Its capabilities unrivaled and its global reach unmatched, America's military is the envy of the world. Yet, to those in the know, like retired Marine Major General Arnold Punaro, a former Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, there is compelling need for improvement in its support elements. From the glacial pace of acquisitions to the spiraling growth of the defense agencies to the fully-burdened costs of the All-Volunteer Force, the Department of Defense's non-warfighting elements are not getting enough bang for the buck. Every recent Secretary of Defense has pushed business-minded reforms as a high priority, citing the need to convert overhead to warfighting capacity.
Despite substantial increases in defense spending over the last decades, the number of warfighters is still declining. The Ever-Shrinking Fighting Force lays out, in clear and compelling detail, the major factors that contribute to this adverse trend that has outlasted efforts to reverse it by strong Defense Secretaries and even Presidents.
Drawing on his half-century of experience in national security, Gen. Punaro offers a no-nonsense look at the inefficiencies that have plagued the Pentagon's creeping bureaucracy for decades. With calls for defense reform emanating from both the executive and legislative branches, this timely book provides a road map for thoughtful and balanced improvements.