Time is Now to Execute National Defense Strategy, Shanahan Says

The National Defense Strategy unveiled earlier this year has had time to percolate through the force. Now it is time to execute it, the deputy secretary of defense said at the annual Air Force Association meeting here today.

“We have a unique window of opportunity,” Patrick M. Shanahan said. “Congress is firmly behind us and has given us the money we need. However, if we don’t deliver results, Congress won’t lift the budget caps in 2020 and we won’t have the money to fully implement our strategy.”

The deputy said Congress won’t be impressed simply because DoD tried hard. “They will judge our output,” he said. “So we need to get to work.”

Shanahan is the department’s chief operating officer, and it is his job to ensure execution of the National Defense Strategy. “I’m focused on performance and I’m focused on making change at scale,” he said. “When I say I’m product driven, it means I am focused on the product – or in our case – on the warfighting capability we need to win. Based on that capability we derive process, structure and resources.”

If a company misjudges, it doesn’t make money. If DoD doesn’t do what is necessary, lives are in danger and American liberty itself could be at risk. “When it comes to performance, the question is not ‘Are we getting better?’ It’s…

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