oversight

Overseas Presence: More Data and Analysis Needed to Determine Whether Cost-Effective Alternatives Exist

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-06-03.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                   United States General Accounting Office

GAO                Report to Congressional Committees




June 1997
                   OVERSEAS
                   PRESENCE
                   More Data and
                   Analysis Needed to
                   Determine Whether
                   Cost-Effective
                   Alternatives Exist




GAO/NSIAD-97-133
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      National Security and
      International Affairs Division

      B-272597

      June 3, 1997

      Congressional Committees

      Overseas military presence is an important aspect of U.S. national security and military strategy
      and is accomplished through various approaches, including forward-based and deployed forces,
      prepositioning of equipment, exercises, military interaction, and foreign military assistance.
      This report discusses (1) changes in these approaches since the end of the Cold War,
      (2) funding related to presence, (3) views of regional command officials on the relative
      importance of security objectives and presence approaches in their regions, and (4) the
      Department of Defense’s process for determining presence requirements and alternatives for
      meeting them. This report recommends that the Secretary of Defense compile and analyze
      information on presence requirements in a manner that would allow assessments of whether
      more cost-effective alternatives to achieve presence exist.

      We believe that our recommendation, if implemented, would improve the Department’s ability
      to evaluate and assign the appropriate level and mix of forces and activities necessary to
      achieve overseas presence in support of national security objectives. We conducted this review
      under our basic legislative responsibilities and are addressing this report to you because of your
      oversight responsibility for defense, budget, and international issues and your interest in this
      important subject.

      We are providing copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense, State, the Air Force, the
      Army, and the Navy; the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and the Director, Office of
      Management and Budget. We will also make copies available to others on request.

      If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please call me on (202) 512-3504.
      Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix II.




      Richard Davis
      Director, National Security
        Analysis
B-272597

List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Carl Levin
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Jesse A. Helms
Chairman
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd Spence
Chairman
The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Honorable C.W. Bill Young
Chairman
Subcommittee on National Security
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives




                    Page 2          GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Executive Summary


             As the security environment has changed since the end of the Cold War,
Purpose      U.S. strategy has emphasized the importance of providing a credible
             overseas presence in peacetime to deter aggression and advance U.S.
             interests. On any given day, over 200,000 military personnel are engaged
             worldwide in a variety of presence activities. Because overseas presence is
             an important aspect of the national strategy and the Department of
             Defense (DOD) expends billions of dollars to provide the forces and
             activities that maintain that presence, GAO determined (1) changes in DOD’s
             approaches to providing overseas presence since the end of the Cold War,
             (2) funding related to providing an overseas presence, (3) the importance
             that regional Commanders in Chief (CINC) assign to national security
             objectives and presence approaches, and (4) DOD’s process for determining
             requirements for overseas presence and assessing alternatives for meeting
             them. GAO did not evaluate the appropriate level of presence or the merit
             of specific approaches.


             Overseas presence is a key component of U.S. strategy and is a
Background   determining factor in the size of certain U.S. forces. During the Cold War,
             the United States relied on overseas presence as a means of containing the
             threat of communist expansion. As the threat has changed and become
             more regionally focused, the current U.S. strategy emphasizes the
             importance of enhancing regional stability and shaping the international
             environment. In its 1993 bottom-up review, DOD cited overseas presence
             needs as the reason for sizing naval forces, especially aircraft carriers,
             above the level needed to meet the wartime requirement of fighting and
             winning two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts.

             Regional CINCs1 use various approaches to achieve U.S. national security
             objectives related to presence, which are to (1) provide initial crisis
             response, (2) deter potential aggressors, (3) reassure allies of U.S. support,
             and (4) influence events overseas in ways favorable to the United States.
             Presence approaches consist of forces—active duty and reserve—and
             activities. We categorized these approaches as forward-based forces,
             routinely deployed forces, forces temporarily deployable for specific
             purposes, prepositioned equipment, exercises, military interaction, and




             1
             These CINCs are the U.S. Atlantic Command (ACOM), the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the
             U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), and the U.S. Southern
             Command (SOUTHCOM).



             Page 3                                               GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                   Executive Summary




                   foreign military assistance.2 In general, DOD provides the forces and related
                   funding for these approaches; the State Department provides policy
                   guidance and funds for certain military interaction activities and military
                   assistance programs.

                   In 1995, the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces noted
                   that overseas presence is challenging because of the difficulty in relating
                   specific results to the efforts expended by the U.S. forces engaged in
                   presence activities. It suggested that in light of the changing world, DOD
                   should look for more efficient and effective ways to achieve presence
                   objectives. In response, the Secretary of Defense asked the Chairman of
                   the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of
                   Defense for Policy, to conduct a comprehensive review of presence
                   objectives and related requirements processes. As part of this review, the
                   Joint Staff has recommended a planning process on the engagement
                   aspect of presence—activities that forces engage in during peacetime to
                   shape the security environment.


                   In response to changes in the security environment since the end of the
Results in Brief   Cold War, U.S. presence has changed significantly in different regions of
                   the world. For example, as a result of force reductions since 1988, fewer
                   military forces are located overseas to provide presence. Also, because of
                   these overseas force reductions and the changing security environment,
                   DOD has restructured land-based prepositioned equipment and is
                   maintaining more prepositioned equipment afloat.

                   The funding for presence approaches can be significant and varies widely
                   by approach, ranging from millions to billions of dollars. DOD requires the
                   largest amount of funds to maintain the forces that provide presence. For
                   example, funding for forces that were forward-based was about
                   $16.4 billion in 1996.3 Since the end of the Cold War, funding for certain
                   approaches has fluctuated.

                   Officials from regional commands view all national security objectives and
                   presence approaches to be important, but differ on their relative


                   2
                    Interaction includes exchange programs, contacts between U.S. and foreign military officials,
                   participation of foreign officers in U.S. based training, port calls, and operations during peacetime
                   such as counterdrug or humanitarian assistance. Military assistance includes programs that sell,
                   finance, and donate U.S. military items.
                   3
                    This funding estimate includes funds to cover those costs incurred because the forces are located
                   overseas, such as for transportation, as well as some costs incurred regardless of where the forces are
                   based, such as military pay.



                   Page 4                                                        GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                          Executive Summary




                          importance. ACOM and CENTCOM officials view initial crisis response and
                          deterrence as the most important objectives, while EUCOM officials cite
                          deterrence. PACOM officials believe all four objectives are equally
                          important. SOUTHCOM officials cite reassurance and influence as the most
                          important objectives. These officials also differ on the approaches they
                          consider most important to meeting these objectives. Some prefer using
                          various types of forces, while others preferred military interaction
                          activities. In prioritizing objectives and approaches, command officials
                          considered a number of factors, including the threats and the availability
                          of forward-based U.S. forces in their respective region.

                          DOD does not have a specific process for determining CINC presence
                          requirements. Most of the forces used to provide an overseas presence are
                          also needed to meet warfighting needs, diplomatic commitments, and
                          other purposes. DOD generally allocates forces to the CINCs based on these
                          requirements, rather than presence. Currently, DOD does not compile
                          comprehensive information on all CINC presence approaches nor does it
                          completely analyze the effectiveness of these approaches or whether more
                          cost-effective alternatives—different levels and mixes of forces and
                          activities—might exist. DOD and CINC efforts to develop planning processes
                          related to presence, if expanded, would provide an opportunity for DOD to
                          better assess presence requirements and approaches.



Principal Findings

Changes in the Security   DOD  currently has the same type of approaches available to achieve
Environment Have          overseas presence as it did at the end of the Cold War. However, the shift
Affected Presence         in emphasis from global to regional threats, such as aggression by major
                          regional powers, has prompted DOD to make changes affecting the forces
Approaches                and activities used for overseas presence. For example, between 1988 and
                          1996, DOD reduced total forces by about 904,410 personnel, from 3.3 million
                          to 2.4 million, or 27 percent. As a result, fewer personnel are available for
                          presence activities. As part of this drawdown, DOD reduced the number of
                          personnel ashore overseas from 458,446 to 213,467, or 53 percent. This
                          significant reduction in particular affected EUCOM, which lost 210,218, or
                          66 percent, of its personnel.

                          DOD has also made changes in force deployments and the location of
                          prepositioned equipment. Since the Cold War, DOD has decreased the




                          Page 5                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                            Executive Summary




                            amount of naval aircraft carrier battle group coverage in EUCOM’s region
                            and increased naval deployments in CENTCOM’s area. For example, before
                            the 1980s, only three or four naval ships were deployed at any one time in
                            the Persian Gulf, although carrier battle groups were nearby. However,
                            carrier battle groups are now routinely present in the Gulf, along with
                            land-based aircraft and other units. Also since 1988, DOD has decreased the
                            amount of land-based prepositioned equipment in EUCOM’s area by over
                            50 percent but is increasing the amount in PACOM and CENTCOM.
                            Furthermore, a larger amount is being maintained afloat.


Funding for Approaches      The funding for overseas presence approaches can be significant and,
Can Be Significant and      based on the data available, varies by approach. DOD requires the largest
Varies                      amount of funds to maintain the forces that provide presence. For
                            example, funding for forces that were forward-based was about
                            $16.4 billion in 1996 (see footnote 3). In contrast, 1996 funding for
                            prepositioning equipment was about $960 million. Although DOD has some
                            funding data on each of the approaches, this information is incomplete.
                            For example, DOD does not compile data on all military interaction
                            activities.

                            Since the end of the Cold War, funding has decreased for some presence
                            approaches and increased for others based on our comparison of available
                            comparable data. For example, because of the force drawdown, funding
                            for forces that were forward-based decreased from about $27.4 billion in
                            fiscal year 1989 to $16.4 billion in fiscal year 1996. Funding for
                            prepositioning increased—from about $640 million in fiscal year 1992 to
                            nearly $960 million in fiscal year 1996.


CINCs View the              While the five regional CINCs consider the national security objectives and
Importance of Security      presence approaches to be important, they have differing views on the
Objectives and Approaches   relative importance of the objectives and the approaches4 (see table 1).
                            They were asked to base their views on factors such as threat, geographic
Differently                 characteristics, relationships with foreign governments and militaries, U.S.
                            commitments, and the availability of U.S. forces.




                            4
                             GAO used an analytic hierarchy decision model to solicit and record the views of CINC officials on
                            the relative importance of presence objectives and approaches.



                            Page 6                                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                                         Executive Summary




Table 1: Objectives and Approaches That CINC Officials Consider to Be Most Important
                             ACOM               CENTCOM             EUCOM              PACOM               SOUTHCOM
Objective
Initial crisis response         X                 X                                    X
Deterrence                      X                 X                X                   X
Reassurance                                                                            X                   X
Influence                                                                              X                   X
Approach
Forward-based forces                                               X                   X
Routinely deployed forces                         X
Temporarily deployable forces   X
Prepositioning                                    X
Exercises
Military interaction                                               X                                       X
Foreign military assistance

                                         ACOM and CENTCOM officials equally rank initial crisis response and
                                         deterrence as the most important objectives. ACOM’s primary concern is
                                         economic stagnation and political instability. Its crises usually relate to
                                         humanitarian assistance, migrant, and counterdrug operations. Its
                                         deterrence efforts also focus on counterdrug operations, as well as,
                                         monitoring submarines of the former Soviet Union. Temporarily
                                         deployable forces were the officials’ preferred approach to achieving these
                                         objectives because of the flexibility they provide. On the other hand,
                                         CENTCOM officials stated that their command focuses on deterring and, if
                                         necessary, responding to a major regional conflict. Because, for various
                                         reasons, the number of forward-based forces in CENTCOM’s region are
                                         constrained, they believe routinely deployed forces and prepositioned
                                         equipment are the best approaches to deter potential aggression and
                                         respond to a crisis.

                                         Because of the potential for small conflicts in its region, EUCOM officials
                                         believe deterrence is most important. They stated that the forward-based
                                         personnel in Europe are most important because they show U.S.
                                         commitment to allies and are a primary means by which it accomplishes
                                         military interactions. In areas where forward basing is not available, such
                                         as Eastern Europe, or is not economically or strategically vital, such as
                                         Africa, they believe conflict is deterred through humanitarian assistance,
                                         exchange programs, and other interaction activities.




                                         Page 7                                            GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                              Executive Summary




                              PACOM officials consider the use of forward-based forces the most
                              important approach for accomplishing the presence objectives because
                              they demonstrate commitment and provide the personnel for many of the
                              presence activities.

                              SOUTHCOM officials emphasized the importance of reassuring allies and
                              influencing events. They believe that to promote stability in the region,
                              military interaction activities are key to building relationships with
                              countries in their region.


DOD Does Not Routinely        DOD does not have a specific process to determine presence requirements.
Consider Whether More         Most of the forces that CINCs use to meet these objectives are the same
Cost-Effective Alternatives   forces needed to meet wartime requirements, diplomatic commitments,
                              and other purposes. DOD generally assigns forces to the CINCs in peacetime
Exist to Meet Presence        based on these requirements, rather than presence. Such allocations occur
Requirements                  through processes or actions that are usually independent of each other.
                              For example, DOD’s 1993 bottom-up review determined the number of
                              forces to be forward-based; and the Joint Staff periodically reviews and
                              establishes the frequency of naval deployments when updating DOD’s
                              Global Naval Force Presence Policy. DOD and the State Department, as
                              appropriate, review the CINCs’ requests for foreign military assistance.

                              DOD does not currently comprehensively collect and completely analyze
                              information on all CINC presence requirements and approaches. Also, DOD
                              does not collectively review CINC requirements and objectives in a given
                              region and evaluate the effectiveness of the level and mix of the forces and
                              activities used to meet the objectives. Nor does DOD consider whether
                              more cost-effective alternatives might exist, such as different
                              combinations of forces, prepositioning, interaction activities, and military
                              assistance. For example, DOD could examine questions such as (1) whether
                              CINCs can accomplish security objectives by using a different mix of
                              aircraft carrier, surface combatant, air power, and ground force
                              deployments than is currently employed and (2) whether the availability of
                              satellites and other information technology offer the opportunity to reduce
                              the physical presence of U.S. forces. Such assessments would allow DOD
                              and the CINCs to make judgments about the level and nature of
                              effort—forces, activities, and funding—that is expended to provide
                              presence and determine whether adjustments should be made.




                              Page 8                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                          Executive Summary




DOD and CINC Planning     DOD, through the Joint Staff, is beginning to develop a process on the
Efforts on Presence, If   engagement aspect of presence—activities that U.S. forces engage in
Expanded, Provide an      during peacetime to shape the international security environment.
                          However, the scope of the process as currently proposed is limited
Opportunity to Assess     because it does not address how DOD will comprehensively assess (1) the
Alternatives              effectiveness of all presence approaches or (2) whether cost-effective
                          alternatives to the current level and mix of forces and activities that
                          provide presence exist. EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM are implementing
                          processes to compile information on their presence activities, assess their
                          effectiveness, and develop future presence plans.

                          While DOD’s efforts to address the engagement aspect of presence are an
                          important first step, GAO believes that DOD needs to assess all presence
                          approaches and alternatives for meeting security objectives. In this regard,
                          the results of CINC planning efforts may be useful to DOD. Until DOD
                          collectively assesses the CINCs’ presence requirements, the effectiveness of
                          all presence approaches, and alternatives to existing levels and mixes of
                          forces and activities, it will be unable to determine whether alternatives
                          exist that could achieve security objectives more cost-effectively.


                          GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the
Recommendation            CINCs and Department of State, compile and analyze information on CINC
                          presence requirements and approaches in a manner that would allow
                          assessments of the effectiveness of current levels and mixes of forces and
                          activities, and whether alternatives exist that could achieve national
                          security objectives more cost-effectively.


                          GAO provided a draft of this report to DOD and the Department of State for
Agency Comments           comment. DOD provided comments on the draft, which are included in
                          appendix I. The Department of State advised GAO orally that it had no
                          comments.

                          DOD  concurred with GAO’s recommendation and partially concurred with
                          the report. DOD disagreed with GAO’s conclusion that DOD does not routinely
                          consider whether more cost-effective alternatives exist to meet presence
                          requirements. DOD said it already makes decisions that affect presence and
                          regularly assesses whether adjustments should be made. DOD stated its
                          planning system provides an approach to maintain warfighting readiness,
                          deterrent posture, and crisis response capability, and determines the
                          location and deployment of forces and the number of personnel assigned



                          Page 9                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Executive Summary




overseas. DOD said that these results are reflected in its budgeting system,
which allocates resources for forces. Under these systems, DOD stated that
it establishes priorities and considers the cost-effectiveness of
alternatives. In agreeing with GAO’s recommendation, DOD said it is
developing a planning process to review peacetime
engagement—activities that forces engage in to shape the security
environment. According to DOD, this process will provide (1) guidance on
objectives, tasks, priorities, and resources related to these activities and
(2) improve DOD’s ability to resource engagement requirements and make
decisions on engagement alternatives.

DOD also said that the report has limited value because it focused primarily
on the engagement aspect of presence. It noted that forces are assigned to
CINCs based on warfighting requirements and other commitments, rather
than just engagement. DOD further stated that GAO’s methodology had
serious limitations because GAO grouped forces and activities in a single
list of presence approaches. DOD believed this analytic construct,
manifested in the model used to obtain CINC officials’ views on the relative
importance of approaches, misleads the reader by implying that means
(forces and infrastructure overseas) and ways (how these forces and
infrastructure are employed) are equivalent and interchangeable. DOD
noted the report highlighted the costs of supporting presence overseas,
but failed to assess the benefits. DOD emphasized that the return on
investment in terms of deterring major conflict and shaping the security
environment is substantial. DOD’s specific comments and GAO’s evaluation
of them are included in the report where appropriate.

GAO agrees that DOD, through its planning and budgeting systems, makes
decisions about the resources expended for presence. However, as DOD
notes, these decisions relate to forces based on warfighting, deterrence,
and crisis response needs. Presence encompasses a broader set of national
security objectives, including deterrence, crisis response, reassurance, and
influence, and is accomplished through a variety of forces and activities.
DOD’s systems do not currently include a mechanism to review presence
requirements and approaches, and to evaluate the appropriate level and
mix of forces and activities. While DOD’s efforts to address the engagement
(activities) aspect of presence are an important step, GAO believes that DOD
should integrate and analyze information on all presence approaches.
Unless DOD includes the entire range of forces and activities available to
achieve presence, it will be unable to determine whether alternatives exist
that could achieve security objectives more cost-effectively.




Page 10                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Executive Summary




GAO’s examination of presence addressed more than engagement activities.
In fact, the report specifically includes forward-based and deployed forces,
and prepositioning of equipment in its discussion of presence approaches
and provides extensive information on these approaches. GAO’s grouping
of forces and activities in a single list of presence approaches is valid
because it reflects the broader nature of presence beyond just forces, as
depicted in the 1996 national security strategy and other DOD documents.
GAO used the model as a tool to obtain CINC officials’ views on the relative
importance of presence approaches. GAO presented these views in a factual
manner in the report and did not state conclusions about whether the
approaches were equivalent and interchangeable.

GAO  agrees that the benefits of maintaining overseas presence are
significant. The report specifically states that presence is a key component
of U.S. strategy that CINCs rely on to accomplish important national
security objectives. It also discusses, in some detail, the CINC’s views on
the importance and impact of presence. GAO presented cost information on
the various presence approaches to show the extent of DOD’s investment in
the forces and activities used to achieve presence, and did not contrast the
costs with the benefits.




Page 11                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Contents



Executive Summary                                                                                3


Chapter 1                                                                                       14
                       Regional Commands Use a Variety of Approaches to Meet                    15
Introduction             Security Objectives
                       DOD Is Reviewing Overseas Presence                                       17
                       Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                       18

Chapter 2                                                                                       20
                       Fewer Forces Are Available for Presence and Deployments and              20
Changes in the           Prepositioning Have Shifted
Security Environment   DOD Has Changed Its Exercises and Interaction Activities                 23
                       Foreign Military Assistance Has Fluctuated, but Has Not Changed          25
Have Affected            Significantly Since the End of the Cold War
Presence Approaches    Funding for Overseas Presence Approaches Can Be Significant              26
                         and Varies
                       Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       28

Chapter 3                                                                                       30
                       CINC Officials View Presence Objectives and Approaches                   30
Regional Security        Differently
Environments Affect    ACOM and CENTCOM Officials View Initial Crisis Response and              31
                         Deterrence as Equal in Importance
CINCs’ Views on        ACOM                                                                     31
Presence               CENTCOM                                                                  31
                       EUCOM Considers Deterrence to Be Most Important                          32
                       PACOM Views All Security Objectives as Equally Important                 33
                       Reassurance and Influence Are Most Important to SOUTHCOM                 34
                       Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       34

Chapter 4                                                                                       36
                       DOD Does Not Have a Specific Process to Determine Presence               36
DOD Needs to Assess      Requirements and Allocate Resources
Presence to            DOD Does Not Routinely Evaluate Whether More Cost-Effective              37
                         Alternatives to Provide Presence Might Exist
Determine Whether      DOD and CINC Planning Efforts on Presence, If Expanded,                  38
More Cost-Effective      Provide an Opportunity to Assess Alternatives
Alternatives Exist     DOD                                                                      38
                       EUCOM                                                                    39
                       PACOM                                                                    39




                       Page 12                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
             Contents




             CENTCOM                                                                    39
             Conclusion                                                                 40
             Recommendation                                                             40
             Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         40

Appendixes   Appendix I: Comments From the Department of Defense                        42
             Appendix II: Major Contributors to This Report                             56

Tables       Table 1: Objectives and Approaches That CINC Officials Consider             7
               to Be Most Important
             Table 1.1: Approaches for Achieving U.S. Security Objectives               17
             Table 2.1: Change in Military Personnel, Fiscal Years 1988 to 1996         20
             Table 2.2: Reduction in Active Duty Military Personnel Overseas,           21
               Fiscal Years 1988 to 1996
             Table 2.3: Reduction in Active Duty Military Personnel Ashore in           21
               Foreign Countries by Command, Fiscal Years 1988 to 1996
             Table 2.4: Changes in Army and Marine Corps Land-Based                     22
               Prepositioned Equipment by Region From Fiscal Year 1988 to
               1996
             Table 2.5: Examples of Fiscal Year 1996 Funding Related to                 27
               Presence Approaches
             Table 2.6: Changes in Funding for Selected Presence Approaches,            28
               Fiscal Years 1989-96
             Table 3.1: Objectives and Approaches That CINC Officials                   30
               Consider to be Most Important

Figure       Figure 1.1: Areas of Responsibility Assigned to Regional CINCs             16




             Abbreviations

             ACOM           U.S. Atlantic Command
             CENTCOM        U.S. Central Command
             CINC           Commander in Chief
             DOD            Department of Defense
             EUCOM          U.S. European Command
             PACOM          U.S. Pacific Command
             SOUTHCOM       U.S. Southern Command


             Page 13                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Chapter 1

Introduction


               Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. strategy has shifted its focus from
               containing the global threat of communist expansion to responding to
               dangers such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, aggression
               from major regional powers, the potential failure of democratic reforms in
               the former Soviet Union and elsewhere, and the potential failure to build a
               strong and growing U.S. economy. According to the Department of
               Defense’s (DOD) 1993 bottom-up review, the United States, in the post Cold
               War era, must pursue a defense strategy characterized by international
               political, economic, and military engagement. This strategy of engagement
               advocates (1) preventing the emergence of threats to U.S. interests by
               promoting democracy, economic growth, free markets, human dignity, and
               the peaceful resolution of conflict and (2) pursuing international
               partnerships for freedom, prosperity, and peace.

               Overseas presence is directly linked to the concept of engagement and has
               been a key component of U.S. strategy. During the Cold War, the United
               States sought to contain Soviet nuclear and conventional forces through
               the presence of large numbers of forward-deployed forces in Europe and
               East Asia. Since then, U.S. presence has become a means of promoting
               global stability and remaining engaged abroad in peacetime. For example,
               the 1995 National Military Strategy calls for flexible and selective
               engagement based on complementary strategic concepts of maintaining
               overseas presence and the ability to rapidly project power worldwide.
               Also, the 1996 National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement
               cites the need to maintain a robust overseas presence in several forms,
               such as flexible military forces, prepositioned equipment, exercises,
               military-to-military contacts, and foreign military assistance programs to
               deter aggression and advance U.S. strategic interests.

               Overseas presence is also a determining factor in the size of U.S. naval
               forces. In its 1993 bottom-up review, DOD emphasized that presence needs
               can impose requirements for naval forces, especially aircraft carriers, that
               exceed those needed for the wartime requirement of fighting and winning
               two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts. DOD, therefore, stated
               that it sized the naval force to reflect presence as well as warfighting
               requirements. DOD determined that it needed a total of 12 carriers, 10 of
               which would be adequate for two major regional conflicts. Retaining
               additional carriers for presence has significant budget implications
               because the nuclear powered aircraft carrier is the most expensive
               weapon system in the nation’s arsenal. The Navy is currently building one
               aircraft carrier at a total estimated cost of $4.3 billion in fiscal year 1995
               dollars and is planning for another carrier, which would begin



               Page 14                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                      Chapter 1
                      Introduction




                      construction in fiscal year 2002 at a estimated cost of $5.4 billion in
                      then-year dollars.


                      In peacetime, the United States maintains overseas presence to (1) provide
Regional Commands     an initial crisis response, (2) deter potential aggressors, (3) reassure allies
Use a Variety of      of U.S. commitment, and (4) influence events overseas in ways favorable
Approaches to Meet    to U.S. interests. The five regional commanders in chief (CINC) are
                      responsible for achieving these national security objectives in their
Security Objectives   assigned geographic areas (see fig. 1.1). These CINCs are the U.S. Atlantic
                      Command (ACOM), the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the U.S.
                      European Command (EUCOM), the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), and the
                      U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).




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                                          Chapter 1
                                          Introduction




Figure 1.1: Areas of Responsibility Assigned to Regional CINCs




                                          Atlantic Ocean




                                                                                                                        Pacific Ocean




      Pacific Ocean


                                                                                             Indian Ocean




       PACOM                EUCOM

       SOUTHCOM             CENTCOM

       ACOM


                                          Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs).




                                          The CINCs use a variety of approaches—forces and activities—to achieve
                                          security objectives (see table 1.1). Although the CINCs generally use the
                                          same types of presence approaches, the level and mix may vary,
                                          depending on the circumstances in a particular region. For example,
                                          EUCOM and PACOM have significant numbers of forward-based forces




                                          Page 16                                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                                      Chapter 1
                                      Introduction




                                      located in countries in their regions. On the other hand, access for basing
                                      U.S. forces in CENTCOM’s area has been limited; therefore, most of the
                                      forces that the Command uses for overseas presence are on routine and
                                      temporary deployments.

Table 1.1: Approaches for Achieving
U.S. Security Objectives              Approach                            Description
                                      Forward-based forces                Forces permanently based ashore in foreign countries
                                      Routinely deployed forces           Forces that deploy from U.S. or overseas locations to
                                                                          conduct routine operations
                                      Forces temporarily                  Forces that could deploy from the United States or
                                      deployable for specific             overseas bases for specific purposes, such as operations
                                      purposes                            or exercises
                                      Prepositioned equipment             Warfighting equipment maintained at overseas locations
                                                                          (ashore and afloat)
                                      Exercises                           Individual (single service), joint (more than one service),
                                                                          and combined (U.S. and foreign forces) training involving
                                                                          forward-based and deployed U.S. forces
                                      Military interaction                Activities such as exchange programs, contacts between
                                                                          U.S. and foreign military officials, participation of foreign
                                                                          military officers in U.S. professional education programs,
                                                                          port calls, and operations during peacetime, such as
                                                                          counterdrug and humanitarian assistance
                                      Foreign military assistance         Programs that sell, finance, or donate U.S. defense
                                                                          equipment, services, or training to foreign governments

                                      The forces that provide presence include both active and reserve force
                                      units. DOD provides the forces and related funding for overseas presence
                                      approaches. The Department of State provides policy guidance and funds
                                      foreign military assistance and all or part of certain military interaction
                                      activities, such as the International Military Education and Training
                                      program1 and the Partnership for Peace program.2


                                      In its 1995 report, the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed
DOD Is Reviewing                      Forces noted that the U.S. national security strategy places a high priority
Overseas Presence                     on engaging others overseas and recognized that all services provide
                                      capabilities to meet the CINCs’ overseas presence objectives. It also noted
                                      that overseas presence is challenging because of the difficulty in relating

                                      1
                                       State Department funds this program to provide training in the United States to foreign military and
                                      civilian personnel.
                                      2
                                       This program is a U.S. initiative started by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to strengthen
                                      cooperation with 27 central and eastern European countries, including the former Soviet Union. DOD
                                      and the State Department fund the U.S. contribution to this program, including funds for training,
                                      equipment, and other assistance.



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                     Introduction




                     specific results to the efforts expended by the U.S. forces engaged in
                     presence activities. The Commission suggested that, in light of the
                     changing world, DOD look for more efficient and effective ways to achieve
                     presence objectives. It recommended that DOD (1) revise the process for
                     determining CINC presence requirements and (2) experiment with new
                     approaches for achieving presence objectives.

                     In response to the Commission’s recommendations, the Secretary of
                     Defense, in August 1995, asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in
                     conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, to conduct a
                     comprehensive review of presence objectives and associated requirements
                     processes. As discussed in chapter 4, a Joint Staff working group led this
                     review and developed a proposal to establish a planning process on the
                     engagement aspect of presence—activities that forces engage in during
                     peacetime to shape the international security environment. This group,
                     established in 1994 as one of DOD’s Joint Warfighting Capability
                     Assessment teams, focuses on regional engagement and overseas presence
                     issues.3 Prior to working on the Chairman’s review of presence, the team
                     prepared a paper describing U.S. military interaction activities with foreign
                     governments and militaries.


                     We examined (1) changes in DOD’s approaches to providing overseas
Objectives, Scope,   presence since the end of the Cold War, (2) funding related to providing
and Methodology      overseas presence, (3) the importance that regional CINCs assign to
                     national security objectives and presence approaches, and (4) DOD’s means
                     of determining requirements for overseas presence and assessing
                     alternatives for meeting them. We did not evaluate the appropriate level of
                     presence or the merit of specific approaches.

                     To determine how DOD’s approaches for providing peacetime presence
                     have changed since the end of the Cold War, we interviewed
                     knowledgeable officials at the offices of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
                     for Strategy and Requirements; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Army, the Air
                     Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps headquarters; and the Department
                     of State. We also reviewed relevant documentation, including DOD studies
                     on presence, the Future Years Defense Programs related to fiscal years
                     1988-96, and Department of State congressional presentation documents.


                     3
                      DOD established 10 assessment teams in selected mission areas to advise the Chairman on joint
                     warfighting capabilities. According to DOD officials, the regional engagement and overseas presence
                     team was originally chartered to study several select presence issues, but its scope was expanded to
                     include all aspects of overseas presence.



                     Page 18                                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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To determine funding related to the approaches used for overseas
presence, we analyzed the historical and current DOD Future Years Defense
Programs; the Department of State budget documents; the President’s
fiscal years 1990-98 budgets; and reports and documents from the Office of
the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, CINCs, and the Defense Security
Assistance Agency.

To determine the importance that regional CINCs assign to national security
objectives and presence approaches, we interviewed knowledgeable
officials at the five regional CINCs and reviewed relevant documentation.
We used an analytical hierarchy decision model called Expert Choice to
guide our discussions with command officials. To apply this model, we
categorized the forces and activities used for presence into seven
approaches based on our analysis of DOD documents and the results of
preliminary tests at two CINCs. We then convened a panel of command
officials from major functional areas, such as intelligence, operations,
logistics, and strategic plans and policy. We asked the panel to (1) respond
to a series of questions on the relative importance of security objectives
and approaches, (2) reach consensus, and (3) provide the rationale for
their answers. The model then calculated the relative importance of the
objectives and approaches, and we discussed the results with command
officials to obtain their comments.

To identify how DOD determines presence requirements and assesses
alternatives for achieving them, we interviewed knowledgeable officials
and reviewed relevant documentation at the offices of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Requirements; the Joint Chiefs of
Staff; the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps
headquarters; the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; the U.S. Air
Force Air Combat Command; and the five regional CINCs. We also met with
officials at the Department of State and the National Security Council.

We conducted this review from October 1995 through April 1997 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




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Changes in the Security Environment Have
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                                       In response to changes in the security environment, U.S. presence has
                                       changed significantly in different regions of the world since the end of the
                                       Cold War. Among other things, force reductions have made fewer forces
                                       available for overseas presence and the frequency of force deployments
                                       has increased in some regions while decreasing in others. DOD has also
                                       restructured prepositioned equipment; engaged in new types of exercises
                                       and military interaction activities; and made adjustments in military
                                       assistance. Since the end of the Cold War, funding has decreased for some
                                       approaches and increased for others. The funding varies widely by
                                       approach, some of which can cost billions of dollars.


                                       In the post-Cold War years, DOD has steadily reduced the total military
Fewer Forces Are                       force, from about 3.3 million in fiscal year 1988 to 2.4 million in fiscal
Available for Presence                 year 1996, a 27-percent reduction. This reduction affected both active duty
and Deployments and                    and reserve personnel. Table 2.1 provides a breakdown of the reduction in
                                       military personnel.
Prepositioning Have
Shifted


Table 2.1: Change in Military
Personnel, Fiscal Years 1988 to 1996                                                                            Change from fiscal
                                                                         End of fiscal          End of fiscal    year 1988 to 1996
                                       Component                           year 1988              year 1996              (percent)
                                       Active                               2,138,213               1,471,722            666,491 (31)
                                       Reserve                              1,158,357                 920,438            237,919 (21)
                                       Total                                3,296,570               2,392,160            904,410 (27)
                                       Source: The Secretary of Defense’s Annual Report to the Congress, 1997, and DOD reserve
                                       manpower statistics.



                                       The force drawdown has significantly affected presence approaches
                                       because large reductions—about 56 percent—have occurred in the
                                       numbers of active duty personnel that are based ashore overseas or
                                       deployed routinely or temporarily overseas aboard Navy ships. Generally,
                                       forward-based and deployed active personnel represent the bulk of the
                                       U.S. forces available for presence activities on a daily basis. Table 2.2
                                       shows the reduction in active duty personnel ashore or afloat overseas
                                       from fiscal year 1988 to 1996.




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Table 2.2: Reduction in Active Duty
Military Personnel Overseas, Fiscal                                                                                  Change from fiscal
Years 1988 to 1996                                                             End of fiscal        End of fiscal     year 1988 to 1996
                                       Overseas personnel                        year 1988            year 1996               (percent)
                                       Ashorea                                       458,446              213,467             244,979 (53)
                                                b
                                       Afloat                                         82,142               26,954               55,188 (67)
                                       Total                                         540,588              240,421             300,167 (56)
                                       a
                                       Figures reflect permanently based and temporarily deployed forces ashore in foreign countries.
                                       b
                                           Figures reflect deployed forces afloat.

                                       Source: DOD Worldwide Manpower Distribution by Geographic Area.



                                       Compared to the other four CINCs, EUCOM has been the most affected by the
                                       reductions in active duty personnel ashore overseas (see table 2.3).
                                       Specifically, between fiscal year 1988 and 1996, it incurred a 66-percent
                                       reduction from 318,500 to 108,300 in its personnel ashore. This reduction
                                       of 210,200 people amounts to 86 percent of the total reduction in
                                       personnel ashore worldwide. ACOM, SOUTHCOM, and PACOM also experienced
                                       decreases, but the percentage reduction was less than EUCOM. Over the
                                       same time, CENTCOM experienced an increase in the number of personnel
                                       ashore.

Table 2.3: Reduction in Active Duty
Military Personnel Ashore in Foreign                                            Active duty          Active duty Change from fiscal
Countries by Command, Fiscal Years                                          military (end of     military (end of year 1988 to 1996
1988 to 1996                           Command                            fiscal year 1988)    fiscal year 1996)          (percent)
                                       ACOM                                            9,489                5,393             –4,096 (–43)
                                       CENTCOM                                         2,361                8,986           +6,625 (+281)
                                       EUCOM                                         318,519              108,301           –210,218 (–66)
                                       PACOM                                         113,991               81,480            –32,511 (–29)
                                       SOUTHCOM                                       13,169                7,670             –5,499 (–42)
                                       Note: Figures do not include personnel located in areas that are not assigned to a regional
                                       command, such as the former Soviet Union, Canada, Mexico, and Antarctica.

                                       Source: DOD Worldwide Manpower Distribution by Geographic Area.



                                       The changing security environment has also affected naval deployments.
                                       During the Cold War, naval carrier battle groups—aircraft carriers with
                                       several surface combatant ships, submarines, and logistics support
                                       ships—deployed regularly to EUCOM’s area. Since the post-Cold War
                                       drawdown, the amount of carrier battle group coverage in EUCOM’s region




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                                    Changes in the Security Environment Have
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                                    has decreased.1 By contrast, as DOD has become more concerned about the
                                    threat in the Persian Gulf, routine naval deployments there have increased.
                                    Whereas three or four ships were deployed to the area before the 1980s
                                    and carrier battle groups were usually present outside the Gulf, a carrier
                                    battle group is now routinely deployed in the Gulf along with land-based
                                    aircraft and other units.

                                    As the security environment has changed and DOD has reduced its forces
                                    overseas, DOD has restructured land-based prepositioned equipment (see
                                    table 2.4) and increased the amount of prepositioned equipment aboard
                                    ships. EUCOM has experienced the only reduction in Army land-based
                                    prepositioned equipment. Since the end of the Cold War, the Army has
                                    reduced its nine brigade sets of prepositioned equipment in Central
                                    Europe to two as of 1996. In addition, EUCOM has an Army brigade set in
                                    Italy and a Marine Corps brigade set in Norway. Meanwhile, DOD has
                                    started prepositioning equipment in CENTCOM’s region. One brigade set is
                                    now located in Kuwait, another brigade set and equipment for a division
                                    headquarters is being placed in Qatar, and plans for a third brigade set are
                                    being considered. The amount of prepositioned equipment in PACOM’s
                                    region is being increased by an Army brigade set now being placed in
                                    Korea.

Table 2.4: Changes in Army and
Marine Corps Land-Based                                                  Brigade sets of             Brigade sets of
Prepositioned Equipment by Region                                        prepositioned equipment     prepositioned equipment
From Fiscal Year 1988 to 1996       Commands                             (fiscal year 1988)          (fiscal year 1996)
                                    ACOM                                 0                           0
                                    CENTCOM                              0                           1 Army set
                                                                                                     1 partial Army seta
                                    EUCOM                                9 Army sets                 3 Army sets
                                                                         1 Marine Corps set          1 Marine Corps set
                                    PACOM                                0                           1 Army set
                                    SOUTHCOM                             0                           0
                                    a
                                        DOD plans to complete this set by the year 2000.

                                    Sources: DOD data and the Secretary of Defense’s Annual Reports to the Congress.



                                    The amount of prepositioning aboard ships has increased since 1988
                                    primarily because, in 1993, the Army started prepositioning equipment
                                    afloat. By 1996, the Army had equipment on 14 ships stationed in the
                                    Indian and Pacific Oceans in sufficient quantities to provide material for
                                    an armor brigade and other units. Since the mid-1980s, the Marines have

                                    1
                                     Specific data on deployment frequency is classified.



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                         maintained prepositioned equipment on 13 ships. In addition, the Navy, the
                         Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency currently have seven ships
                         with prepositioned equipment and other war reserve material.


                         The changing security environment has also affected the type and number
DOD Has Changed Its      of exercises and the importance of interaction activities. The Chairman of
Exercises and            the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s exercises are the principal vehicle for achieving
Interaction Activities   inter-service and multinational operational training. Also, exercises
                         demonstrate U.S. resolve and the capability to project military presence
                         anywhere in the world. The nature of these exercises has changed in
                         recent years from a few large-scale ones focused on preparing for global
                         contingencies and conflicts to an increased number of smaller ones
                         focused on regional contingencies. As a result, the number of exercises
                         has increased from 90 in fiscal year 1990 to approximately 200 in fiscal
                         year 1995. Of the 200 exercises, the vast majority involved the deployment
                         of U.S. forces to ensure access to foreign seaports or airstrips and visibly
                         demonstrate U.S. commitment. Other activities include humanitarian
                         assistance and enhancing the professionalism of foreign militaries.

                         Military interaction2 is an umbrella term we used in this report to describe
                         a variety of programs carried out by DOD and the Department of State,
                         whereby U.S. defense personnel interact with foreign personnel to shape
                         the security environment in support of U.S. national security objectives.
                         During the Cold War, U.S. forces participated in interaction activities at a
                         minimum because they were perceived as diverting resources and
                         undermining wartime readiness. In the mid-1990s, DOD’s view of these
                         activities changed as U.S. strategy shifted toward regional engagement and
                         enlargement. As a result, the U.S. military now views military interaction
                         such as training of foreign military personnel in the United States and
                         counterdrug operations as more important and is involved in new
                         activities such as Partnership for Peace and regional study centers. These
                         activities are described below.


Training                 The International Military Education and Training program provides
                         professional education and training to foreign military and civilian
                         personnel from over 100 countries annually. The Joint Staff considers this
                         a cost-effective program. Over half a million foreign personnel have been
                         trained since 1950, but the number trained annually has decreased in

                         2
                          This term as used in this report differs from DOD’s definition of foreign military interaction in that it
                         does not include the Department of State assistance programs foreign military sales, foreign military
                         financing, and excess defense articles program, which we categorized as foreign military assistance.



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                         Changes in the Security Environment Have
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                         recent years from almost 6,000 students in 1988 to less than 2,700 in 1995.
                         Over this time, the type of training has changed from lower grade technical
                         training to more senior officers attending war colleges. International
                         Military Education and Training Program attendees receive training in U.S.
                         values, regard for human rights, democratic institutions, and civilian
                         control of the military.


Counterdrug Operations   In 1989, the Congress directed DOD to take charge of monitoring sea and
                         air traffic to detect the transit of illegal drugs to the United States. In 1993,
                         the administration’s focus changed to helping source countries in their
                         counterdrug operations. The CINCs implement a broad spectrum of
                         counterdrug training and operational support within their regions. DOD
                         support for source nations is oriented toward strengthening institutions
                         within these nations so they can better conduct their own counterdrug
                         operations. This assistance includes the detection and monitoring of the
                         transit area, support for domestic drug law enforcement agencies, and
                         dismantling cartels.


Partnership for Peace    Partnership for Peace is a 1994 U.S. initiative started by the North Atlantic
                         Treaty Organization to promote stability and security throughout Europe.
                         It comprises a broad program of activities designed to strengthen practical
                         cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and 27
                         Partnership for Peace countries in Central Europe and the former Soviet
                         Union. Partnership for Peace prepares and equips the nations to
                         successfully participate in joint missions such as peace operations, search
                         and rescue, and humanitarian assistance.


Regional Study Centers   Regional study centers are a recent activity that provide the opportunity
                         for foreign military personnel to enroll in academic courses on defense
                         planning and management in democratic societies such as civilian and
                         military relations and democracy, law of war and international
                         humanitarian law, lessons learned from the Cold War, and combined
                         peace operation training and exercises. EUCOM’s George C. Marshall Center
                         in Germany, established in 1992, focuses on educating mid- to senior-level
                         defense officials from former Soviet states. PACOM’s Asia-Pacific Center in
                         Hawaii, established in 1996, facilitates the understanding of U.S. military,
                         diplomatic, and economic roles in the Pacific.




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                          Overseas presence also includes military assistance to foreign countries in
Foreign Military          the form of foreign military financing, foreign military sales, and excess
Assistance Has            defense articles. These three programs provide a means to transfer
Fluctuated, but Has       defense equipment, services, and training to friendly foreign militaries to
                          enhance their capabilities and thereby benefit the United States. For the
Not Changed               sales and financing programs, the regional CINCs make recommendations
Significantly Since the   on the amount and type of assistance and ensure coordination of the
                          assistance with U.S. diplomatic missions and DOD components. Of the
End of the Cold War       three programs, only foreign military financing receives an annual
                          appropriation. These funds are for grants and subsidies for loans to
                          countries with which they can purchase U.S. defense articles or services.
                          The other two programs, foreign military sales and excess defense articles,
                          provide a mechanism for selling or giving U.S. defense articles to foreign
                          countries.

                          The total appropriation for foreign military financing has varied from
                          about $4.0 billion in fiscal year 1988 to $4.8 billion in fiscal year 1990
                          before decreasing to $3.3 billion in fiscal year 1996. Of this funding,
                          $3.1 billion annually since fiscal year 1988 has gone to two countries,
                          Egypt ($1.3 billion) and Israel ($1.8 billion), with the remainder of the
                          grants distributed primarily to several other countries. For example, in
                          fiscal year 1996, Jordan (CENTCOM) received $100 million, Cambodia
                          (PACOM) received $1 million, the Partnership for Peace countries (EUCOM)
                          received $53 million, the Caribbean countries (ACOM) received $2 million.
                          None of the countries in SOUTHCOM’s region received funding.

                          The foreign military sales program involves the government-to-government
                          sale of U.S. defense equipment, services, training, and construction to
                          foreign countries. The annual amount of these sales has varied from
                          $11.3 billion in fiscal year 1988 to nearly $33 billion in fiscal year 1993
                          before declining to $10.5 billion in fiscal year 1996. Cumulatively, some of
                          the major purchasers over these years have been Saudi Arabia
                          ($36 billion), Egypt ($12 billion), Taiwan ($10 billion), and Israel
                          ($7 billion).

                          The excess defense articles program donates or sells defense items no
                          longer needed by the United States to eligible foreign countries. The
                          current value of excess defense articles donated or sold has varied from
                          $194 million in fiscal year 1994 to $151 million in fiscal year 1995. The
                          primary countries receiving donations of excess defense articles valued at
                          $138 million in fiscal year 1995 were Turkey ($58 million), Jordan
                          ($26 million), Egypt ($19 million), and Greece ($17 million).



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                       Funding for overseas presence approaches can be significant and, based
Funding for Overseas   on the data available, varies widely by approach. DOD requires the largest
Presence Approaches    amount of funds to maintain the forces that provide presence. Although
Can Be Significant     DOD has some funding data on each of the approaches, this information is
                       not complete. For example, DOD does not compile data on all of the
and Varies             activities associated with military interaction, such as the funding
                       attributable to naval ship visits to foreign ports, military-to-military
                       contacts, and exchange programs. Table 2.5 shows the fiscal year 1996
                       funding, to the extent that data was available, associated with each
                       presence approach. The table is meant to be illustrative and, for the
                       reasons cited above, does not include every component that makes up
                       each approach.




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                                     Changes in the Security Environment Have
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Table 2.5: Examples of Fiscal Year
1996 Funding Related to Presence     Numbers in billions
Approaches                           Approach                                                                Fiscal year 1996 fundinga
                                     Forward-based forcesb                                                                        $16.354
                                                                                                                                            c
                                     Routinely and temporarily deployable forces
                                     Prepositioned equipmentd                                                                        0.957
                                     Exercisese                                                                                      0.379
                                                         f
                                     Military interaction
                                      International military education and training                                                  0.039
                                      Marshall Center                                                                                0.012
                                      Traditional CINC activities                                                                    0.060
                                      Peacetime operations
                                          Counterdrug                                                                                0.817
                                          Peace operationsg                                                                          0.455
                                          Humanitarian, disaster, and civic assistance                                               0.036
                                      Peace initiatives
                                          Partnership for Peace                                                                      0.093
                                          Cooperative threat reduction                                                               0.305
                                     Foreign military assistanceh
                                       Foreign military financing                                                                    3.292
                                       Foreign military sales                                                                       10.339
                                       Excess defense articles                                                                       0.168
                                     a
                                      Figures may include some double-counting because of overlap in the approaches. For example,
                                     part of the Partnership for Peace funding is foreign military financing grants. Funding shown is
                                     budget authority, obligations, or values of items sold or donated.
                                     b
                                      Reflects estimated military pay, operations and maintenance, transportation, military
                                     construction, and family housing and construction. Some of the funding includes funds to cover
                                     those costs incurred because the forces are located overseas, such as for transportation, as well
                                     as some costs incurred regardless of where the forces are based, such as military pay. Funding
                                     shown does not reflect support received from host nations.
                                     c
                                      Funding data is not available because DOD does not compile data on the cost related to
                                     deploying forces from the United States or overseas locations for presence.
                                     d
                                      Reflects funding for operations and maintenance, military personnel, and limited procurement
                                     related to prepositioning ashore and afloat.
                                     e
                                      Reflects funding for support and transportation for exercises sponsored by the Chairman, Joint
                                     Chiefs of Staff. Funding for service exercises was not readily available.
                                     f
                                     Reflects DOD and the Department of State funding for these approaches.
                                     g
                                      Reflects funding for U.S. assistance to some international efforts to monitor and maintain areas of
                                     special concern and U.N. contributions for international peace operation activities.
                                     h
                                      Reflects grants and loan subsidies that countries use to finance purchases of U.S. defense items
                                     and the value of U.S. items and services sold or donated to other countries.

                                     Sources: GAO analysis of DOD’s Future Years Defense Program data for fiscal years 1996 to
                                     2001, DOD, EUCOM, Department of State, and the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 1998.




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                                       Since the end of the Cold War, the funding for some presence approaches
                                       has changed (see table 2.6), with some increasing and others decreasing,
                                       based on our comparison of available comparable data.

Table 2.6: Changes in Funding for
Selected Presence Approaches, Fiscal   Dollars in billions
Years 1989-96                                                                   Fiscal year              Fiscal year
                                       Approach                               1989 funding             1996 funding     Percent change
                                       Forward-based                                $27.387                  $16.354                   –40
                                         forces
                                       Prepositioning                                  0.641a                  0.957                   +49
                                                     b
                                       Exercises                                       0.287                   0.379                   +32
                                       Military interaction
                                        International                                  0.046                   0.039                   –15
                                            Military Education
                                            and Training
                                       Counterdrug                                     0.314                   0.817                  +160
                                        operations
                                       a
                                       Reflects fiscal year 1992 funding because comparable data for prior years was not available.
                                       b
                                           Reflects funding for Joint Chiefs of Staff sponsored exercises.

                                       Sources: DOD, Department of State, the President’s Budget for fiscal years 1990 and 1998, and
                                       GAO’s analysis of DOD’s Future Years Defense Program data.



                                       The changes in table 2.6 occurred for various reasons. For example, the
                                       reduction in funding for forward-based forces is directly linked to DOD’s
                                       force drawdown. Increases in funding for prepositioning reflect the net
                                       increase in cost of operating and maintaining prepositioned equipment
                                       primarily at land-based locations. Funding for Joint Chiefs of Staff
                                       exercises has increased as the number of exercises has increased and their
                                       nature shifted from large global to smaller regionally focused scenarios
                                       that among other things, foster relationships with other nations’ military
                                       forces. The International Military Education and Training Program funding
                                       decreased from $46 million in 1989 to $22 million in 1994 because of a
                                       perception that it was duplicative of another program, before increasing to
                                       its 1996 level of $39 million. Since 1989, considerable national attention
                                       has been given to stopping the flow of illicit drugs, resulting in a
                                       significant increase in counterdrug operations and related funding.


                                       DOD noted the report highlighted the costs of supporting presence
Agency Comments                        overseas, but failed to assess the benefits. DOD emphasized that the return
and Our Evaluation                     on investment in terms of deterring major conflict and shaping the security



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environment is substantial. We agree that the benefits of maintaining
overseas presence are significant. The report specifically states that
presence is a key component of U.S. strategy that CINCs rely on to
accomplish important national security objectives. It also discusses, in
some detail, the CINCs views on the importance and impact of presence.
We present cost information on the various presence approaches to show
the extent of DOD’s investment in the forces and activities used to achieve
presence, and do not contrast the costs with the benefits.




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                                        CINC officials view all national security objectives and presence
                                        approaches to be important, but differ on their relative importance based
                                        on the security environment in their respective regions. Officials at two
                                        regional commands cite initial crisis response and deterrence as the most
                                        important objectives, officials at one command cite deterrence, officials at
                                        one command consider all four objectives equally important, and officials
                                        at the other command cite reassurance and influence. To meet these
                                        objectives, officials at some commands prefer to use various types of
                                        forces and others prefer military interaction.


                                        Using an analytical hierarchy decision model, we solicited the views of
CINC Officials View                     officials from the five regional CINCs on national security objectives related
Presence Objectives                     to presence and on presence approaches. Specifically, we asked them,
and Approaches                          through a series of questions, to reach consensus on the relative
                                        importance of initial crisis response, deterrence, reassurance, and
Differently                             influence as these objectives related to the security environment in their
                                        region. Using the same methodology, they also provided consensus views
                                        on the relative importance of the seven presence approaches to achieving
                                        the objectives. Table 3.1 shows the results of our discussions.


Table 3.1: Objectives and Approaches That CINC Officials Consider to Be Most Important
                              ACOM              CENTCOM             EUCOM              PACOM            SOUTHCOM
Objective
Initial crisis response         X                 X                                 X
Deterrence                      X                 X               X                 X
Reassurance                                                                         X                   X
Influence                                                                           X                   X
Approach
Forward-based forces                                              X                 X
Routinely deployed forces                         X
Temporarily deployable forces   X
Prepositioning                                    X
Exercises
Military interaction                                              X                                     X
Foreign military assistance

                                        Officials from regional commands view all national security objectives and
                                        presence approaches to be important, but differ on their relative
                                        importance. In determining their most important objectives and




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                      approaches, we asked CINC officials to base their assessments on factors
                      such as threat, geographic characteristics, relationships with foreign
                      governments and militaries, U.S. commitments, and the availability of U.S.
                      forces. The following sections describe their specific views.


                      ACOM and CENTCOM officials consider the same objectives to be most
ACOM and              important for their regions, but differ on the approaches they think are
CENTCOM Officials     most important to achieve these objectives.
View Initial Crisis
Response and
Deterrence as Equal
in Importance
                      Command officials cite initial crisis response and deterrence as the
ACOM                  command’s top objectives because the Command is primarily concerned
                      about dealing with regional economic stagnation and political instability.
                      The crises it has to deal with usually relate to humanitarian assistance,
                      migrant operations, and counterdrug operations, not military threats. An
                      example of such crises is the refugee migration in Cuba that was
                      concurrent with the loss and restoration of democracy in Haiti. According
                      to Command officials, ACOM’s deterrence efforts focus on conducting
                      counterdrug operations and monitoring submarines of the former Soviet
                      Union. These officials consider temporarily deployable forces to be ACOM’s
                      most important approach for achieving initial crisis response and
                      deterrence because such forces, especially naval and ground forces,
                      provide the flexible capability the Command needs.


                      CENTCOM  officials identify initial crisis response and deterrence as most
CENTCOM               important because of the potential for a major regional conflict. They
                      stated that the Command’s primary focus is to deter conflict. If deterrence
                      should fail, the Command wants to limit the intensity of the conflict, and
                      maintain the ability to prevail in combat. The Persian Gulf is their primary
                      area of concern because of its substantial oil resources and key maritime
                      routes. According to CENTCOM officials, Iraq and Iran pose threats to the
                      flow of oil from the region to world markets and are involved in the
                      proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. In addition,
                      other crises could arise. For example, CENTCOM is concerned that South




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                        Asia border disputes and competition for resources between Pakistan and
                        India may escalate.

                        CENTCOM   officials consider routine deployments, especially naval
                        deployments, and prepositioned equipment to be the most important
                        approaches to provide initial crisis response and deterrence. Because the
                        Command has few forward-based forces, deployments of forces to the
                        region are considered by these officials to be the best deterrent to
                        hostilities. They said political considerations constrain CENTCOM from
                        having more than 2,800 personnel forward-based in the area. However,
                        with routine and temporary deployments, the number of U.S. forces in the
                        region at any given time can be 10,000 to 20,000. These deployed forces
                        usually include a carrier battle group, an amphibious ready group, and Air
                        Force aircraft. Command officials consider prepositioned equipment,
                        located both afloat and ashore, to be important because it provides the
                        necessary military equipment and ensures regional access for forces
                        deploying into the region, thereby reducing risk and shortening the
                        response time.


                        EUCOM  officials consider deterrence to be the Command’s most important
EUCOM Considers         presence objective. Although they did not expect a major regional conflict
Deterrence to Be Most   to occur in the region, these officials noted that a number of lesser
Important               regional conflicts are possible due to instability. For example, they noted
                        that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization members of Greece and
                        Turkey still dispute territorial borders. Also, the Balkan countries in
                        Eastern Europe may continue to be unstable for the rest of the decade.
                        Furthermore, the Middle East continues to be a potential trouble spot.
                        Regional instability may also occur as communist countries of the former
                        Soviet Union, among other things, undergo severe economic turmoil, while
                        democratic reforms remain under attack.

                        Despite the drawdown in its forward-based forces, EUCOM officials
                        consider the 108,301 active military forces in EUCOM to be the most
                        important approach to achieve deterrence. In their view, the basing of
                        these forces in EUCOM’s region are a visible reinforcement of U.S.
                        commitment to the area. In addition, forward basing is the primary means
                        by which EUCOM accomplishes its next most important approach, military
                        interaction. Command officials view military interaction as important for
                        deterrence because they promote stability through military-to-military
                        contacts such as peace operations, humanitarian assistance, and the
                        International Military Education and Training and Partnership for Peace



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                         programs. According to DOD officials, in areas where forward basing is not
                         available, such as Eastern Europe, or is not economically or strategically
                         vital, such as Africa, they believe conflict is deterred through humanitarian
                         assistance, exchange programs, and other interaction activities.


                         PACOM  officials believe that initial crisis response, deterrence, reassurance,
PACOM Views All          and influence are equally important. PACOM officials emphasized the need
Security Objectives as   to balance these objectives with a proper mix of forward-based forces,
Equally Important        routinely deployed forces, prepositioned equipment, and military
                         interaction.

                         PACOM  remains concerned about North Korea’s uncertain intentions.
                         However, PACOM is focused on nurturing bilateral relationships with
                         countries in its region as a means of advancing security and stability
                         throughout the region. According to Command officials, China’s
                         importance to the region and the world is unquestionable. China is a
                         permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with vast economic
                         potential and a nuclear weapons state, with a large conventional force.
                         PACOM sees a potential for both cooperation and disagreement with this
                         growing power, and articulated a desire to work together with China when
                         there are common interests and to resolve problems when there are
                         disagreements. PACOM officials viewed engaging China as a means of
                         building contacts that enable cooperation and continued dialogue. They
                         also expressed concern about India and its ongoing conflicts with Pakistan
                         and Russia with the political changes it is undergoing. Some other
                         concerns in PACOM’s area are the proliferation of weapons of mass
                         destruction, drug trafficking, and increasing competition for limited
                         resources.

                         PACOM   officials consider forward-based forces to be PACOM’s most
                         important approach. Their presence allows for a rapid response,
                         demonstrates commitment, and provides the personnel for many of the
                         presence activities. PACOM, in 1996, had about 307,000 military personnel
                         assigned to its command, including about 80,000 that are based in South
                         Korea and Japan. In 1995, PACOM personnel were engaged in over 1,900
                         presence activities. According to Command officials, many of these
                         activities involve frequent contact between U.S. and foreign military
                         personnel to increase U.S. influence in the area. For example, in 1995,
                         PACOM conducted a total of 147 joint and combined exercises, 634 port
                         calls, and 55 multilateral seminars and conferences that involved U.S. and
                         foreign military personnel.



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                     SOUTHCOM officials consider reassurance and influence most important.
Reassurance and      According to Command officials, SOUTHCOM’s desire is to promote stability
Influence Are Most   in the region through efforts such as strengthening fragile regional
Important to         democracies and combating the flow of illicit drugs. While the security
                     environment in Latin America has become more stable in recent years as
SOUTHCOM             countries have transitioned to democracies and civilian control of the
                     military, these officials believe that many of the new democracies are
                     maturing and require reinforcement. In their view, the threats to regional
                     stability include drug trafficking, governmental corruption, insurgencies,
                     border disputes, crime, and economic instability.

                     SOUTHCOM officials consider military interaction to be the most important
                     approach because maintaining military-to-military contact with foreign
                     countries in the region is key. Some SOUTHCOM interaction activities include
                     humanitarian projects such as providing medical care, constructing roads,
                     and building schools; counterdrug operations; and peace operations.
                     Because SOUTHCOM has relatively few forward-based personnel, Command
                     officials note that temporarily deployed forces from the continental United
                     States provide the needed capability to interact. For example, according to
                     Command officials, over 56,000 personnel deployed to SOUTHCOM during
                     fiscal year 1995, and about 40 percent of those deployed were reserve
                     forces.


                     DOD stated that our analytical approach had serious methodological
Agency Comments      limitations. By grouping forces and activities in a single list of presence
and Our Evaluation   approaches, DOD stated that the report mixes means (forces and
                     infrastructure overseas) and ways (how these forces and infrastructure
                     are employed). In DOD’s view, this analytical construct, manifested in the
                     Expert Choice model used to obtain CINC officials’ views on the relative
                     importance of approaches, is misleading and could lead a reader to
                     incorrectly conclude that different approaches to presence are equivalent
                     and interchangeable.

                     Our grouping of forces and activities in a single list of presence
                     approaches is valid because it reflects the broader nature of presence, as
                     depicted in the 1996 National Security Strategy and other DOD documents.
                     The Expert Choice model is an analytical hierarchy decision model that
                     can be used to make comparisons. For this study, we used the model as a
                     tool to obtain CINC officials’ views on the relative importance of presence
                     approaches. We presented these views in a factual manner in the report




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and did not state conclusions about whether the approaches were
equivalent and interchangeable.

Additional annotated evaluations of DOD’s comments are presented in
appendix I.




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DOD Needs to Assess Presence to
Determine Whether More Cost-Effective
Alternatives Exist
                          DOD does not have a specific process for determining CINC presence
                          requirements. Most of the forces used for presence are also needed to
                          meet warfighting needs and other purposes. DOD generally assigns forces
                          to the CINCs based on these requirements, rather than presence. Currently,
                          DOD does not compile comprehensive information on all CINC presence
                          approaches as a basis for analyzing the effectiveness of these approaches
                          or whether more cost-effective alternatives might exist. While the Joint
                          Staff has proposed a process on peacetime engagement—activities that
                          forces engage in during peacetime to shape the international security
                          environment, it has not addressed how DOD will use this information to
                          assess the effectiveness of all approaches that provide presence or
                          consider alternatives. Three CINCs are beginning to develop information on
                          their presence activities that could be useful to DOD in assessing presence.


                          In general, DOD provides the forces and related funding that CINCs use for
DOD Does Not Have a       presence activities in their regions. While DOD has a specific process for
Specific Process to       determining warfighting requirements and allocating forces to meet these
Determine Presence        requirements, a similar process for all presence requirements does not
                          exist. As part of its strategic planning system, DOD assesses wartime
Requirements and          requirements and develops a joint strategic capabilities plan that identifies
Allocate Resources        the mix of forces and capabilities that will be available to each CINC. Most
                          of the forces needed in wartime are the same U.S.-based and
                          forward-based forces that CINCs use to meet security objectives. DOD
                          generally assigns forces to the CINCs in peacetime based on wartime
                          requirements and other needs, such as diplomatic commitments, rather
                          than presence. Such decisions occur through processes or actions that are
                          usually independent of each other, such as broad defense reviews, updates
                          of DOD policies on force deployments, or reviews of specific CINC requests,
                          as indicated by the following examples:

                      •   DOD determined the numbers of forward-based forces and quantities and
                          locations of prepositioned equipment as part of its 1993 bottom-up review
                          of post-Cold War defense needs.
                      •   On a periodic basis, DOD reviews and updates its Global Naval Force
                          Presence Policy. According to DOD officials, this policy specifies the
                          frequency of routine deployments of naval forces during peacetime to the
                          various CINCs’ regions. It denotes the number of aircraft carriers,
                          amphibious ready groups, surface combatants, and Tomahawk missiles
                          that will be allocated to the CINCs, taking into account factors such as the
                          equitable distribution of assets and the CINCs’ requirements.




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                     •   The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff annually publishes the
                         Chairman’s sponsored exercises that will be conducted. On an annual
                         basis, the CINCs submit requests for exercises in their region. The Joint
                         Staff, in consultation with the military services, appropriate government
                         agencies, and CINCs, evaluates the availability of resources to meet the
                         CINCs’ requests, resolve resource conflicts, and establishes an exercise
                         program for a set period of time, usually 3 years. Based on this program,
                         DOD, through the military services, allocates the necessary forces.


                         Some presence approaches, such as military interaction and foreign
                         military assistance, do not require forces to be formally allocated for all of
                         their activities. For example, CINCs often use forward-based personnel to
                         carry out military-to-military contacts or to conduct other interaction
                         activities. These activities are determined by the CINCs or others and are
                         not part of any formal DOD process. For example, the foreign military
                         assistance programs provide funds, equipment, and training rather than
                         forces. CINC officials, working with Department of State officials in their
                         region, help develop assistance requirements and comment on annual
                         requests for such things as the financing, sale, or transfers of U.S. defense
                         items and services.


                         DOD  does not currently collect and analyze comprehensive information on
DOD Does Not             all CINC presence requirements and the CINCs’ use of presence approaches.
Routinely Evaluate       For example, DOD does not collectively review presence requirements and
Whether More             objectives, or evaluate the effectiveness of the approaches that CINCs use
                         to meet security objectives. Nor does DOD routinely consider, as part of a
Cost-Effective           comprehensive analysis, whether more cost-effective alternatives might
Alternatives to          exist by developing and comparing different combinations of
                         forward-based forces, routinely and temporarily deployed forces,
Provide Presence         prepositioning, interaction activities, and military assistance.
Might Exist
                         Such assessments would allow DOD and the CINCs to make judgments about
                         the level and nature of effort—forces, activities, and funding—that is
                         expended to provide presence, and determine whether adjustments should
                         be made. For example, in 1993, we reported that there are opportunities to
                         use less costly options to satisfy many of the carrier battle groups’
                         traditional roles, including presence.1 These options include relying more
                         on increasingly capable surface combatants and amphibious assault ships
                         and/or by employing a more flexible carrier deployment strategy. In

                         1
                          Navy Carrier Battle Groups: The Structure and Affordability of the Future Force (GAO/NSIAD-93-74,
                         Feb.25, 1993).



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                            evaluating alternative presence approaches to meet security objectives,
                            DOD could examine the following types of questions and perform the
                            analysis necessary to answer them.

                        •   Is the current level and mix of approaches in a given region consistent
                            with security objectives or should adjustments be made, such as
                            increasing, decreasing, or eliminating the use of certain approaches?
                        •   Can CINCs accomplish security objectives by using a different mix of
                            aircraft carrier, surface combatant, air power, and ground force
                            deployments than is currently employed?
                        •   Given the significant cost of forward basing, what are the implications of
                            increasing the number of temporary deployments, especially reserve
                            forces, and reducing the number of forward-based forces?
                        •   Since officials at some CINCs viewed interaction to be among the most
                            important presence approaches, are there opportunities to increase the
                            level of interaction and adjust the use of other presence approaches?
                        •   Does the availability of satellites and other information technology offer
                            DOD the opportunity to reduce the physical presence of U.S.
                            forces—forward-based or deployed?


                            The Joint Staff has recommended a planning process on the engagement
DOD and CINC                aspect of presence, but its scope as currently proposed, is limited. Three
Planning Efforts on         of the CINCs have initiated efforts to compile information that may be
Presence, If                useful to DOD if it expanded its proposed planning process to include
                            assessing presence requirements, effectiveness of all current approaches,
Expanded, Provide an        and whether more cost-effective alternatives might exist. DOD and the
Opportunity to Assess       CINCs’ efforts are described below.

Alternatives
                            In May 1995, the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces
DOD                         recommended that DOD revise its process for determining CINC presence
                            requirements and experiment with new approaches for achieving presence
                            objectives. In response, the Secretary of Defense, in August 1995, asked
                            the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Under Secretary of
                            Defense for Policy to conduct a comprehensive review of presence
                            objectives and related requirements processes. The Joint Staff’s Joint
                            Warfighting Capability Assessment team for regional engagement and
                            overseas presence led this review, establishing a working group with
                            participation from CINC and military service representatives.




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          Based on its review, the Joint Staff working group concluded that DOD
          does not have complete information on the CINCs’ presence activities and
          proposed a process to integrate requirements for CINC engagement
          activities into DOD’s strategic planning and budgeting systems. According
          to DOD, this process will provide (1) guidance on objectives, tasks,
          priorities, and resources related to these activities and (2) improve DOD’s
          ability to resource engagement requirements and make decisions on
          engagement alternatives. However, the scope of the process as currently
          proposed is limited because it does not address how DOD will
          comprehensively assess the effectiveness of all presence approaches or
          whether cost-effective alternatives exist to the current levels and mixes of
          forces and activities that provide presence. As of May 1997, the Office of
          the Secretary of Defense was reviewing the Joint Staff’s proposal.


          In 1994, EUCOM initiated a Theater Security Planning System to (1) help link
EUCOM     presence activities to U.S. National Security Strategy objectives and
          implement the CINC’s theater strategy, (2) make the best use of limited
          resources for presence, and (3) assess the effectiveness of its presence
          efforts. This system involves developing a theater plan with supporting
          regional and country plans and evaluating presence activities using largely
          subjective measures of effectiveness. At the time of our visit, EUCOM had
          developed its theater plan and was working on the regional and country
          plans. According to DOD officials, EUCOM completed its first effectiveness
          analyses in late 1996.


          PACOM  has been capturing information on its presence activities with
PACOM     foreign militaries since fiscal year 1993. While the Command believes this
          information has provided a good history, PACOM decided it needed a
          planning tool that would synchronize component activities and assist
          senior leaders in making tough choices. The tool will also allow the
          Command to apply more objective analytical rigor. According to DOD
          officials, PACOM’s new Cooperative Engagement Planning System uses past
          information and CINC priorities to develop future presence plans.


          CENTCOM  determines how to meet its presence needs as part of its total
CENTCOM   regional requirements determination process. Its methodology for
          deciding presence needs includes consideration of the CINC’s judgment and
          information from key regional documents such as the CINC’s Theater
          Strategy, the results of warfighting analyses, the Command’s Strategic



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                     Plan, exercise program, country goals, current access plan, and security
                     assistance blueprint.


                     Given the changing security environment and diversity among CINC
Conclusion           operating areas, DOD faces a challenge in determining the appropriate level
                     and mix of forces and activities to provide overseas presence. While we
                     agree that DOD’s efforts to address the engagement aspect of presence are
                     an important first step, further measures are needed to develop a viable
                     planning and evaluation process that encompasses all presence
                     approaches. Until DOD makes a commitment to collectively assess the
                     CINCs’ presence requirements, the effectiveness of all presence
                     approaches, and alternatives to existing levels and mixes of forces and
                     activities, it will be unable to determine whether alternatives exist that
                     could meet national security objectives more cost-effectively.


                     We recommend that the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the
Recommendation       CINCs and the Secretary of State, compile and analyze information on CINCs’
                     presence requirements and approaches in a manner that would allow
                     assessments of the effectiveness of current levels and mixes of forces and
                     activities, and whether alternatives exist that could achieve national
                     security objectives more cost-effectively.


                     DOD concurred with our recommendation. However, DOD disagreed with
Agency Comments      our conclusion that DOD does not routinely consider whether more
and Our Evaluation   cost-effective alternatives exist to meet presence requirements. DOD said it
                     already makes decisions about the resources expended to provide
                     presence and regularly assesses whether adjustments should be made.
                     Specifically, DOD stated its planning system provides an approach to
                     maintain warfighting readiness, deterrent posture and crisis response
                     capability, and determines the location and deployment of forces and the
                     number of personnel assigned overseas. DOD said that these results are
                     reflected in its budgeting system that allocates resources for forces. Under
                     these systems, DOD stated that it establishes priorities and considers the
                     cost-effectiveness of alternatives. In agreeing with our recommendation,
                     DOD said it is developing a planning process to review peacetime
                     engagement—activities that forces engage in to shape the security
                     environment.




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We agree that DOD, through its planning and budgeting systems, makes
decisions that affect presence. However, as DOD notes, these decisions
relate to forces based on warfighting, deterrence, and crisis response
needs. Presence encompasses a broader set of national security
objectives, including deterrence, crisis response, reassurance, and
influence, and is accomplished through a variety of forces and activities.
DOD’s systems do not currently include a mechanism to review presence
requirements and approaches, and to evaluate the appropriate level and
mix of forces and activities. While DOD’s efforts to address the engagement
(activities) aspect of presence are an important step, we believe that DOD
should integrate and analyze information on all presence approaches.
Unless DOD includes the entire range of forces and activities available to
achieve presence, it will be unable to determine whether alternatives exist
that could achieve security objectives more cost-effectively.

Additional annotated evaluations of DOD’s comments are presented in
appendix I.




Page 41                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Appendix I

Comments From the Department of Defense


Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.




                             Page 42   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Appendix I
Comments From the Department of Defense




Page 43                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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Comments From the Department of Defense




Page 44                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
               Appendix I
               Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 5
and 20-29.




               Page 45                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                     Appendix I
                     Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 6
and 26-29.




See comment 1.




See pp. 11, 28-29,
and comment 2.




See comment 3.




                     Page 46                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                 Appendix I
                 Comments From the Department of Defense




See comment 4.




Now on pp. 6-8
and 30-35.




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                 Comments From the Department of Defense




See pp. 11
and 34-35.




See comment 5.




Now on pp. 8
and 36-37.




                 Page 48                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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                     Comments From the Department of Defense




See pp. 10 and 41.




                     Page 49                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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                     Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 8
and 37-38.




See pp. 10 and 41.




                     Page 50                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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                 Comments From the Department of Defense




See comment 6.




                 Page 51                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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                       Comments From the Department of Defense




Now on pp. 9
and 38-39.




See pp. 10, 41,
and comment 7.




Now on pp. 9 and 40.




                       Page 52                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
                     Appendix I
                     Comments From the Department of Defense




See pp. 10 and 41.




                     Page 53                                   GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
               Appendix I
               Comments From the Department of Defense




               The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of Defense’s (DOD)
               letter, dated May 9, 1997.


               1. We modified the text to clarify the finding estimate for forward-based
GAO Comments   forces and to acknowledge that host nations contribute to the support of
               U.S. forces overseas.

               2. We believe that the report points out the benefits of presence. For
               example, chapter one points out that overseas presence is a key
               component of U.S. strategy that Commanders in Chief (CINC) rely on to
               accomplish important national security objectives. Also, chapter three
               discusses the importance that CINC officials place on presence. We
               presented cost information on the various presence approaches to show
               the extent of DOD’s investment in this area. We did not contrast the cost
               and benefits associated with providing presence.

               3. We did not conclude that DOD should return forces that are permanently
               forward-based to the United States, and therefore, did not evaluate the
               related cost implications. Rather, we recommended that DOD evaluate
               different levels and mixes of presence approaches, such as different
               combinations of forces, prepositioning, interaction activities, and foreign
               military assistance.

               4. Because DOD is retaining carriers to meet presence needs, beyond those
               required for warfighting, we believe it is relevant to discuss the budgetary
               implications of this decision and, therefore, include information on carrier
               costs. We cited our previous study because it is directly related to the
               issues discussed in this report. As stated in the previous study, we do not
               advocate abandoning the role and employment of carrier battle groups for
               presence and crisis response missions, but continue to believe that there
               are opportunities to rely less on these groups and use other, less costly
               types of forces for expanded roles in the new security environment.

               5. We modified the text to reflect DOD’s comments.

               6. We did not evaluate DOD’s specific responses to these five questions
               because we posed them as hypothetical questions that DOD could examine
               in evaluating alternative presence approaches. If DOD decides to make such
               an assessment, as we recommended, we would expect DOD to examine
               those type of questions and perform the analysis necessary to answer
               them.



               Page 54                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Appendix I
Comments From the Department of Defense




7. We modified the text to clarify the extent of DOD’s engagement planning.




Page 55                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
Appendix II

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Sharon L. Pickup, Assistant Director
National Security and   Alan M. Byroade, Senior Evaluator
International Affairs   Craig A. Hall, Senior Evaluator
Division, Washington,   James F. Reid, Senior Evaluator

D.C.
                        Richard G. Payne, Evaluator-in-Charge
Norfolk Field Office    Leslie M. Gregor, Senior Evaluator
                        Paul A. Gvoth, Jr., Operations Research Analyst




(701076)                Page 56                                    GAO/NSIAD-97-133 Overseas Presence
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