The following is the Feb. 7, 2020 Congressional Research Service report, The Army’s Modernization Strategy: Congressional Oversight Considerations.
From the report
In October 2019, the Army published a new modernization strategy aimed at transforming the Army in order to conduct Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) which are intended to address the current and future actions of near-peer competitors Russia and China. The Army’s Modernization Strategy is part of a hierarchy of strategies designed, among other things, to inform the Service’s respective modernization plans. These strategies include the National Security Strategy (NSS), the National Defense Strategy (NDS), the National Military Strategy (NMS), and the Army Strategy.
The Army’s Modernization Strategy establishes six material modernization priorities:
- Long Range Precision Fires
- Next Generation of Combat Vehicles
- Future Vertical Lift
- Army Network
- Air and Missile Defense
- Soldier Lethality
Because the Army’s Modernization Strategy covers the years from 2020 to 2035, the possibility exists for a variety of Army modernization hearings spanning a number of different Congresses. In this regard a common oversight architecture could potentially provide both an element of continuity and a means by which Congress might evaluate the progress of the Army’s modernization efforts. Such a potential architecture might examine the following:
- Is the Army’s Modernization Strategy appropriate given the current and projected national security environment?
- Is the Army’s Modernization Strategy achievable given a number of related concerns?
- Is the Army’s Modernization Strategy affordable given current and predicted future resource considerations?
For FY2020, funding requested for programs related to the Army’s six modernization priorities, $8.9 billion, accounted for less than a quarter (23%) of its overall acquisition budget. The service projected $57.3 billion in research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) and procurement funding for programs related to its six modernization priorities over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) from FY2020 through FY2024. This amount, if authorized and appropriated by Congress, would reflect an increase of $33.1 billion from spending projections for the five-year period in the FY2019 budget request. Meanwhile, the Army projected a total of $187.5 billion for its acquisition accounts (in nominal dollars) over this period, including $128.8 billion for procurement and $58.7 billion for RDT&E. Thus, for the FY2020 FYDP, funding for programs related to the Army’s six modernization priorities accounts for less than a third (31%) of its overall acquisition budget.
This report provides a number of possible questions and observations related to a potential Army modernization oversight architecture which could serve to provide both an element of continuity for hearings and a standard by which Congress might evaluate the efficacy of Army Modernization.
Download the document here.