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  • 1. 54    JFQ / issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 ndupress.ndu.eduThe unclassified Department ofDefense (DOD) space budgetis over double that of the com-bined expenditures of all othercountries with military space programs, andin excess of $20 billion annually. Of the over850 satellites in orbit in 2010, more than halfbelong to the United States. While a signifi-cant portion of those satellites is not ownedby the military, DOD uses, even relies on,commercial satellites for military use. Whatconclusions can be drawn from these factsand statistics? It is clear that the United Stateshas more space capabilities than any othercountry, but are those capabilities, regardlessof their ownership, well integrated into andwithin the military?That question can be answered in one oftwo ways: either from the perspective of thewarfighter, or as an organizational issue. Thegood news is that from the perspective of thewarfighter, space has come a long way towardbecoming a well-integrated tool. Though thefirst Gulf War is sometimes referred to as the“first space war” due to the high utilization ofspace assets, Service integration, let alone theintegration of space capabilities into Serviceoperations, was a significant challenge. TheNavy, for example, had to fly the daily airtasking orders out to the aircraft carriers byhelicopter, a system known in Navy vernacularas Pigeon Post, because its communicationssystems were not compatible with the lengthyRiyadh-generated document.1In terms ofspace, an after-action assessment report stated:“The ground forces who initially deployedhad only minimal access to the United States’most effective means of navigation, the GlobalPositioning System (GPS) and remained sountil the U.S. Army used the delay in thewar’s start to procure and distribute thousand[sic] of commercial receivers.”2Since then,however, significant efforts have been madetoward Service integration and integration ofinformation from space assets into operations.According to Lieutenant General EdwardAnderson, USA (Ret.), for example, “Opera-tion Enduring Freedom and Operation IraqiFreedom are just tremendous examples of howour military has really become quite comfort-able with using those [space] capabilities.”3Organizationally, however, requirementsfor space capabilities are not somewhere inthe military, but they are everywhere as afunction of space hardware providing forceenhancement potential. They are also expen-sive, potentially drawing otherwise availablefunding away from other more traditionalService capabilities, such as tanks, ships,and planes, and from traditional command,control, intelligence, surveillance, and recon-naissance capabilities. Subsequently, while allthe Services want input into decisions regard-ing how and where funding is spent, andfull access to its use, there is less enthusiasmfor bill-paying. That, added to entrenchedbureaucratic acquisition practices and normalorganizational politics, has resulted in decadesof attempts at various arrangements to addmore coherence to military space planningand organizational integration, toward opti-mizing funds and meeting ever-increasingneeds and demands. But, as reflected overa decade ago, “organizational reform canDr. Joan Johnson-Freese is a Professor of NationalSecurity Studies at the Naval War College.An Allard CommissionPostmortem and theNeed for a NationalSpace CouncilBy J o a n J o h n s o n - F r e e s eCommander, Air Force Space Command, meets with Government officials to discuss GPS needs of civil andmilitary communitiesU.S.AirForce(DuncanWood)
  • 2. issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 / JFQ    55Johnson-Freeserepresent a major attempt to introduce changeor a mechanism for deflecting real change.”4Most efforts to date have served as the latter.In 2008, the Allard Commission—a panelnamed for sponsor Senator Wayne Allard(R–CO) and chaired by retired aerospaceexecutive Tom Young—issued a reportentitled Leadership, Organization and Man-agement for National Security Space.5It foundorganizational military space integration fun-damentally lacking, and offered a roadmap forchange. However, more than 2 years after theAllard Commission Report was issued, mili-tary space integration is still limited by orga-nizational gridlock and resistance, with fewindications of positive change on the horizon.The answer for how to change that dim futureoutlook remains within the Allard Report.Still SearchingAs the result of a 1993 congressionalmandate borne from frustration over repeat-edly asking the military “who’s in charge”of military space policy and programs andgetting no good answer, the positions ofDeputy Under Secretary of Defense for Spaceand DOD Space Architect were chartered in1995. Creation of those positions, especiallythe Space Architect, and multiple subsequent,mostly marginal reorganization efforts havebeen akin to rearranging the deck chairs onthe Titanic, as evidenced by fast-forwarding tothe findings of the 2008 congressionally man-dated Allard Commission Report. It is pep-pered with concerns regarding a lack of a trueauthority for military and intelligence spaceassets—that no one is “in charge.” Subsequentto the findings being released, commissionchair Tom Young was quoted as saying therehad been “no adult supervision” in nationalsecurity space.6Having chaired what wasknown as the Space Commission in 20017andhaving been in the rare position of being ableto implement several of his own recommen-dations while in the top job at the Pentagon,Young was especially critical of Donald Rums-feld’s leadership in the area: “You could notgive a grade other than F. You couldn’t evengive it a gentleman’s D. It boggles my mind.”8One of the relatively few changes maderegarding management of space programsas a result of Rumsfeld’s Space Commissionreport was the Air Force assuming the roleas the executive agent for space, with spe-cific responsibility going to Air Force SpaceCommand. That meant that the Air Forcewould own most space assets, though theother Services were the primary users, espe-cially in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Air Force’sperformance as executive agent has beentenuous at best. Part of the problem, again, hasbeen organizational.Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)was activated in September 1982. Realisti-cally, it is a stepchild in a family that focusesfirst and foremost on airplanes. Additionally,U.S. Space Command was created in 1985 asa new functional unified command, both inacknowledgment of the increasingly recog-nized value of space assets, and to help insti-tutionalize the use of space in U.S. deterrenceefforts. AFSPC acted as a Service componentof U.S. Space Command. In 1992, U.S. Strate-gic Command was created, incorporating U.S.Space Command in 2002, with AFSPC stilla Service component. After the deactivationof Strategic Air Command, nuclear forcesbelonged to Air Combat Command fromJune 1992 to July 1993. Then, responsibilityfor both space and nuclear operations fellwithin Air Force Space Command for a while.Nuclear forces were merged into AFSPC in1993, and that was never a fully comfortablemarriage, with the cultural gap between spaceand missile operations much wider than manywanted to admit. Air Force Global StrikeCommand was created in 2008 and activatedin 2009, taking over the missions of nucleardeterrence and global strike operations—thelatter still not fully defined. If all these juris-dictional responsibility lines seem somewhatfuzzy and fungible, it is because they are. Oneof the (several) negative results of blurred linesof responsibility is multiple organizationsfighting over the same pots of money.To the Air Force’s credit, as MajorGeneral James Armor, Jr. (Ret.), pointedout in his 2008 article subsequent to the AirForce nuclear debacles, “the Air Force hasdone nothing short of a spectacular job ofbringing the U.S. to its current pre-eminencein space.”9But, as he also pointed out, issuesincluding too much emphasis on air superior-ity, prioritizing the future rather than thepresent, power grabs for new missions suchas unmanned aerial vehicles and cyberspace,relations with Congress outside the DODchain of command, and “shenanigans” inshorting the space budget—knowing Con-gress will restore the needed money andtherefore increase the Air Force total budget—indicate problems.Organizational issues were exacerbatedwhen the Air Force procurement budget fellvictim to the demands of urgent war bills,lowering the priority of already challengedspace acquisitions programs. Congressionaltestimony in 2009 by Christina Chaplain fromthe Government Accountability Office (GAO)imparted the problems. She stated:estimated costs for major space acquisitionprograms have increased by about $10.9billion from initial estimates for fiscal years2008–2013. . . . Several causes consistentlystand out. First, DOD starts more weaponsprograms than it can afford, creating competi-tion for funding that, in part, encourages lowcost estimating and optimistic scheduling.Second, DOD has tended to start its spaceprograms before it has the assurance that thecapabilities it is pursuing can be achievedwithin available resources. . . . Moreover,along with the cost increases, many programsare experiencing significant schedule delays—at least 7 years.10Attention to space issues sufferedfurther after the Air Force was rocked by aseries of events questioning its stewardshipof nuclear weapons in 2008, resulting in theresignations of Air Force Secretary MichaelWynne and Air Force Chief General T.Michael Moseley, drawing more attentionaway from space issues. All in all, muddlingalong became the standard operating proce-dure. Allard Commission member GeneralAnderson succinctly stated the problem as “noone’s in charge, so everyone thinks they arein charge.” He specifically cited Space Radaras an example of the consequent negativeimpact of that organizational model: “Theintelligence and military space communitiescould not come to an agreement, so nothingever got done.”11It has been over 2 years since the AllardReport was issued, and it is the second yearthe Allard Commission Report is peppered with concernsregarding a lack of a true authority for military and intelligencespace assets—that no one is “in charge”
  • 3. 56    JFQ / issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 ndupress.ndu.eduSPECIAL FEATURE | An Allard Commission Postmortemof a new administration in office. Bothallow for real change to have occurred—or,alternatively, for the recommendations to bedismissed as “OBE” (overtaken by events)because there has been a change of adminis-trations. Not surprisingly, the Allard Reportdrew “some support from younger militarypersons and outsiders when it was released,but encounter[ed] ‘concern’ and resistancefrom older, higher ranking personnel” withentrenched interests,12most often and likelyto be those wanting to wave the recommenda-tions away as OBE. The problems have notgone away, though. Thus, the Allard Reportrecommendations remain a valid topic forfurther consideration. In fact, because theproblems have not gone away and the UnitedStates is now 2 years further into an increasingquagmire of space-related issues, the issuesthe recommendations address are more criti-cal than ever.The RecommendationsThe Allard Commission made four spe-cific recommendations.13■■ The President should establish andlead the execution of a National Space Strategythat assures U.S. space preeminence, integratesthe various participants, establishes lines ofauthority and accountability, and delineatespriorities. To implement the strategy, the Presi-dent should reestablish the National SpaceCouncil, chaired by the National SecurityAdvisor, with the authority to assign roles andresponsibilities, and to adjudicate disputes overrequirements and resources.■■ Establish a National Security SpaceAuthority (NSSA). The director of NSSAshould be assigned the rank of Under Sec-retary of Defense for Space and also serveas Deputy Director of National Intelligence(DNI) for Space, reporting to the Secretary ofDefense and DNI. The NSSA director will bethe Executive Agent for Space with the soleauthority, responsibility, and accountabilityfor the planning and execution of the NationalSecurity Strategy (NSS) program, includingacquisition. Key functions will be definingand formulating the Major Force Program–12budget and serving as the focal point forinteragency coordination on NSS matters.Analytical and technical support from aNational Security Space Office–like organiza-tion augmented with Intelligence Communityexpertise will be required to effectively executethis responsibility.■■ Create a National Security Space Orga-nization (NSSO). Assign to it the functions ofthe following entities: National ReconnaissanceOffice (NRO), Air Force Space and MissileSystems Center, Air Force Research Labora-tories Space Vehicles Directorate, operationalfunctions of the Air Force Space Command,and Army and Navy organizations now provid-ing space capability. The merged organizationwill report to NSSA for policy, requirements,and acquisition and to AFSPC for organization,training, and equipping responsibilities. Space-craft command, control, and data acquisitionoperations as well as launch operations will beNSSO responsibilities.■■ Change Air Force and IntelligenceCommunity human resource managementpolicies for space acquisition professionalsin order to emphasize technical competence,experience, and continuity. Establish a careereducation, training, and experience path for thedevelopment of engineers and managers whoare steeped in space. Establish as the norm thatspace project management personnel be in agiven position for sufficient time to maximizeproject success—4 years or more—withoutadverse effect on an individual’s career. Supportshould be given to the current Space Cadremanagement and training program beingimplemented by the Services, as exemplified bythe Air Force through AFSPC and Air Educa-tion and Training Command.Together, these recommendationswere intended to represent a plan for a majoroverhaul of the processes used in conjunctionwith military space policy decisionmakingand implementation. These would not tweakthe system; they would break it and start over.Implementation would represent an overallequivalent to those imposed on the DefenseDepartment by the Reorganization Act of1958 or the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reor-ganization Act of 1986—both of which facedinternal resistance and took years to imple-ment and where implementation is still, somewould argue, a work in progress. Individually,the recommendations addressed problemsthat had plagued space programs for years, butin doing so attacked the stovepipes and stan-dard operating procedures by which bureau-cracies had not just existed, but thrived, andindividuals had built their careers. Changerepresents challenges to power.The valid point also has been made thatfixing problems by creating another layer ofbureaucracy—which, it can be argued, theAllard recommendations do—rarely fixesproblems. Even some close to the commission,including General Anderson, suggested therewere “alternatives” to the organizational struc-ture offered in the report.14Everyone, however,agreed that something had to be done, andthe Allard Commission recommendationsrepresented a way out of the inertia that hadperpetuated the status quo for too long.There are many reasons for “resistance,”which is different from “friction.” Frictionoccurs when implementing change—even ifeveryone is fully supportive of the plannedchange. It arises simply because details ofimplementation are inherently worked out aschanges unfold, and sometimes not easily. Ifsources of the friction are dealt with promptlyand effectively, serious problems can beavoided. Resistance, on the other hand, isintentional and aimed at stopping, altering,delaying, or otherwise adversely impactingattempts at change. It implements the adageof 19th-century British Prime Minister LordRobert Salisbury: “Whatever happens will befor the worse and therefore it is in our interestthat as little should happen as possible.” Thereare many different forms of resistance, somemost common and effective in preventingchange, some in implementing change, andsome utilized in both cases. These include“slow rolling” change, citing failures of thepast as reasons not to change, spotlightingfailure, exaggerating the costs of change, andminimizing the predicted benefits. All havebeen employed in avoiding implementation ofthe Allard Commission recommendations.Recommendation One. The recommen-dations begin with a plea for high-level leader-ship and a comprehensive strategy for theway forward that considers all elements of thevarious space communities—the stovepipesor fiefdoms—that have dominated programs.They have not been the only ones to do so.At the same time the Allard Commissionwas at work, a report was being preparedfor the House Permanent Select Committeeon Intelligence on challenges and recom-mendations for U.S. overhead architecture(spy satellites). In their findings, they beginby stating: “First, there is no comprehensivespace architecture or strategic plan thataccommodates current and future capabilityrequirements.”15And the National ResearchCouncil, in its 2009 report “America’s Futurein Space: Aligning the Civil Space Programwith National Needs,” included as one of itsfoundational elements for realizing critical
  • 4. issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 / JFQ    57Johnson-Freesenational objectives: “Coordinated nationalstrategies—implementing national spacepolicy coherently across all civilian agenciesin support of national needs and priorities andaligning attention to shared interests of civiland national security space activities.”16Perhaps not surprisingly, no compre-hensive space strategy—or even an effort toproduce one—has yet emerged. Resistance hasbeen largely unnecessary, as the recommen-dation was for the most part ignored. Whenaddressed, slow-rolling in the form of “we’resupportive, but it’s just too hard” attitudestriumph. That was the prevailing attitude ata February 2010 workshop entitled Towardsa National Space Strategy, for example, espe-cially those currently in positions having avested interest in maintaining the status quo.The workshop report that followed concluded:“An overarching approach to strategy, i.e.,grand strategy, though desirable, is not fea-sible given political realities.”17So there is noplan or even the intent to try to develop one,even though often the process of bringing theright people together to prioritize problemsand talk about viable solutions is as worth-while as a product that might or might notconsequently follow.Every plan must have an implementerfor effective execution. Having everyone incharge and no one accountable has been citedas problematic dating back to the creation ofthe Space Architect position in 1995. So thereestablishment of the National Space Councilwith the National Security Advisor as Chair,to implement the strategy, was also recom-mended. But without a plan, the need foran executor can be, and has been, argued asmoot. Alternatively, however, it can be arguedthat the existence of such an organizationdirectly correlates with the potential for such aplan to be created and executed.The National Space Council wascreated by President Dwight Eisenhowerin 1958 as the National Aeronautics andSpace Council (NASC), abolished in 1973 byPresident Richard Nixon, and reestablishedas the National Space Council (NSC) duringthe administration of George H.W. Bush.Although it was originally intended to beheaded by the President, Eisenhower generallyignored the NASC. John F. Kennedy utilized it,especially in the formation of the Comsat Cor-poration, but abrogated leadership of the orga-nization to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, asdid George H.W. Bush to his Vice President,Dan Quayle. The intent of the National SpaceCouncil has always been to provide a bridgebetween interagency space policies andprograms toward national coordination. Ifthe NSC is limited to coordination, however,it has little power or value, as it can simplybe ignored. If it has authority to force its willon the multiple space players, however, it is athreat to their bureaucratic autonomy. Hence,while there have been multiple attempts torevive the organization over the years, andmost recently the Obama administrationhas pledged its intent to do so, the status quopowers have managed to stifle those efforts.The Allard Commission recommenda-tion to reestablish the National Space Council,with the authority to assign roles and toadjudicate disputes is viewed either as a threat,or as a bureaucratic solution to a policy issue,or both. While having someone in charge isclearly necessary for real change to occur, realchange is not necessarily what bureaucracies,with a primary goal of self-perpetuation, inpoint of fact want. On the other hand, morebureaucracy can create as many problems asit can potentially solve, especially in termsof time required to deal with every issue andpeople involved (many of whom are unin-formed and will have no role or responsibilityfor decision implementation). Also, central-izing personnel often sounds like a good idea,but when organizations badly want peoplereassigned to them, they often get exactly that:those people purged from other organizations.All that said, there is one clear, unambiguousaspect in recommendation one. Having theNSC chaired by the National Security Advisorrather than the Vice President unambiguouslysignals an attempt to move space policy closerto the inner circle of Presidential advisors andto someone with a strong position in the secu-rity communities. Until that happens, spaceissues will be considered as subsets of multipleother policy areas, rising to, falling from, andmost often never reaching beyond the level ofbureaucratic, staff importance. Until some-body close to the President is in charge, wewill continue to rearrange deck chairs.Recommendation Two. Like any goodplan of attack, the Allard Commission recom-mendations begin at the strategic level, andthen move to the operational. That, however,is the level where most people work. Thus,immediate impact could be anticipated asa result of change. So it is not surprisingthat this recommendation generated themost immediate discussion, resistance, andpushback. In effect, recommendation twosought to combine the organizations thatcontrol classified and unclassified militarysatellites—the black and white worlds. Cre-ation of a National Security Space Authoritywould give acquisition as well as requirementsauthority for both programs to one entity andone person, thereby stripping that authorityfrom those currently holding it—the Air ForceSpace and Missile Systems Center (SMC),operated by AFSPC (for unclassified pro-grams), and the NRO for classified programs,each with its own director.For 3 years, between December 2001 andMarch 2005, Peter B. Teets was dual-hattedas both the Under Secretary of the Air Forceand Director of the NRO, thus unifying themanagement of national security space activi-ties. After 9/11, however, and focused attentionon mechanisms for responding to globalterrorism, establishment of the DNI created apowerful intelligence bureaucracy, which thenMinotaur IV rocket launches Space-basedSpace Surveillance satellite to detect andtrack objects orbiting EarthU.S.AirForce(AndrewLee)
  • 5. 58    JFQ / issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 ndupress.ndu.eduSPECIAL FEATURE | An Allard Commission Postmortemreclaimed the NRO as its own. When Teets leftin 2005, responsibilities for space were againbifurcated, and organizational turf lines wereagain staked out.Asked to comment on the Allard Com-mission report recommendations in 2008,Lieutenant General John Sheridan, SMCCommander, was judiciously noncommittal:I understand the results of that study arenow being made public. Also, of course, it isjust that at this point in time—the results ofa study. There are no actions that have beentaken by the government to lay in the plansthat have been suggested by the results of thestudy. . . . They made one suggestion upfrontin the report, which talks about coming upwith a national strategy for space based onour national space policy. I don’t think anyonewould argue with the fact that having a strat-egy in place that lays out how we should buildprograms and apportion budgets would be agood way to organize things from the top downas far as the national commitment to spaceacross the board, whether it is civil space orcommercial space or national security space.18There was no need to be protectiveor negative, as it was already clear that theGeorge W. Bush administration was notgoing to undertake any major reforms beforeleaving office, and equally likely that theObama administration would have otherpriorities, which has proven true.The GAO study of May 2009 on spaceacquisitions reiterated the concerns of theAllard Commission and others:The Allard Commission reported that respon-sibilities for military space and intelligenceprograms are scattered across the staffs of theDOD and the Intelligence Community and thatit appears that “no one is in charge” of national-security space. The [House Permanent SelectCommittee on Intelligence] expressed similarconcerns in its report, focusing specifically ondifficulties in bringing together decisions thatwould involve both the Director of NationalIntelligence and the Secretary of Defense.Prior studies, including those conducted by theDefense Science Board and the Commission toAssess United States National Security SpaceManagement and Organization (Space Com-mission) have identified similar problems, bothfor space as a whole and for specific programs.While these studies have made recommenda-tions for strengthening leadership on spaceacquisitions, no major changes to the leader-ship structure have been made in recent years.19In fact, the “executive agent” positionwithin the Air Force that was designated in2001 in response to a Space Commission rec-ommendation went vacant after Ronald Segaresigned in 2007, and then went into limbo,where it remains.Pentagon acquisition czar John Youngwas happy to fill the void left by the resigna-tion of Sega. In July 2008, he told lawmakersthat he intended to retain oversight authorityfor military space programs: “I fundamentallydisagree that a single service should have thetotal acquisition decision authority and mile-stone authority for a set of programs, as wasdone with space, and I would intend to retainacquisition authority over space programs.”20Young did retain that authority. Soon there-after, Air Force Chief of Staff General NortonSchwartz indicated that he wanted spaceacquisition authority to “migrate back”21to the Air Force, but that did not happen.During Senate confirmation hearings for ErinConaton as Under Secretary of the Air Force in2009, she stated: “The organization and man-agement of space issues within the Air Forceheadquarters is under internal review, as wellas through the Quadrennial Defense Reviewand the Space Posture Review process. Thesereviews and studies will inform and assist theAir Force in developing a way ahead.”22TheQuadrennial Defense Review was silent on theissue; the Space Posture Review is still underway. So turf battles continue.Recommendations Three and Four.Part of the impetus for recommending thecreation of the NSSA was the commissionfinding that there are “insufficient numbersof space acquisition personnel to execute theresponsibilities” of the SMC and NRO: “Bothorganizations suffer from the long-term illeffects of the reductions in government tech-nical personnel made during the 1990s andneither has instituted necessary career devel-opment and management practices. Strength-ened management focus is needed to identify,develop, assign, and promote acquisitionpersonnel who are ‘steeped in space.’”23Simplystated, there are not enough people who knowwhat they are doing in the highly complex andtechnical space acquisition field.The 2009 GAO report addresses both thequantity and quality aspects of the problem:More actions may be needed to address short-ages of personnel in program offices for majorspace programs. We recently reported thatpersonnel shortages at the EELV [EvolvedExpendable Launch Vehicle] program officehave occurred, particularly in highly special-ized areas, such as avionics and launch vehiclegroups. Program officials stated that 7 of the12 positions in the engineering branch forthe Atlas group were vacant. These engineerswork on issues such as reviewing componentsresponsible for navigation and control of theU.S.AirForce(AndrewLee)Launch team members conduct preflight operations to test operational effectiveness, readiness, andaccuracy of Minuteman III ICBM
  • 6. issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 / JFQ    59Johnson-Freeserocket. Moreover, only half of the governmentjobs in some key areas were projected to befilled. These and other shortages in the EELVprogram office heightened concerns aboutDOD’s ability to use a cost-reimbursementcontract acquisition strategy for EELV sincethat strategy requires greater governmentattention to the contractor’s technical, cost,and schedule performance information.24As a result of both cost-cutting mea-sures that reduced the size of the acquisitionworkforce and an Air Force culture thatfavors pilots and technology specialists andconsequently inhibits quality, experiencedpersonnel from staying in key acquisitionpositions, hardware costs are rising, schedulesare delayed, and U.S. capabilities are suffer-ing. Ultimately, U.S. space superiority is beingjeopardized by an unworkable organizationalmatrix of responsibilities that largely areunderpopulated, and, when they are filled, itis often with the wrong people.During the 1990s, as part of the post–Cold War downsizing efforts, the governmentmade deep cuts into the technical workforce.The Air Force provides approximately 90percent of space personnel to fulfill the DODspace mission. In 2006, the GAO pointed outthe difficulties it had with fulfilling that role.The Air Force has a shortage ofmidgrade and senior officers, who play vitalmanagement and oversight roles in spaceacquisition. At the Space and Missile SystemsCenter, 37 percent of the critical acquisitionpositions were vacant as of April 2006 andabout 50 percent of the center’s workloadwas being done by contractors. Also, theNRO depends on Air Force personnel to fillmany of its key space acquisition positions.Continuing shortages may hamper the SMCand NRO ability to meet mission needs andhighlight the Air Force’s need to strategi-cally manage its space acquisition workforce.The technical proficiency of the Air Force’sspace acquisition workforce also may not beadequate to meet national security needs.At SMC, the percentage of space acquisitionofficers with the highest acquisition certifica-tion level dropped from 28 percent in 1996to 15 percent in 2005. Reasons for the lowercertification levels include NRO priorityin selecting personnel, the lack of a spaceacquisition specialty, limited training, and thedecline in the number of personnel cominginto the Air Force with technical degrees.Although required by law, the Air Force hasnot developed a career field for officers todevelop space systems. Without a specialty toidentify these personnel and increased spaceacquisition–related education and training,the Air Force may not be able to strategicallymanage its workforce and ensure personnelcan effectively develop space systems.25The Air Force recognizes that there isa problem. In fact, improving space acquisi-tion is a specific objective in the Air ForceSpace Command 2009–2010 Strategic Plan.And while well intended and likely to renderimprovements, the degree of improvementspossible is limited by cultural issues, andculture is always the hardest thing to changein an organization, which reaches back tothe Air Force prioritization and stewardshipissues discussed earlier.While Allard Commission recommen-dation one dealt with space at a strategic level,and recommendation two at an operationallevel, recommendations three and four getdown to the tactical level, clearly indicatingthat space security management is “broken”at all levels.When organizations and organizationalstructures are broken, as the Allard Reportand others unequivocally say military spaceis, personnel is often an issue, and that hasbeen clearly demonstrated in this case. Butas is also often the case, a complex orga-nizational structure can have many stresspoints, some self-reinforcing. Regarding theinsufficient number of acquisition person-nel to work on the highly technical andcomplex issues related to space hardware,it is a chicken-or-egg problem. The FederalAcquisition Regulations is a 600-plus-pagemanual that rivals the tax code for com-plexity—hence the need for an army ofindividuals to execute its provisions. Pile ontop of those provisions a loss of credibilitybefore Congress as to its ability to executethose provisions and programs, for reasonsranging from ethical violations to inac-curate cost estimates, and the military spacecommunity is saddled with checkers for thecheckers and monitors for the monitors to apoint of near gridlock. Clearly, tweaking thesystem is ineffective; a complete overhaul toaddress the myriad issues—self-imposed andotherwise—is required.Moving ForwardIn June 2010, the Obama administra-tion released its National Space Policy (NSP).The language of the National SecuritySpace Guidelines includes such directives as“develop, acquire, and operate space systemsand supporting information systems andnetworks to support U.S. national securityand enable defense and intelligence operationsduring times of peace, crisis, and conflict,”“ensure cost-effective survivability of spacecapabilities,” and “develop and implementplans, procedures, techniques, and capabilitiesnecessary to assure critical national securityspace-enabled missions.”26While responsibili-ties for taskings are allocated between theSecretary of Defense and Director of NationalIntelligence, nowhere does it say how thesedirectives are to be carried out in anythingother than a business-as-usual manner.In all fairness, national security strate-gies, national space policies, and similardocuments are all words on a page, ultimatelyjudged by their implementation rather thantheir verbiage. While the overall intent of theNSP seems to be one of changing paradigms,in the area of military space integrationit appears that the administration largelyheeded the advice of the status quo advocates.Though theoretically the long-awaitedSpace Posture Review could address theseissues, largely the same folks have input intothat process as did into the NSP. Bureaucra-cies do not by their nature champion changethat threatens their established ways of doingbusiness. Change is usually generated eitherby crises or by external forces anticipatingcrises and initiating change to avoid them.If left to internal forces, the day of reckoningis never seen to be imminent because effortsare focused on pushing it back rather than onfixing the problem. Though we can wait fora crisis to occur, the better option seems tobe having change initiated and guided by anexternal force or body with enough clout tomake it happen. That returns us to the firstrecommendation of the Allard Commission:reinvigoration of the National Space Council.Presidential candidate Obama promisedto bring back the National Space Council.Obama Science Advisor John Holdren statedthat discussions were already under way tothe technical proficiency of the Air Force’s space acquisitionworkforce may not be adequate to meet national security needs
  • 7. 60    JFQ / issue 60, 1stquarter 2011 ndupress.ndu.eduSPECIAL FEATURE | An Allard Commission Postmortemrevive the organization during his Senateconfirmation hearings in February 2009.Senate Space Subcommittee Chair SenatorBill Nelson (D–FL) stated that reviving theNational Space Council would take spacepolicy out of the hands of “some green-eyeshade person at the Office of Managementand Budget.”27A 2009 report by the AerospaceIndustries Association entitled “The Roleof Space in Addressing America’s NationalPriorities” states as its first recommendation,“Our space capabilities should be coordinated,at the highest level, as a singular enterprise.”28And yet there was no mention of a NationalSpace Council in the 2010 National SpacePolicy. The ability to stifle such a promisedaction is a tribute to the power of bureaucraticand organizational politics.Former IBM chief executive Lou Gerst-ner, considered an authority on organizationalchange, clearly differentiated between reor-ganization and transformation: “Reorganiza-tion to me is shuffling boxes, moving boxesaround. Transformation means that you’rereally fundamentally changing the way theorganization thinks, the way it responds, theway it leads. It’s a lot more than just playingwith boxes.”29For too long, the United Stateshas been toying with reorganization of vitalmilitary space activities. Issues identified bythe Allard Commission in 2008 made it clearthat transformation is needed, and their rec-ommendations toward that end remain sound.While the presence of a National SpaceCouncil does not assure that transforma-tion will occur, its absence almost certainlydoes assure that it will not. Until such anentity exists, headed by the National SecurityAdvisor so as to have the access and ability toraise issues to the Presidential level, nationalsecurity will suffer under the onus of organi-zational gridlock. JFQThe author thanks Major General JamesArmor, Jr., USAF (Ret.), Colonel DanaStruckman, USAF, and Colonel VictorBudura, USAF (Ret.), for their comments.N o t es1Edward J. Merola, Senior Historian, U.S.Naval Historical Center, available at <>.2United States Space Command, United StatesSpace Command Operations Desert Shield andDesert Storm Assessment, January 1992, 3, availableat<>.3Sharon L. Hartman, “An Inside Look at theAllard Commission . . . And That’s the Way It Was,”Army Space Journal 8, no. 2 (Summer 2009), 20.4Joan Johnson-Freese and Roger Handberg,“Searching for Policy Coherence: The DOD SpaceArchitect as an Experiment,” Joint Force Quarterly16 (Summer 1997), 92.5Report to Congress of the IndependentAssessment Panel on the Organization and Man-agement of National Security Space, July 2008,available at <>.6Amy Butler, “Adrift in Space,” Aviation Week& Space Technology, October 13, 2008, 34.7There were actually three commissionslooking into space issues in 2001, evidencing itbeing viewed as perpetually broken: the Com-mission to Assess U.S. National Security SpaceManagement and Organization (Rumsfeld’s SpaceCommission), the National Commission for theReview of the National Reconnaissance Office,and the Independent Commission on the NationalImagery and Mapping Agency.8John M. Doyle, “Failing Grade,” AviationWeek & Space Technology, October 13, 2008, 23.9James B. Armor, Jr., “The Air Force’s OtherBlind Spot,” The Space Review, September 15,2008, available at <>.10 Christina T. Chaplain, Director, Acquisitionand Sourcing Management, “Space Acquisition:DOD Faces Substantial Challenges in Develop-ing New Space Systems,” Testimony before theSubcommittee on Strategic Forces, Committee onArmed Services, U.S. Senate, GAO–09–705T, May20, 2009, summary and 1.11 Turner Briton, “Plan to Join Classified,Unclassified Space Functions Faces Opposition,”Defense News, September 1, 2008, 24.12 “Younger Military, Outsiders, Receptive toReforming Space Security Procurement, Leader-ship, but Older and Higher-Ranking Officials Resis-tant,” Space & Missile Report, October 20, 2008.13 A. Thomas Young et al., Leadership, Manage-ment and Organization for National Security Space:Report to Congress of the Independent AssessmentPanel on the Organization and Management ofNational Security Space (Alexandria, VA: Institutefor Defense Analyses, 2008), ES-4–ES-6.14 John Liang, “New Space Commission ReportRecommends Abolishing NRO, SMC,” Inside theAir Force, August 27, 2008.15 “Report on Challenges and Recommenda-tions for United States Overhead Architecture,”110thCongress, 2dSession, Report 110–914, avail-able at <>.16 National Research Council, Committee onthe Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil SpaceProgram, America’s Future in Space: Aligning theCivil Space Program with National Needs (Washing-ton, DC: National Academies Press, 2009), 49.17 Towards a National Space Strategy (Superior,CO: Secure World Foundation, April 12, 2010), 9,available at <>.18 Tony Skinner, “Interview: LieutenantGeneral John R. Sheridan, Commander, U.S. AirForce Space and Missile Center,” Jane’s DefenceWeekly, October 9, 2008.19 Chaplain, 13–14. Emphasis added.20 “No More Executive Agent for Space,” July14, 2008, available at <>.21 “USAF Chief Wants Space AcquisitionAuthority to ‘Migrate Back’ to the Service,” DefenseDaily, February 24, 2009.22 Marcia Smith, “Will the UnderSecretary of the Air Force Still Be DODExecutive Agent for Space?” November20, 2009, available at <>.23 Young et al., ES-5.24 Chaplain, 14.25 Government Accountability Office (GAO),Defense Space Activities: Management Actions AreNeeded to Better Identify, Track, and Train Air ForceSpace Personnel, GAO-06-908 (Washington, DC:GAO, September 21, 2006), summary, available at<>.26 National Space Policy of the United States ofAmerica (Washington, DC: The White House, June28, 2010), 13–14, available at <>.27 Frank Morring, Jr., “National Space Councilto Return, Obama Science Advisor Pick Says,”Aerospace Daily, February 27, 2009.28 Aerospace Industries Association (AIA),The Role of Space in Addressing America’s NationalPriorities (Arlington, VA: AIA, January 2009),available at <>.29 “In Focus: Lou Gerstner,” available at <>.