Let’s Do Roles and Missions:

The 2008 defense authorization bill conference report would require the Defense Department to conduct a roles and missions review every four years. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the Armed Service Committee and a key proponent of the review, said it would enable DOD to take “significant strides” toward posturing itself to “address new threats” and examining whether it is “truly developing core competencies and capabilities” in the “most joint and efficient way.” In a separate statement specific to the roles and mission provision, Skelton recalled that it has been nearly 60 years—the Key West Agreement of 1948—since the Pentagon has conducted a “major internal review of roles and missions” that may discover “missions going unaddressed” or find “possible duplication of effort.” Lawmakers expect a first report next year and the next review in 2011 and every four years thereafter. Of note, the conference report states the controversial Joint Cargo Aircraft program should remain a joint program office “pending a roles and missions review.”