Remember, the lower the debt-to-GDP percentage, the better. Share Flipboard Email. Updated August 28, In simple terms, a larger economy can sustain a larger budget, and thus a larger budget deficit. Clearly, the more you spend, the harder it is to pay back your debts. Here, however, performance could not possibly have begun in the fiscal year that the need arose. The Institute had already scheduled the course to begin on the first day of the following fiscal year.
The situation is analogous to when an agency procures goods in the fiscal year in which the need arises but cannot obtain delivery until the next fiscal year. Delivery of the goods in the subsequent fiscal year does not violate the bona fide needs rule if the time between contracting and delivery is not excessive and the procurement is not for standard commercial items readily available from other sources. See 60 Comp. Under such circumstances, an agency may charge the full cost of the contract to the first fiscal year.
As such, the time between procurement and performance was not excessive.
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Further, the course was not available until the first day of fiscal year As such, we conclude FNS may properly charge the cost of the course to fiscal year Officials at FNS also ask whether an agency may use one fiscal year's funds to make a discounted tuition payment where the payment is due before the end of the fiscal year for a course scheduled to start the next fiscal year.
In this situation, the agency may make such a payment if, as indicated above, payment is otherwise properly chargeable to the fiscal year in which the discounted payment is due and the time between payment and receipt of the training is not excessive. Contact Us Search Quick Menu. More than mere strength, speed, power, or endurance, agility implies a capacity to employ any of these competencies individually or in combination and to switch between employment patterns to accomplish a goal with a minimum waste of time or energy.
In the athletic realm, while sprinters are fast, running backs are agile; marathons demonstrate endurance, but parkour demonstrates agility; weightlifting demonstrates strength, but wrestling demands agility.
In the context of military strategy, agility is the ability to identify and capture relevant opportunities faster than our rivals, to rapidly adjust priorities and shift resources to the main effort. We define strategic agility as our capacity at the global or theater level to rapidly assess complex and unpredictable security challenges and opportunities and to decide and respond quickly, effectively, and efficiently. A sprinter, runner, or lifter may, in fact, be agile, but one could not know it by watching them compete within the predictable parameters of their respective disciplines.
Similarly, we do not demonstrate agility by throwing resources against a predictable threat, no matter how great the threat or the magnitude of the resources. Commander of U. Strategic Command, Admiral Cecil D.
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Haney, and U. In any context, agility depends on the three components of physical capacity, environmental dexterity, and decisiveness. Physical Capacity. While agility is not merely strength, speed, power, or endurance, those are all prerequisites, or enablers, of agility. The laws of physics still matter. To win through agility, one does not have to be the fastest or the strongest, but one does have to be strong enough and fast enough.
The athletic application is obvious; for military power, this has to do with the hard facts of budgets, programming, acquisitions, and research and development, along with recruiting and training personnel. Environmental Dexterity.
Agility is never exercised in a vacuum; it happens in an environmental context. Indeed, as discussed above, the absence of obstacles or opponents negates agility as a relevant factor.
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Athletes apply agility on a course, court, or field; we defend the Nation across the hard geographic realities of land, sea, and air, in the developing domains of space and cyber, among varied human cultures, and against thinking and adaptive enemies. Environmental dexterity requires both knowledge of the environment and the ability to shape and use it.
A running back reads the defense, uses his blockers, and quickly changes direction based on an intuitive sense of the interface of his cleats with the turf. A parkour practitioner turns obstacles into opportunities by vaulting, jumping, or swinging in ways that increase rather than decrease momentum.
For military purposes, knowing the environment requires sustained strategic intelligence and cultural acuity. No amount of physical capacity or environmental dexterity can compensate for an inability to make decisions. Agility demands both the ability and the willingness to assess, decide, and execute in stride. This requires clarity of purpose the running back knows that no matter how many times he changes direction, his aim is forward yardage , an appreciation of your own capabilities and limitations how far can I jump?
These three components of agility—physical capacity, environmental dexterity, and decisiveness—map directly to three strategic-level components of our defense establishment. Strategic Command, U. Transportation Command, and U. Special Operations Command. It is built through the strategic acquisition of manpower and materiel and through tough, realistic, and consistent training. As force providers, the Services train and equip our combat formations. Geographic combatant commands GCCs provide environmental dexterity. With support of the FCCs, GCCs develop intelligence, refine cultural acuity, and maintain up-to-date strategic assessments.
While decisiveness is important at every level, for the achievement of global agility at the national strategic level, decisiveness is the purview of the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense OSD , and President. It is here that strategic ends are set, strategic priorities established, and strategic opportunities identified.
Joint Publication , Joint Operation Planning , describes a proven process for identifying ends, setting priorities, and allocating resources at the strategic level. In other words, the JOPP is built to provide clarity of purpose and a clear understanding of capabilities and limitations, the first two components of the decisiveness required for strategic agility. The third component—courage—is a less tangible question, a moral one.
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As such, it cannot be programmed so deliberately. In our business, agility is only partly a physics problem—it is also a moral problem. We cope with the laws of nature and also the laws of human nature. Behind the questions of physical capacity and organizational processes there lies a question of trust. In fact, any experienced athlete or coach would agree that there is a moral component to competitive sports as well—if there were not, spectators and fans would not find it so compelling.
But dealing as we do with the deeply moral questions of state-sanctioned violence, the lives of our sons and daughters, and the sacred obligation of defending American sovereignty and our way of life, this moral dimension is infinitely more important for the soldier than the athlete—more critical, in fact, than the physical components. Brooks, during U.
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We have one of the few forces in the world that will reliably close with and destroy the enemy. This is based on a courage born of trust. The rifleman will move forward to the objective because he has absolute confidence in the soldiers to his right and left, that the logistician will find a way to support him when he gets there, and that a medic will be there to drag him from the field if he becomes wounded.
This is tactical courage based on tactical trust, but the culture of trust always has started and always must start at the top, and it is sustained reciprocally with the faith of our people.
Strategic Agility: Theory and Practice
Across the Total Force—across all Services, Reserve Components, and National Guard—we must be able to believe that we are all working toward the same ends. We cannot be agile if some of us are prioritizing job security over national security—or even if it seems that we are. Likewise, when the uniformed force interacts with the civilian leadership at OSD, the civilians must be confident that they will receive unvarnished professional military advice based on the needs of the Nation, not the parochial interests of a Service or component, and the military must be confident that that advice will be received in good faith and incorporated into decisions fully in our best long-term security interests.
This is never easy, but it all becomes much more difficult as budgets get tighter. Physical competence, environmental dexterity, and decisiveness, together with the added moral component of trust, comprise a model of agility that applies to athletics and to any other meaningful application of the word, including the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war. In fact, it applies to individual military leaders as well. Agile organizations demand agile leaders, and we encourage leaders and leadership theorists to examine the utility of this model at the individual leader level.
But the focus of this article is the corporate agility of our national strategic-level defense enterprise. What follows are some initial thoughts about our present level of agility and our possibilities for improvement. First, do no harm. Six competitive advantages have sustained American military preeminence for many decades. We must sustain these at all costs, whatever challenges lie ahead.