In a recent CNAS publication titled “Driving in the Dark: Ten Propositions About Prediction and National Security,” The Honorable Dr. Richard J. Danzig examines the nature of prediction in national security and offers strategic recommendations for how the U.S. Department of Defense can improve its predictive capabilities while also preparing for predictive failure. Danzig recommends that the Department of Defense adopt new strategies to improve its predictive abilities while also preparing to be unprepared. It is a relevant report but it doesn’t offer specifics on how to obtain recommendations and some of the recommendations raise the question: even if it is what needs to be done, can the U.S. Department of Defense actually change and become more efficient?
Among other things, he suggests narrowing the time between conceptualizing programs and bringing them to realization – but is this really “New Thinking” and is it not more like “Wishful Thinking”?
Besides those standing by to profit from drawing out the realization of a program, everyone would agree that this should be done. So what stands in the way? One of many answers includes the nature of doing business with the government and production scales required for military procurement. There may be ways to improve the process, but the ability to consistently narrow the time between conceptualizing programs and bringing them to realization might require drastic measures such as privatizing areas of the military.