Brent Scowcroft Center Marine Corps Senior Fellow Michael Tyson writes for US News and World Report on current thinking in the Department of Defense:
Imagine you were provided two alternate ways to travel to work tomorrow. Both alternate routes were quicker and cheaper, but you would have to accept the risk of getting lost, thereby getting to work late and possibly paying more money. Would you do it?
If you are part of today’s U.S. Department of Defense, it is more likely you would not aggressively pursue taking an alternate route. Why? The answer lies not in the Department of Defense itself, but rather in the larger institutional culture of the government to be risk-averse. The cost is that we develop an institutionalized culture meant to follow predetermined doctrine and rule sets established by predecessors long gone. The result is a centralized organization with restrictive thinking which limits its ability to innovate.