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This article was Originally Published on Apr 19, 2006 in Volume: 5  Issue: 1

DOD needs to improve planning for BMD, GAO study says

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The Department of Defense needs better operational planning for ballistic missile defense, according to a recent Government Accountability Office study. Because of this, the Pentagon should provide Congress with complete data on the operational costs of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the report said. Without operational criteria, a Defense secretary wouldn’t be able to assess preparations to conduct BMDS operations, the study said. “Without adequate planning, clear criteria and identification of responsibility for ensuring necessary actions have been completed, it may be difficult for [the DOD] to identify and prioritize actions, assure itself or Congress that the necessary pieces are in place, before declaring the system operational” and determine whether return on investment in BMDS can be maximized, the study said. The DOD has spent close to $91 billion since the mid-1980s developing the capability to destroy incoming ballistic missiles, according to the GAO.

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