This study analyzes the relationship between general philosophies/practices at each of seven National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program sites and cadet outcomes. It also considers the relationship between these outcomes and population demographics. The research question originated from an earlier CNA study in which we found that cadets' final cognitive skills, final noncognitive skills, and probability of completing the ChalleNGe program were affected by which of the seven sites they attended. We hypothesized that there were two potential explanations for these significant site effects: that the populations served by each program differed significantly in demographic and socioeconomic terms and/or that the sites differed significantly in their overarching philosophies and program administration. Our findings suggest that programmatic differences in philosophy, general practices, and classroom instruction are responsible for the role of the specific program attended in determining cadets' final outcomes.
Metrics are often used to compare the performance of newly developed systems with the performance of their predecessors. Metrics can also be used to compare the output of a simulator with real-world data to test the accuracy of the simulation. Statistical comparison of these metrics can be necessary when making such a determination. There are different methods of statistical comparison that are sensitive to the various types of underlying distribution of the metric data. Distribution type can affect the performance of these tests, and, fortunately, the distributions of many common metrics are well known. For example, mean time to repair (MTTR) and mean flight hours between critical failures (MFHBCF), generally follow a log-normal and an exponential distribution, respectively. This paper presents the effects of distribution type and parameters on the statistical power of two common goodness-of-fit tests (Kolmogorov–Smirnov and Anderson-Darling) via Monte Carlo simulation.
CNA designed and conducted a table-top exercise (TTX) at the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Amphibious Leaders Symposium (PALS) in July 2016 that explored seabasing operations and interoperability during future contingency operations. Using a scenario that revolved around a massive natural disaster striking a fictitious country in the southern Indian Ocean, the TTX strengthened relationships and improved mutual understanding among participating militaries. Military leaders from the 22 Asian, Latin American, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries participating in PALS formed coalitions, planned how they would operate within these coalitions to provide relief, and assembled their forces to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations. PALS participants contributed a broad range of sea-based capabilities and employed them in creative ways. This revealed areas of opportunity and friction that could benefit from discussion at future PALS, dialogue during bilateral military engagements, and inclusion in bilateral and multinational command-post and at-sea exercises.
This report examines the impact of the new military blended retirement system (BRS) on various U.S. Marine Corps force management objectives (FMOs). We estimated the effect of the retirement system changes on active component (AC) and reserve component (RC) force profiles and personnel costs and the financial impact on individual AC Marines. Our results depend on assumptions about personal discount, BRS opt-in, Thrift Savings Plan contribution, and return-on-investment rates. Our baseline estimates of the effects on FMOs use the assumptions in the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) final report. We tested the sensitivity of our estimates to changes in the MCRMC assumptions and found that enlisted force profiles change very little, while enlisted personnel costsaving estimates are more varied. Our long-run annual AC enlisted personnel costsaving estimates range from $87 million to $225 million. Estimates for AC officer FMOs are more sensitive to changes in the assumptions. AC officer personnel cost savings range from $10 million to $54 million. RC enlisted and officer personnel cost savings are in the respective ranges of $0.2 million to $5 million and -$0.3 million to $1.5 million.
On October 14, 2016, CNA convened a half-day meeting of experts to discuss the use of special operations forces (SOF) by the next administration. Our speakers and panelists consisted of a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and six former SOF Commanders whose rank at retirement ranged from one to four stars. Our audience of approximately 50 attendees consisted largely of active duty SOF and their civilian equivalents, ranging from the rank of Major to Lieutenant General. The conversation was held under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution to facilitate a frank exchange of ideas. The discussion began with a keynote brief on the dynamics of the current and likely future security environment, which prompted significant discussion on actions the next administration could take to ensure SOF are being used strategically and in line with their full range of capabilities to address future security challenges, while simultaneously preserving and balancing the force for the future. The remainder of this proceedings document will summarize that keynote presentation and discuss four overarching themes on the use of SOF and some associated recommendations for the next administration that were made by our attendees.
The recent spike in popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among America's adolescents may have significant health consequences. Such consequences would affect the Department of Defense's recruitable population, which is predominantly composed of adolescents and young adults. Using data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), we examine trends over time in the use of traditional tobacco and e-cigarettes. We also use NYTS data during the 2002-2006 period to predict the use of traditional cigarettes and chewing tobacco (chew) among NYTS respondents participating in the 2011-2014 survey waves. By comparing the accuracy of these predictions across e-cigarette users and nonusers, we shed light on the relationship between e-cigarette and traditional tobacco use. Specifically, we demonstrate that NYTS participants in the 2011-2014 waves who report having ever tried e-cigarettes are far more prone to using cigarettes and/or chew than the data from the 2002-2006 period predict. We also show that these youth smoke conventional cigarettes more frequently and intensely than expected. In stark contrast, 2011-2014 NYTS respondents who have not tried e-cigarettes are less prone to tobacco use than predicted, and they smoke less often/less intensely. One interpretation of these results is that e-cigarettes could be a "gateway drug" that will entice more youth to eventually smoke or chew—diminishing the overall health of the recruitable population.
In August 2016, CNA hosted an Executive Session in Arlington, VA, to facilitate a discussion among a diverse group of representatives of local agencies and law enforcement practitioners on the impact of policing reforms on local government. Law enforcement practitioners discussed the growing demand for departments to achieve more in areas such as training and technology. Representatives from local government expressed their need for a police force to reach the standards illustrated in the Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, but they also discussed the constraints that limited the agencies to allocating more resources. Each group of participants engaged with candor and, in many cases, expressed complementary ideas and solutions. The August 2016 Executive Session was the sixth in a series sponsored by CNA.
In May 2016, CNA hosted an Executive Session in Arlington, VA, to facilitate a discussion among a diverse group of practitioners, and researchers, and federal agencies on the future of police reform and, more specifically, community policing. Federal participants discussed their efforts to build trust between police and communities, and reduce institutional bias in policing, through practices and resources within the federal sector, but that also complement related work by state and local governments and law enforcement agencies. State and local practitioners provided their perspectives on the progress of police reform achieved in American policing over the past decade, and identified numerous areas where additional work is needed. Finally, representatives from several research organizations discussed topics on which further research is needed, and, most importantly, how that research can be better integrated into police operations and administration. Each group of participants engaged with candor and, in many cases, expressed complementary ideas and solutions.
In this CNA-initiated study, we examined fuel-use data over the past 25 years to determine whether there are indications of increasing efficiency since the Navy began its high-level focus on energy.
This CNA-initiated study creates a primer for CNA analysts who are doing cybersecurity workforce analyses for the Department of Defense and the services. It is intended as a starting point to accelerate an analyst's understanding of the cybersecurity labor market, employment and training opportunities for cybersecurity professionals, key private-sector companies that provide cybersecurity services and/or employ cybersecurity professionals, and the certifications that cybersecurity personnel can earn. This work also includes a "big data" analysis (focused on current cybersecurity employment openings across the United States) that shows how state-of-the-art data analysis techniques can be used to analyze a rapidly changing labor market such as the one for cybersecurity professionals.
To evaluate renewable energy potential for the Texas Army National Guard, CNA mapped the Guard's facilities against maps for solar, wind, and geothermal resource potential. For each renewable energy type, we then ranked the facilities by greatest potential and by electricity price at each location. In addition to renewable energy potential, we assessed future water stress for each facility, assuming continued growth in water demand in Texas, as well as a moderate climate change scenario.
CNA developed an independent Discrete-Event Simulation model to evaluate and assess the effect of alternative sea/shore flow policies. In this study, we compare the results of our model with those of the Navy's Sea/Shore Flow Model. We studied several enlisted communities to understand the impact of increased sea tour length on sea manning. We observed improvements in average sea manning with longer sea tours, but, in many cases, the improvement was not statistically significant. Our key insights in this study follow. A single policy should not be applied to all communities because they are very different. Therefore, increasing the length of sea tours may not affect sea manning much for some communities. Navy manning is a result of complex interactions among factors, making variability inevitable. Policy improvement can lead to a more steady manning level, but the variability remains, even if the system is optimized. In building a Discrete-Event Simulation model, we discovered key factors that should be included in the Navy's Sea/Shore Flow Model, such as initial assignment of sea versus shore, advancement, and short-term versus long-term impact of policy change.
This study analyzes the cognitive and noncognitive development of cadets participating in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (ChalleNGe). It analyzes data from the spring FY15 class of cadets at seven ChalleNGe sites and draws conclusions regarding how participation in ChalleNGe affects both cognitive and noncognitive growth. It also looks at the relationship between cognitive and noncognitive measures and their ability to predict program completion and test score improvement. Using data on cadets' scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and cadets' responses to survey questions gauging their noncognitive skills, our analysis reveals that ChalleNGe cadets, on average, experience significant improvements in both their cognitive and noncognitive skills. In addition, cognitive skills are important determinants of final noncognitive skills, suggesting that ChalleNGe should continue its efforts to develop both skill sets simultaneously. We also found notable gender differences and that age is an important predictor of program completion.
The Joint Logistics Enterprise (JLEnt) comprises a diverse group of entities that will work together in crisis response; they may have different motivations, organizational structures, and individual goals. Uniting and coordinating different groups toward a common objective can be challenging, and there are often—if not always— complexities due to politics and local perspectives. The Joint Staff J-4, Directorate for Logistics, created the Advancing Globally Integrated Logistics Effort (AGILE) as a multiyear campaign of wargames to help address the challenges of a JLEnt crisis response. One goal for this campaign is to understand how information is transferred and disseminated to participating JLEnt members in order to improve the effectiveness and value of the JLEnt during a crisis event. CNA examined the responses to six vastly different crisis events through the lens of social networking, looking for lessons learned, and focusing on social/organizational theories. The results of this study will inform stakeholders of possible best practices that can be refined and tested in future AGILE wargames.
In November 2012, then president Hu Jintao declared that China's objective was to become a strong or great maritime power. This report, based on papers written by China experts for this CNA project, explores that decision and the implications it has for the United States. It analyzes Chinese thinking on what a maritime power is, why Beijing wants to become a maritime power, what shortfalls it believes it must address in order to become a maritime power, and when it believes it will become a maritime power (as it defines the term). The report then explores the component pieces of China's maritime power—its navy, coast guard, maritime militia, merchant marine, and shipbuilding and fishing industries. It also addresses some policy options available to the U.S. government to prepare for—and, if deemed necessary, mitigate— the impact that China's becoming a maritime power would have for U.S. interests.
This report was prepared in response to a request from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission for a study on China's efforts to combat terrorism. It analyzes (1) China's evolving definition and perception of its terrorist threat, (2) China's strategy and policies for combating terrorism, (3) the institutional infrastructure that executes China's counterterrorism policies, (4) China's evolving approach to international cooperation in counterterrorism, and (5) the opportunities for, and challenges of, U.S.-China cooperation on countering terrorism.
Transmission pipelines function to transport petroleum products over long distances to connect locations where these products are produced or refined to demand centers. The development of Marcellus shale gas with hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania has been accompanied by several proposals for new transmission pipelines. At least eight of these proposed transmission pipeline projects will cross the Delaware River Basin (DRB) to bring natural gas produced from the Marcellus shale play to demand centers on the East Coast, or otherwise connect to the larger petroleum products pipeline network. Each proposed interstate pipeline must undergo a review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which includes an environmental impact analysis. The potential environmental impacts of pipeline construction include land cover change, deforestation, sedimentation and erosion, water quality degradation, stream degradation, wetland loss, and air emissions, among others. In this report, we investigate the cumulative land cover change impacts for eight proposed transmission pipelines within the DRB, which total 322 miles in length. Specifically, using geographic information systems (GIS) methods, we investigated total land cover change, loss of forest and wetland area, and stream crossings for the eight proposed projects. We found that during construction, the pipelines' rights-of-way will impact 2,977 acres, including roughly 1,060 acres of forest, and 41 acres of wetlands. The pipelines' permanent rights-ofway will impact 1,328 acres, including roughly 450 acres of forest, and 22 acres of wetlands. In addition, we identified 175 likely stream crossings where a proposed pipeline route will cross a perennial stream.
In this report, we consider two potential changes to the admission criteria of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (ChalleNGe)—limiting the ages for admission and introducing a standardized test for admission—both with the aim of maximizing cadets' growth at ChalleNGe. Restricting the eligible ages could optimize the potential for noncognitive growth; a minimum admission score could maximize cognitive improvement. We synthesize the literature in these areas and ultimately determine that neither change is recommendable. There are age-related variables that affect noncognitive development, making it less likely to occur at younger ages and thus more likely to be significantly improved at ChalleNGe. However, we do not recommend excluding older, at-risk youth from the program based solely on the desire to achieve maximum noncognitive growth. In addition, a standardized test score is insufficiently accurate as a representation of true ability to be used as an admission criterion.
This project, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, provides greater understanding of the equities and drivers fueling water insecurity in the Brahmaputra River basin. After conducting research in Dhaka, New Delhi, and Beijing, CNA offers recommendations for key stakeholders to consider at the subnational, bilateral, and multilateral levels to increase cooperation in the basin. These findings lay the foundation for policymakers in China, India, and Bangladesh to discuss steps that help manage and resolve Brahmaputra resource competition, thereby strengthening regional security.
This report describes the execution and analysis of a logistics game created for the Joint Staff J-4, Directorate for Logistics. The game centered on developing a better understanding of the requirements associated with the implementation of the Joint Logistics Enterprise (JLEnt).
The Navy consists of designated and undesignated work requirements. Over time, this mix fluctuates, causing changes to the force profile. Undesignated workload has decreased as Navy policy and manning constructs have changed. The accepted undesignated work requirement is 3 percent of the enlisted workload; however, it could be as high as 27 percent. This wide range causes significant changes in billet requirements as the Navy establishes and reviews ship/squadron manning documents during the Manpower Requirements Determination (MRD) process. Changing requirements cause fluctuations in demand signals for undesignated sailors and have resulted in fleet manning issues, which are exacerbated by the Navy's use of the undesignated work program as an endstrength "safety valve" to balance its manpower accounts. A review of alternative management approaches for the undesignated workforce found that, despite issues with the Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) program, it is an improvement over past programs. Although PACT sailors do not produce enough undesignated work to meet requirements, improvements in the program and its execution could garner increased undesignated work production. Going forward, the Navy should look to improve program execution, tighten controls within the MRD process, and stabilize the demand.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is developing an education strategy to ensure that servicemembers and their families are aware of changes to the military retirement system and are prepared to make the timely decisions necessary to ensure their financial readiness. To assist DOD in this endeavor, CNA recently convened a group of stakeholders from government, academia, and private financial institutions to discuss best practices for reaching and educating servicemembers on these types of choices. This document summarizes the overarching issues discussed and presented at the gathering.
Although Congress changed the military retirement system effective January 1, 2018, military personnel who entered service after July 31, 1986, and before January 1, 2018, who are eligible and intend to serve for 20 years must choose between two retirement plans at their 15th year of service. The two choices are: (1) High-3 retirement plan (2) REDUX retirement plan plus a $30,000 bonus paid at the 15th year of service. We have used a different approach that many have found useful in evaluating these retirement choices. Here, we update that work for those making the retirement choice in 2016.
CNA Resource Analysis produces Population Representation in the Military Services (also known as "Pop Rep") for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. This report, mandated by the Senate Committee on Armed Services in May 1974 and produced every year since, describes the characteristics of U.S. military personnel in order to provide policymakers, the media, and the general public, with comprehensive, reliable, and consistent data tabulations on military personnel.
The final report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) proposes a blended retirement plan that would reduce the size of the defined benefit in the current retirement plan but would add an employer-matching Thrift Savings Plan and a continuation bonus. This plan has received significant support by the Congress and throughout the Department of Defense and is likely to be codified in law in the next National Defense Authorization Act. This research memorandum helps to begin the Marine Corps' analytic process for implementation of the proposed plan. It recaps key features of the proposed plan, reviews compensation management basics, identifies key force management objectives that could be affected by compensation changes, provides preliminary analysis for how these objectives could be affected by the proposed plan, and provides a framework to conduct detailed follow-on analysis.
The student portion of the Navy's Individuals Account (Student IA) represents the time that sailors spend in training while in a student status. Sailors in a student status are not part of the Navy's distributable inventory and, therefore, are not available for assignment to fleet units. Overexecution of the student account, which occurs when in-year student IA execution exceeds its authorized endstrength (E/S), impedes the Navy's ability to man the fleet. Many factors affect how well student IA execution aligns with its authorized E/S. Chief among them is the ability to accurately forecast future student execution levels. These forecasts become the student E/S requirements for program deliberations in the Program Objectives Memorandum (POM) process. The Navy recognizes the need to improve its forecasting capability. This study addresses that need by developing a prototype model that implements a new methodology for forecasting enlisted student billet requirements. The proposed model calculates these requirements by enlisted management community (EMC) and learning center based on future accession and fleet manpower requirements.
The Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command (COMUSMARCENT) asked CNA, working in partnership with the UK's Permanent Joint Force Headquarters (PJHQ), to capture insights from U.S.-UK staff integration in Afghanistan. A combined U.S.-UK study team was created, consisting of three CNA analysts from the United States, two UK military officers from PJHQ, and a scientist from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The study team used a hybrid analytic approach involving interviews of U.S. and UK military officers and other subject matter experts, combined with analysis of previous studies and references pertaining to U.S. and UK military operations and integration of forces. The U.S.-UK study team twice traveled to Afghanistan to conduct field research, completing about 60 interviews with personnel at RC(SW), TF Helmand, and the UK's Joint Force Support-Afghanistan (JFSp(A)). In addition, the study team met with previous senior leaders and personnel to better understand the evolution of operations and U.S.-UK interactions over time. While the study report was written by CNA analysts, the UK team contributed important thoughts and discussion in the spirit of a joint study. Also, the report authors benefitted from CNA's considerable body of work regarding Afghanistan operations; U.S. joint lessons-learned reports on Iraq and Afghanistan; and the UK's Herrick Campaign Study, a comprehensive examination of UK operations in Helmand province that identifies lessons for the UK to pursue. This occasional paper presents an unclassified overview of the complete (and classified) CNA report from this study, titled (U) U.S.-UK Integration in Helmand.
This report is in support of the Marine Corps Force Innovation Office, which is charged with implementing the Marine Corps Force Integration Plan to integrate ground combat occupations and units. We examine female representation and performance in aviation (60XX–75XX) and logistics (04XX) primary military occupational specialties (PMOSs) since FY 1987. Female representation, as a percentage, has increased in these occfields over the past three decades, but women tend to leave the Marine Corps at higher rates than men. We also find, however, that female officers are selected for promotion at the same rates as male officers and that enlisted women are promoted faster than enlisted men. Our findings suggest that women who entered previously closed PMOSs have performed comparably to men and that separation rates differ by occupation suggesting the need to factor in PMOS-specific trends into manpower plans and to learn more about factors motivating separation decisions.
Navy Enlisted Classifications (NECs) denote special skills beyond those associated with a rating. They are used in defining manpower requirements and in managing personnel by tracking sailors who have acquired these skills. NEC Fit is one of two primary metrics that Navy leadership uses to assess enlisted fleet manning. It has been scrutinized for several years because fleet levels have been below target goals. This study identifies major issues that prevent the Navy from achieving higher NEC Fit and recommends actions to mitigate those issues and improve fleet Fit levels. Many processes and factors affect NEC Fit. This study focuses on enlisted distribution, ship modernization, and the executability of NEC requirements. It examines the distribution process to determine whether it is aligned to maximize NEC Fit, analyzes how and why system upgrades affect NEC Fit, and investigates fleet NEC requirements to determine whether their paygrade structures impede higher Fit levels.
This study examines how people in China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) think about and discuss escalation control in their public writings. It draws on over two dozen PLA writings, most issued since 2008, to explore the current state of PLA thinking on how crisis and conflict erupt, escalate, and end. We focused on PLA views of conventional (non-nuclear) conflict. We found that controlling the outbreak and escalation of crisis is an area of focus for the PLA. We also found that there are divergences from U.S. thinking that are worthy of attention. Chief among these is that some Chinese military activities in a crisis could be perceived as—and therefore become—escalatory even if they are not intended as such. Finally, we found that PLA views on these issues are evolving, and that there are still many critical unknowns in our understanding of PLA views on escalation control.
Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time, money, and effort to countering terrorism, using a variety of approaches and tools. However, it has devoted comparatively little effort to developing rigorous and useful assessment frameworks to help policymakers and practitioners understand how effective these counterterrorism (CT) actions have been. To address this shortfall, in this paper we first identify and characterize today's prevailing theories of terrorism and their associated CT actions. For each theory, we then create an assessment framework—consisting of specific questions that need to be answered in order to gauge the success or failure of CT actions, and indicators that could be used to answer those questions. These assessment frameworks—which rigorously link policy to practice—should enable CT practitioners to provide policymakers and commanders direct and actionable feedback on whether the approaches they have chosen to countering terrorist groups are having the impacts they expect and desire.
The Center for American Progress, World Wildlife Fund, Cargill, Mars, and CNA developed and executed a policy decision-making game designed to explore issues arising from, and possible responses to, global food system disruptions. The game took place in November 2015 in Washington, D.C., and included senior officials and subject matter experts on teams representing Brazil, Continental Africa, China, the European Union (EU), India, the United States, Multilateral Institutions, and Business and Investors. During four rounds of game play spanning the decade 2020 to 2030, players confronted food system pressure at the intersection of population growth, urbanization, severe weather, and social unrest. In response, players crafted policies, made decisions, and took actions that dynamically influenced the state of the world as the game advanced. As the chain reaction of impacts tied to their choices became apparent, players experienced first-hand how their decisions and actions influenced global food security. At the conclusion of the game, players highlighted significant lessons learned and expressed increased preparedness to collaboratively address food security.
On December 31, 2015, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) began to execute a major and unprecedented reorganization, the result of many years of study and planning. This paper provides some initial thoughts on the significance of the reorganization, the drivers impelling the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and PLA to move forward, some key features of the reorganization, and some of its basic implications. The paper is based primarily on information placed in the public domain by the CCP and the PLA. It is important to point out that this is the very beginning of what will be a long and complex process. Consequently, there is still much about the reorganization that is not known, is not clear, is not yet being announced, or is not fully understood.