Transparency in Force Modernization Decisions

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2, p.207-223 (2009)


acquisition, capabilities-based assessment, capability, force modernization, requirements, strategy, Transformation, Transparency


Transparency, as defined for this paper, is the continual process of openness, accountability, and governance, plays a vital role in force modernization decisions. It is essential in capabilities-based planning (CBP), and because of rising acquisition costs, transformation has become the overall vision for military strategy. Transformation is implemented by capabilities-based planning resulting in force modernization decisions. Without a well defined, repeatable, and transparent evaluation process, national vulnerabilities and required capabilities might be incorrectly identified, resulting in wrong solutions. Force modernization decisions based upon transparency can provide the basis for a highly effective, low cost solution. The solution does not have to be a technical solution, but can be a change in Doctrine; Organization; Training; Leadership development; Materiel; Personnel; or Facilities (DOTLMPF). By including transparency for identifying requirements, we can ensure that the requirement answers the how, what, why, when, and who so that a credible decision can be made. Force modernization decisions using capabilities based planning and value tools that help structure and evaluate requirements have been used very effectively. A simple, top-down approach of Strategy to Need is used to initiate the evaluation. Force modernization decisions should be made using processes, methodologies, and supporting tools which allow for fully transparent assessments for the decision-maker. In other words, assessments should be traceable and accountable. Processes should be clear, methodologies should be simple, and the tools should be easy to use and understand. Several countries have successfully used this process for evaluating alternatives against a set of requirements. These assessments have included upgrading fleets, restructuring organizations, and acquiring new equipment.