Reforming DOD Management: Lessons from the Navy

Please join the CSIS International Security Program for a conversation with RADM David Oliver (Ret) and Associate Professor Anand Toprani about their latest book, American Defense Reform: Lessons from Failures and Successes in the Navy. The book analyzes the Navy during four key periods of disruptive transformation: the 1940s Revolt of the Admirals, the McNamara Revolution in systems analysis, the fallout from the Vietnam War, and the end of the Cold War. Based on this analysis, the authors argue that change can only come from a collaborative effort between civilians, the military, and industry, each making vital contributions.

Rear Admiral Dave Oliver, USN (Ret.) is a 1963 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who spent thirty-two years in the Navy, served at sea on board both diesel-electric and nuclear submarines, commanded a nuclear submarine, and served as chief of staff of the Seventh Fleet. His final military tour was as principal deputy to the civilian Navy acquisition executive. He held senior management positions in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. After leaving the Navy he was the CEO of the EADS, North America Defense Company as well as an executive at Northrop Grumman and Westinghouse.

Anand Toprani is an associate professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College, specializing in diplomatic and military history, energy geopolitics and political economy. A graduate of Cornell, Oxford and Georgetown universities, he is the author of “Oil and the Great Powers: Britain and Germany,” 1914-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) and numerous articles.

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