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on the Army staff. The fact is that the mismatches have to be brought to the Secretary and to the Chiefs' vision and we have to justify them.
Mr. KASICH. I recognize he may have made a wrong statement, but could you explain to me then why it is that you have six former Secretaries, both sides of the aisle, different philosophies, some of the finest thinkers we have in Government, Goldwater, and Nunn-Goldwater around since, you know, forever-Sam Nunn, also revered on both sides of the aisle as good thinkers. And you have General Rogers and Admiral Crowe and General Nutting, all of whom have said that there is a general imbalance between their CINC's ability to affect decisions in Washington on resources on one hand, and their ability to carry out those responsibilities on the other.
Why is everybody saying that, when it seems as though from what you are saying, that it is really not very accurate?
General WICKHAM. I think there are several reasons. One, is the memory of those who now have a different perspective, and who have forgotten how it used to be. I thought we had made it abundantly clear that there has been enormous progress in the past couple of years in Defense Resources Board procedures. I have watched this process now for 12 years. This is the most comprehensive involvement of the CINC's I have ever seen. The CINC's are involved, and those who are offering criticisms now do not understand the current system. I humbly observe that Members of the Congress who think they know how the process works and have not given 30 to 35 years the way each of us have, to living in it. I think we understand it. Maybe we come across too strong. Maybe we have been in the woods too long to understand the forest, but, I do not think that is true. I have been a CINC. I sympathize with the needs and desires of the CINC's, but if we had resourced the CINC's entirely as they wished, you would not have a coherent defense budget.
Mr. KASICH. But, the executive department, the President, has commissioned studies on JCS effectiveness over a period of three decades now. I think there have been about six, seven, perhaps maybe eight studies on the effectiveness of JCS in this overall reorganization discussion and each of those executive commissions has come back and recommended essentially what we are discussing today: changes in the relationships between the CINC's and resource management, changes in the way in which JCS renders decision and advice to the civilian leaders. I mean, these are not some isolated studies.
General WICKHAM. Agreed. I was involved in those studies. When I was Director of the Joint Staff, substantive studies took place during my watch there. The fact is, things have happened in the past 2 years as a derivative of those studies. The improvements that have been made are substantial and some of them are not even visible. As an illustration-the old idea of the bureaucratic building of papers, where we went through flimsy, buff, and green color paper to get a committee solution out of the JCS, were a labyrinthe. The common denominator is that is now all done away with. There is only one draft now and this is top-down guidance. The five of us get together on key issues where there is some considerable debate. We talk about it among ourselves, and then we give the guidance to the joint action officers and they build the papers that way, top-down, not bottom-up. Those are very important changes. When I was Director of the Joint Staff, we had none of that kind of activity going on but it is going on now as a substantial way of doing our business.
Again, the fact is that the CINC's are heavily involved now in the Defense Resources Board process. They were not when I was the Director of the Joint Staff and military assistant to two Secretaries of Defense, 6 and 7 years ago. They are now. So, while there have been studies and testimony by people who served earlier, they need to take into account the substantial progress that has been made. While the Congress is looking at history, I would urge you to get current so that you do not really do some major surgery that the patient does not need.
Mr. KASICH. Final question, Mr. Chairman, if I may. And that is, in the bill that passed the House, which I think you probably all feel uncomfortable with, what now is being discussed in the Senate. Senator Stratton, I mean, Congressman Stratton-I wish it had been Senator Stratton-Congressman Stratton and Congressman Bennett had concerns about you being able to operate and express your opinions whenever there is disagreement.
A lot of people shared that concern. What is wrong, General Wickham, with the House-passed legislation that says that we will, in fact, have one person as the principal military advisor, but if any of you should happen to disagree with any of the decisions that are made, you have clear options? In fact, you are mandated under that legislation now, according to the Bennett amendment, to express your concerns and your disagreements. Don't we have the best of both worlds? We, in fact, make some reform, but yet we still-and some head-knocking, which probably everybody would say is good-you are admitting that we are making changes this last couple of years, but we still preserve your ability to have access to the key civilian leaders, which I think is also critical.
General WICKHAM. The House bill is not bad. The House bill says that the Chairman is the principal military advisor. We all agree with that. He really is now, and the codification of that is no problem. As to the Aspin amendment, or maybe it is Mr. Bennett's, that amendment you put in your bill requires consultation, I think that takes care of it.
Mr. KASICH. How about the amendment that allows the Chairman to make some budget recommendations and proposals to the Secretary of Defense after
General WICKHAM. He does.
Mr. KASICH. Is that fine with you? That was the Kasich amendment, that was fine with you, too?
General WICKHAM. Yes. [Laughter.]
He does now, and I do not see any problem with codifying it. Admiral Watkins, do you want to comment?
Admiral WATKINS. Well, the only thing, Mr. Kasich, we did not talk about-you very nicely covered in the amended bill the issue of divergent views of the Chief. That it is not only desired, it is required. It is extremely important and should be retained in any negotiation with the Senate. We do not see that same protection over there. That is one of the most significant protective features and it is very important we retain that.
We talk about maintaining the corporate body of the Chiefs and while there is lip service given throughout your bill to that, you immediately emasculate that body's effectiveness when you make the deputy chairman rank No. 2, and you take the Service Chiefs out of the acting chairman role. You must understand that what you are doing there is negating the very good things contained in the rest of the bill.
We have all agreed that we can take seven provisions as they are and four others with minor modification. There is only one tragic flaw, and it is the fact that you have taken away our opportunities to interface directly with the Secretary of Defense on a daily basis when we are acting chairman, as well as with National Security Council involvement. If you do not bring a Service Chief into a decision to use and employ his force, you are making a terrible mistake. Charlie Gabriel knows what his Air Forces can do, I know what my naval forces can do in the Mediterranean today. I make sure the logistic supplies are moving. I am watching everything going on, making sure the equipment is on station. I have to do all that as I watch events play out. General Gabriel will do the same thing in such situations as occurred in Chad with his AWAC's with his F-15's. Similarly, John will do the same thing with his Divisions, when he is moving them. He makes sure they are moving right, and he knows their capacity to accomplish a mission.
So, when we are giving advice to the President and to the Secretary of Defense and somebody asks us, can you do this job, we'd better know our forces. Then we can say, yes, or no, Mr. President, you have got to it this way or you are asking too much of us. There is a time line into which all of these kinds of things have to be factored. If command and control has to be set up, it may take us several days, for example before a capability can actually be used. Who knows it better than those who are required by law to train, equip and outfit our forces properly? So, we must stay in that game, or you are going to lose some sound advice to the President at critical times, when he is trying to move forces quickly and in a responsible way.
Mr. KASICH. Two questions that stem from that immediately. One is, and let's take it head-on, the criticism in the Nunn-Goldwater Senate Report that talks about this gobbley-de-gook_that came when the Laos decision was supposed to be made, and President Kennedy said, go back to work and do something else. The criticism of the Iran mission-everybody trying to grab a piece of that. That is why I guess there was concern about having one person serve as principal military advisor so there was not everybody trying to grab a share of the action. I would like you to comment on that.
And, No. 2. Do you think that if the President was going to make a decision about going somewhere--for example, to Grenada-he is not going to call just Admiral Crowe. He is going to call each one of you and say, hey, come on in and let us know what you think. Don't you think that is the way that a President would work, even though, you know, finally and maybe in some meetings, you are only going to have the chairman in there? He is not going to take action without having everybody at least consulted. He is not going to let P.X. Kelley not have a word in edgewise if a major decision is going to be made.
General KELLEY. Well, let me just give you one example, that, during this administration and based on what I have seen, would probably be the norm. We, the Chiefs, have met with the Commander-in-Chief, and I like to call him that in his official role under the Constitution, 12 times. My predecessor, when he was Commandant, and his predecessor, met with the former Commander-in-Chief 2 times in 4 years. So, there is no guarantee that that will happen.
We are trying to say that there should be checks and balances in the system to ensure that this does, indeed, happen. Security of the American people is far too precious to leave to chance of personality.
Mr. KASICH. Under the House bill, you have that option, correct? Under the House-passed bill, you would have that option with the ability to express dissenting opinions from what the chairman wants on any action?
General WICKHAM. The amendment that you put in there that requires dissenting views to be reported, takes care of that. As Admiral Watkins said, there is a fundamental flaw in your well-meaning effort, and it is well-meaning, we respect that. On the one hand, you say that you must consult to capitalize on the strengths of the corporate body of the JCS; on the other hand, by creating a full strength deputy, you take that away. You put another layer in there. Now, the Congress is baffled by this advice. You received advice from us, saying you do not really need a No. 2 Deputy, but you also have views from former people who are involved in the government and now retired, and some CINC's, who were here before and had a different view. Good men are going to differ on issues. I will tell you that those people who are giving you advice on the other side came from a time in history when there was a fractiousness on the Joint Staff, and among the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was a Director when there was a lot of fractiousness, and the fractiousness and the lack of opportunity to express our views to the Commander in Chief, at that time shaped people's attitudes. Therefore, I think their attitudes are: the Chiefs are not very useful, they are not being used; they cannot get along well together; and we, the CINC's, do not need people that do not get along well together, and therefore let's have a Deputy that is ranked number two. The Chairman and his Deputy can take care of everything. They can give the advice on everything, and you do not need it from the corporate body of the JCS. That is the danger of this No. 2 individual. When I was Director of the Joint Staff, I recommended that we have a four-star assistant to the Chairman, but not a No. 2 ranked deputy.
Mr. KASICH. What about the Laos-Iran-Grenada-Pueblo-litany of where you
Mr. NICHOLS. Let me say to the gentleman, I wish you had been here a little earlier. I am going to recognize Admiral Watkins to make that answer. [Laughter.]
Mr. KASICH. I certainly heard that--
Mr. Kasich. I mean, all I have to do, I have to endorse this Democrat every election to be able to get a couple of extra minutes and questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, that was the last one I wanted. Thank you. And, I appreciate your comments.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Barrett, do you have any questions, sir?
Mr. BARRETT. Yes, sir; just briefly. First of all, General Kelley read the definition of Operational Command. Would you agree-if that is a definition that CINC's operate under, would you have any objection to putting that definition in the law?
General KELLEY. Well, that is what we have always operated under, Mr. Barrett.
Mr. BARRETT. OK.
General KELLEY. I have no problem whatsoever. We have lived with that—but let me add to that. You know, it is just like life; as I said, we all suffer from human frailties. There have been strong CINC's and some who are not so strong. A good CINC, who wants to take a bull by the horns, has as much authority as he needs under that definition.
Mr. BARRETT. This subcommittee asked for the Grenada afteraction report and we never received it. I think the Senate has had access to it. I wonder if we might receive that report.
General WICKHAM. That is a Department of Defense report. We will have to refer that to them.
Mr. BARRETT. Thank you, sir. Each of you brought up the theme of “on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”. Could you tell us what you mean by that phrase? The Chairman has always got to be linked in your formulation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff-on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Now, let me just say, some interpretations of that phrase would completely hamper the chairman from acting independently-no independent advice, no independent control of the Joint Staff, those sorts of things. Is that the connotation you are putting on this term? If not, what is it?
General KELLEY. No. Absolutely, not. What we are saying is, that under normal circumstances, the day-to-day operations, when we operate as the corporate body, we meet as a corporate body, and we deliberate as a corporate body, which is the way it should be. The chairman always has, as we all do, the ability to provide independent advice if such is necessary.
What we are really saying is that there are those situations that happen quite often, when the chairman is required to, but does not have the time because of the press of circumstances to meet with his collegial group. He can operate independently, as long as it is clearly understood that he is operating, in fact, for us. So, we are giving him our proxy as opposed to denying him anything.
General GABRIEL. It does not really slow down the process this way, it really works. When you have a crisis, and you are the acting chairman or the chairman, you call up the CINC to find out