identified are:

    - Technology
    - Strategy
    - Doctrine
    - Asset Availability
    - Morale
    - Budget

    I'd welcome your comments.
  2. Defence Lines of Development (DLODs) pretty much sum this up:

    Doctrine and Concepts

    Or a more simpler version, as components of fighting power:
    Physical (manpower, bombs, bullets)
    Conceptual (doctrine, tactics)
    Moral (the will to fight)
  3. Thanks GB,

    Something to get my brain round there.

  4. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    The DLODs as supplied by GB all constitute the elements alledgedly required to deliver a capability. In terms of constraining spend we have some additional measures such as 3CR (Comprehensive Commitment Control Regime), which essentially is a process to stop spending on items that don't meet strict criteria (such as support to current ops, maintenance of CASD, support to ops within the next 1-2 years or when not spending would lead to huge additional costs). Then you have bodies such as the IAC (was IAB) the Investment Assurance Committee which looks at the rational and justification of a capability - in essence it asks two questions; Do we really have to do this? Do we really have to do this now? You also have (within DE&S) the Business Case Review Board, who look at the readiness to proceed with a procurement and hence can contrain if they feel there is a need (and frequently do).

    At the upper end we currently have a lot of HMT and Central Gov oversight of projects and they have a number of spending moritorium measures set in place, but I think you're only looking at Department of State inititaives?

    Of course constraining spend is not a good measure - As a Dept of State we are given an allocation of a vote from Parliment. Given the current funding dilemna there has been a rush by MoD to constrain spending, which is done by limiting approval to spend (note the subtle difference) because as a Dept we spend approvals as we always are cash rich ie our vote doesn't alter in year as such. So, what these panic measures do is cause a massive bow wave of underspends to develop and causes an every lengthening list of projects/programmes that are hit by delays (blighted) which in turn means that if and when they are given tacit approval to spend invariably there is insufficient time remaining within the FY to actually spend the cash as even industry have substantial governance measures needed to consume large quantities of cash.

    The net result, the Dept in its efforts to play nicely by Treasury rules, creates a major problem for the CAPability area in MoD and DE&S, but even worse the underspend which they 'save' does not remain in MoD coffers it is hoovered back up by HMT. So as you can see constraining spending is not a good idea, its all about realistic programming (IMHO as a beginner).
  5. A2,

    Thank you for this. I think where I'm going on this is to explore the factors that move the organisation in a particular direction when trying to address a budget constraint. Your emphasis is rightly on the strictures applied to equipment. I have an image in my mind of the balloon which, when compressed in one area, must expand elsewhere! Some of the pressures applied will be internal - capability driven - and others will be external i.e. political or industrial. I'm feeling my way towards mapping the latter as much as the former.