The Defense Department Inspector General released its annual report on management challenges Tuesday. The broad-ranging report summarizes the key strategic obstacles the US military faces from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and non-state terrorism. The report also addresses the importance of cyber defense, which it says the director of national intelligence has called “the top strategic global threat facing the United States.” Internally, acquisitions policy and financial management issues are named as the most significant challenges. Emerging from these internal areas of concern, the report also singles out readiness and “Total Force capabilities” as needing particular attention, and it emphasizes the growing importance of Reserve and Guard elements at a moment of historically small end strength. The transition to a new presidential administration is the final challenge the report details. “The importance of effectively managing the transition to a new administration is heightened,” the report concludes, “with the DOD engaged in two overseas contingency operations (Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom Sentinal) and countering the evolving threats around the world.”
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill announced Dec. 2 that they have reached a deal to extend the continuing resolution funding the government into February. Now, the House and Senate will have to scramble to pass the legislation by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 3 to avoid a temporary shutdown.