Taming the Tigers:
Recapturing the Acquisition Excellence of Our Planning, Programming, and Acquisition Three-Ring Circus
In spite of diverse global-security challenges and the specter of decreasing defense budgets, the Air Force must continue to ensure that the United States maintains leading-edge capabilities in air, space, and cyber. During this critical time, the service needs new thinking to expand and fully explore operational and acquisition “trade space,” to optimize decisions informed by better business-case analysis, and, ultimately, to translate short- and long-term war-fighting capability requirements into politically acceptable and executable public-policy decisions. To meet this challenge, the Air Force must better integrate its planning, programming, and acquisition processes. This article presents a new, value-driven approach designed to realize such integration and synchronize the service’s decision cycle. The approach gives Air Force leaders a tool to examine decision trade-offs, identify benefit-maximizing solutions for the cost, and establish an analytically rigorous basis for justifying and communicating recommendations to decision makers at all levels.