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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

The National Academy of Public Administration Releases Assessment of U.S. Missile Defense Integration

Post Date: June 23, 2023

Report Makes Recommendations on How U.S. Missile Defense

Can Move More Quickly and Effectively to Meet Rapidly Evolving Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Panel of the National Academy of Public Administration today released “Integration of Missile Defense,” a report for the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense that focuses on the challenges and opportunities related to improving the integration of missile defense of the U.S. homeland, U.S. forces abroad, and American allies. The Panel report’s makes recommendations to address overriding issues of how to move more quickly and effectively to meet the rapidly evolving threat posed by our adversaries.

“Integrated Missile Defense is a part of the Department of Defense’s (DOD, or Department) broader task of ensuring the integrated air and missile defense mission of U.S. and allied forces worldwide,” said Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the Academy. “This report will contribute to a greater understanding of the current roles and responsibilities among the many DOD stakeholders engaged in missile defense. I also trust that it will result in actions to secure a more cohesive and integrated enterprise to protect our nation and the world.”

The Panel’s report, the result of a one-year study by a five-member Panel as directed by the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, concludes that 1) the missile defense enterprise does not currently operate in a fully integrated manner, which places forces and the country at increased risk; and 2) as the missile threat environment becomes increasingly acute, DOD must make changes in its missile defense operational, budgetary and acquisition structures “to enhance flexibilities to accelerate effective responses to the ever-evolving, ever-more-lethal threats of our determined adversaries.”

The Panel’s report offers several key findings and corresponding actionable recommendations that include:

  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense, or the component designated as missile defense integrator, should regularly document through an instruction regarding missile defense roles and responsibilities to provide greater transparency to Congress.
  • The Department should be prepared to take on more acquisition risk and the Deputy Secretary of Defense should consider further restoring (beyond the February 2023 Acquisition and Sustainment and Research and Engineering agreement) the Missile Defense Agency’s flexibilities within standard processes for acquisition that were in place prior to the Directive Type Memorandum 20-002.
  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense should examine other processes, such as testing, failure review boards, and the Capability Portfolio Management Review that could cause delays in delivering missile defense capabilities.
  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense should designate an existing organization or create a new one to serve as an enterprise-level missile defense integrator for the purposes of improving speed and agility, coordination, and clarity and unity of purpose.
  • These changes should be included in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act and full implementation should be completed within two years.

The Panel’s report concludes that, “Missile threats are dynamically changing, and their lethality is ever more catastrophic. The time for action is now.” Find the full report, including specific findings and recommendations, here.

About the National Academy of Public Administration

Chartered by Congress to provide non-partisan expert advice, the Academy is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established in 1967 to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Learn more at