Staying Ahead

Pentagon acquisition czar John Young has tasked the Defense Science Board to conduct a summer study that explores how to mitigate the chances of the US being victim to a “capability surprise” by a clever adversary. At the same time, he wants to panel also to examine how the US itself might impose surprise on its adversaries “in rapid, cost effective, and unique ways,” according to the study’s terms of reference issued in May. No due date for feedback is given. Young also commissioned the DSB in May to review the Department of Defense’s policies and procedures for the acquisition of information technology per a Congressional mandate in the Fiscal 2008 defense authorization act. This study is meant to see if the current systems in place are an effective model. Young specifies, in this case, that he wants a report to be submitted both to the Secretary of Defense and the Congress not later than Jan. 28, 2009.