May 1, 2012  

In this Issue: May 2012

DoD’s annual spending is coming down, but the share spent on military compensation is not. Thanks largely to policies set by Congress, the amount the Pentagon spends on pay, health care and other benefits is slated to rise — even if sequestration takes another whack at the top line.

In “The Rising Cost of People,” AFJ takes a look at mili¬tary compensation. Army Col. Karl H. Gingrich, who spent a year studying the subject as a Brookings Institution fellow, says things are changing, but not fast enough. Brittany Gregerson takes a closer look at the fastest-growing seg¬ment — health care — and sheds new light on the causes of growth and what might be done to reduce it. Finally, Brig. Gen. Mark C. Arnold, an Army reservist who is a CEO in civilian life, says that it’s time to rethink more than compen¬sation: The military’s entire approach to human resources needs to shake off its half-century-old trappings.

In the wake of Lt. Col. Daniel Davis’ “Truth, Lies and Afghanistan” (AFJ, January/February 2012), we return with two more perspectives on that war-torn land. CNA senior research scientist Jonathan Schroden, who has been both a critic of the way ISAF assesses its progress and the co-leader of a team that worked to improve it, says the overall situation in Afghanistan is better than Davis reported. But AFJ contributing editor Joseph J. Collins says the war has indeed hit a new low — and yet the best U.S. strategy for the long term is not a hasty exit, but a careful transition.

Looking to the future, Col. Lewis E. Jordan Jr., Air Force Special Operations Command’s deputy director for plans, programs, require¬ments and assessments, sees a need for a stealthy airlifter that can get special-operations troops past advanced air defenses.

And contributing editor P.W. Singer clears up some confusion in the world of cyber warfare by offering a vivid description of the “Ocean’s Eleven” teams behind advanced persistent threats.

— Bradley Peniston (bradp@armedforcesjourna.com). Editor, Armed Forces Journal