From the Chairman and Executive Editor

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“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”1
— Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957

Chairman Larrie FerreiroThe ever-quotable Dwight D. Eisenhower, speaking to a group of industry executives who could be mobilized for war at a moment’s notice, was echoing an old adage about warfare: “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”2 Eisenhower’s message, like the man himself, was straightforward: “The reason it is so important to plan [is] to keep yourselves steeped in the character of the problem that you may one day be called upon to solve—or to help to solve.” He was reminding them that warfare is inherently fluid, and that the only way to adjust to quickly changing circumstances is to have planned for such contingencies in advance.

Like warfare, defense acquisition has always been changeable, but in the post-Cold War era it has become largely unpredictable from one year to the next. The fiscal, political, and economic climates in which it now operates vary so widely and change so quickly, that clear-headed planning, which explicitly accounts for such variability, is needed more than ever.

The first article in this journal, “Strategic Planning and Management in Defense Systems Acquisition” by Stanley G. Rosen, surveys the landscape of how planning tools such as root cause analyses and mission/strategy mapping are viewed and used by defense acquisition professionals. Next, “Improving Program Success Through Systems Engineering Tools in Pre-Milestone B Acquisition Phase,” by Daniel Deitz et al., proposes systems engineering methods for planning in the early development phase of acquisition that widen the solution space and improve risk characterization. Roy L. Wood, in “Time Is Money,” argues that “time certain development” periods on the order of 6 years, give program managers a better handle on cost and schedule planning.

The next article, “Are the Performance Based Logistics Prophets Using Science or Alchemy to Create Life-Cycle Affordability? Using Theory to Predict the Efficacy of Performance Based Logistics,” by Wesley S. Randall, uses theory to predict the efficacy of performance based logistics and suggests several lines of theoretical work from the economic and business disciplines that can improve predictive capabilities for logistics planning. Meanwhile, contract planning performed downrange in contingency and expeditionary operations should be executed by high-level personnel in Congressionally mandated field positions, argue E. Cory Yoder, USN (Ret.), and colleagues. Finally, in “OSD’s Obligation and Expenditure Rate Goals: A Closer Look at the Causal Factor Groupings and How They Modulate,” Col Robert L. Tremaine, USAF (Ret.) and Donna J. Kinnear-Seligman report on an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)-initiated study to examine one of the benchmarks used to help weapon systems program offices maintain the required execution pace of appropriated funding.

The featured book in this issue’s Defense Acquisition Professional Reading List is J. Ronald Fox’s Defense Acquisition Reform, 1960–2009: An Elusive Goal (2011), reviewed by John Alic.
There have been several changes to our masthead. First, Dr. William A. LaPlante, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), has replaced Mr. David M. Van Buren on our Research Advisory Board. Second, Mr. Jerry Vandewiele has replaced Dr. Don McKeon as the DAU Midwest representative on our Editorial Board. Third, Dr. Neal Couture of The George Washington University and Dr. Aude-Emmanuelle Fleurant of the France’s War College Strategic Research Institute (Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire) have also been added as new members of the Editorial Board. We greatly appreciate the service and continued support of the outgoing board members, which is critical to the processing and publication of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal, and look forward to the contributions of the newest board members.

Dr. Larrie D. Ferreiro
Executive Editor
Defense ARJ

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1. Eisenhower, D. D. (1957, November 14). Remarks at the National Defense Executive Reserve conference. Online by G. Peters and J. T. Wolley, The American Presidency Project at

2. Von Moltke, H. (1897). Militarische Werke (Vol. I). Militarische Korrespondenz. Berlin: E. S. Mittler.



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