Back on September 26, 2005, DID ran “OFT Faces Different Future Without Cebrowski,” describing the difficulties facing the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation in the wake of its high-profile and hugely influential founder’s departure. Sadly, the cancer that forced Arthur K. Cebrowski to resign ultimately claimed his life in November 2005. It would appear that his illness has effectively claimed the OFT’s life as well; the office will reportedly shut down on October 1, 2006.
Despite its small size and budget, the OFT managed to champion a number of key projects over its term including “Project Sheriff” (aka. the ‘pain ray’ instead of bullets for riot control), the fast, stealthy, and highly digitized Stiletto special forces ship with its unique M-hull design, case studies covering network-centric warfare, concepts like “operationally responsive space,” et. al.
Well-known author and Cebrowski protege Thomas Barnett believes that the OFT’s demise is just the natural order of things as its concepts have become more mainsteam, though others note that its small size and budget made progress difficult and rendered OFT easier prey in turf battles. GCN adds that the OFT’s analysis and studies portions will go to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, while the initiatives part will fall under a new office to be headed by John Young, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology.