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also served as the unified commander. The recommendation that I attempted vigorously to have incorporated in the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies report was a recommendation that would require or establish a procedure that encouraged the assignment of a service chief to the role of a unified commander or the unified commander to the position of service chief and make that a prerequisite for an officer being eligible to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A Chairman who has served as both a unified commander and service chief is well equipped by experience, not just personal talent, but by experience, to serve the country and serve it very well.
Over the years that this discussion on the JCS organization has continued, you have heard Grenada mentioned as an example of supporting the need for JCS reorganization. I would suggest that Grenada is probably not a convincing example of the need, and it troubles me a bit to see Grenada cited as the convincing example of the need for JCS organization. As the Chief of Naval Operations pointed out last week, we indeed won the conflict in Grenada, and we did so with minimal losses, and we did so in a reasonable amount of time. The case could probably be made that we could have handled Grenada with a single service. So to see Grenada cited as the convincing example for JCS organization does trouble me.
We can make a better case were we to use or cite the Falkland Islands conflict as a classic example for the need of joint organization, pointing out that the Argentine lack of joint organization really crippled them. They developed their joint organization only at the threshold of war, and the joint organization of the British, plus their professionalism, obviously, won the war for them. And the war cabinet functioned well, the chief of defense staff was able to function well, because he didn't have to take all of his colleagues with him to the war cabinet, and the single unified commander in charge of the Falkland Islands crisis for the British, Admiral Moorehouse, functioned well in his role and was well supported.
The House Armed Sevices Committee bill that was passed last November, H.R. 3622, is, in my opinion, a good bill. I have no problems with any part of it. The Senate Armed Services Committee staff report does trouble me, because I think that the staff report, which I understand has not dominated the proceedings, but the staff report suggestions are revolutionary in nature, and I think go much too far when they contemplate such actions as abolishing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and setting up a council to replace them. I do believe that whatever changes we make should be evolutionary, not revolutionary.
If some form of Joint Staff subspecialty is mandated, and it is probably a good idea to do so, the procedures that govern the employment of those subspecialists, who are assigned to the Joint Staff duty, must permit their assignment to operational commands and operational jobs periodically, and by periodically, I mean every 3 or 4 years, so that they can hone their war-fighting skills and hone their operational skills. In the absence of that procedure, we may well find that our professional Joint Staff specialists lose touch and contact with the war-fighting forces in the field, which they are very much in the business of supporting.
There should be some form of protection against intimidation on the part of the others assigned by the services to the Joint Staff. I don't know exactly what form that protection can take, but I can tell you that intimidation does occur. Not retribution, but intimidation, and there is an important difference between the words.
There is also the phenomenon of the services being reluctant on occasion to send their best officers to the Joint Staff for fear that those best officers will do the joint job too well, to the detriment of the services' perceived interests. In other words, there is a fear of success on the part of good officers should they be assigned to the Joint Staff; and, in addition, the services correctly feel that they need their good officers on their own staff to fulfill their own interests.
I have to confess that the Navy is perceived to be the problem today, but I would point out that part of the Navy's mindset stems from the fact that the Navy is already a joint service, and they have already solved the problem of how to make naval forces work effectively with ground forces and air forces, whether land-based or carrier-based. And the case has been made in the past that if the Navy has proven they know how to do it, why can't the other services use their procedures and their doctrine and their methodology?
I am not presenting that as an argument, I am suggesting that that is one of the problems in identifying why the Navy has as much difficulty as they have with the course of these deliberations on JCS organization. They know how to do it.
The memorandum of understanding that various services have signed between themselves is symptomatic of the problem, not the solution to the problem. The fact that two services have to sign a memorandum of understanding or a memorandum of agreement in order to be able to operate together is an indictment of the JCS system as it exists today. Because of this practice, the necessary practice of signing these memoranda of understanding, there is a danger of proliferation of fragmented joint undertakings with the result that no one really understands what the entire structure consists of.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I am sure that you have heard from witnesses at this seat, a number of times, the statement, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” That has a nice sound, and it smacks of typical American pragmatism, but I would also suggest that those are probably the phrases that were used in the board rooms of the American steel industry when they were addressing the question as to whether or not they should modernize their production facilities in order to compete with Japan.
It may also have been the phrase used in the board rooms of the American automobile industry when they were addressing the question of whether or not they should modify their adherence to large cars and build small cars to compete with the Japanese and the Germans.
What I am saying is that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" does not apply in this case, because the stakes are so high that it is incumbent upon everybody who can influence the decision to make our system as sound and solid and clear and crisp and unequivocal as it is possible to make it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. NICHOLS. Thank you, Admiral. It is always good to hear from people that agree with you.
I wanted to ask you about what you talked about as tension. Now, you served as a CINC, you managed a CINC staff. There is a feeling, I think, a rather strong sentiment, among members of the committee that we need to strengthen the CINC's and yet we run into some opposition to that from individuals whose judgment assures us CINC's don't need to be strengthened.
Your story about the Iceland situation intrigues me. You indicate that you couldn't get the additional radar that you needed, you couldn't get the change in the planes that you needed, because you felt like you were making your request to an individual with the other services whose service responsibilities to his service were not deep enough-were so deep, I guess, that he couldn't look at the broader perspective and see that your needs to take care of Iceland were paramount in the responsibility of your duties.
Would you tell the committee what you feel ought to be put in the bill in order to see that the CINC's get their day in court? Obviously, the responsibilities that you had when you headed the North Atlantic Command, if something had happened up there and radar had failed, you would have had the responsibility, because that is your command, of responding to some Congressman or some Senator who would chew you out about it. What would you suggest as to the language that we could put in the bill that could keep that from happening?
Admiral TRAIN. At the present time the procurement structure, and in that particular case, in the case of Iceland, we were talking about procurement and the allocation of assets. The Air Force leadership felt, and said so, that if they were to take their brand new F-15's before they had completed the upgrade of the Air Force squadrons and assigned F-15's to a Navy commander in Iceland, that the people in the Air Force that looked to that leadership for protecting their interest would not understand.
Therefore, whatever system is established to permit a CINC to cross service lines and obtain support, whether it be in the form of readiness, which has been discussed quite extensively, or whether it be in the form of a procurement program, such as F-15's and radars, to cross service lines without causing the service Chief to believe he is giving something to another service, the service Chief, the procurement authority, or the resource authority, has to be able to play into a hand which he sees as giving something to a joint organization, not to another service.
Now, whatever language would create a mechanism for a unified commander to plead his case, not just for readiness and sustainability, but also to plead the case for resources required to actually carry out his job, that structure is what we really need. And it must not appear that a service chief is giving something to another service, but rather he is giving something to a unified command that is indeed the point on the sphere.
Mr. NICHOLS. That becomes a little difficult to put into law because the judgment on your part is a judgment on the Air Force's, is a subjective judgment of the individual that makes it. In this particular case, did you ever go to the Chief of Naval Operations-
Admiral TRAIN. Yes, sir.
Let me get into what you talk about as tensions between the JCS and the CINC's. Would you elaborate on that a little bit? I don't see why there should be any tensions. I mean, we all fight for the same purposes, as you said at the beginning of your testimony.
Admiral TRAIN. I described these as natural tensions. I think they are tensions that result from the burden of accountability felt and carried by the resource authority--the service chiefs and service Secretaries on the one hand-and the unified commanders on the other. This is primarily a result for the unified commander being in a mode of dealing with today's problems. He isn't really interested in what is downstream for him because he is accountable for what happens today, whether that be a Pearl Harbor, Grenada, a Falkland Islands conflict or a Vietnam. He is responsible for today.
He does have to plan ahead, but the bottom line is that if he fails today, he has failed his country. So the challenge that the service chief has to confront is in doing his task, carrying out his accountability, which he must, for looking ahead, involves sometimes sacrificing such things as force structure in order to gain enough money to buy things and buy the modernization that is required to do the job tomorrow. The commander who is penalized when he does that is the unified commander.
So there develops this "I have this job to do and you have that job to do, and I don't really understand what you are doing" type of tension, not conflict, just tension, that I think could be alleviated were there to be a natural progression of our top and most talented officers from unified command to service chief or service chief to unified command. It doesn't matter which direction they go.
One way to stimulate that natural flow is to make that a prerequisite for nomination to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mr. NICHOLS. I believe that was—was that in the Georgetown study?
Admiral TRAIN. No, it was not. I was unsuccessful in getting my colleagues to accept it. They thought it was not sufficiently achievable to embrace.
Mr. NICHOLS. I couldn't agree more with what you said about any additional training that we give to junior officers to prepare them for Joint Staff, that Joint Staff duty should not create a home for these people. It is absolutely essential that we not make it a professional staff, per se—that they continue to be rotated.
You use the word "intimidation" of Joint Staff. And I have never heard the argument-we have heard a lot of reasons that this service couldn't assign their best officers to the staff, but nowhere have I heard from the services that there is any fear of assigning the best officers because it would come back to haunt them sometime. That is the new dimension that you have mentioned. But talk about intimidation of the joint staff.
Admiral TRAIN. When I testified before the White Investigations Subcommittee in 1982, I made the point that prior to the time I served as Director of the Joint Staff, I served a tour of duty as the Deputy Director for the Strategic Plans and Policy on the Navy staff. Although I had at that time served two tours of duty on the Joint Staff, myself, and thought I understood it pretty well, I was in the business of having to intimidate Naval officers on the Joint Staff in order to accomplish what I had to do at the time.
I am not one who thrives in intimidation. But the joint action process does lend itself to people in the services who feel that their own officers are obstructing that service goal or that service position. They succumb to the temptation to attempt to intimidate by saying such things as, “Don't you know what color uniform you are wearing and what service you are going to come back to when you finish your tour on the Joint Staff?'
But the retribution that has been suggested in the course of these deliberations—I have not seen that occur. I honestly cannot say I have ever seen retribution. The intimidation is there, but I never have seen it backed up with retribution, and that is an important point.
Mr. NICHOLS. Let me talk about the Deputy Chairman. We have heard that is a good idea, we need a Deputy Chairman. The Chairman needs some help, but be sure you don't rank him higher than anybody sitting around this table here, keep that rank below other members of the JCS. Also they don't want to lose their time to sit in the chair as a chairman. They make a very telling point, I thought, in that sitting in the chair for these 3 months broadens the viewpoints of a given chief.
Now, you come to us and you say that you really need a man who sits there all the time and is on board all the time, because you know how he is going to behave, you know generally his personality, and he doesn't need to be rotated.
What value do you attach to the arguments that I believe each of the chiefs may have used, that when it comes my time to sit in the Chairman's chair and preside, it broadens my views of the JCS and I can be a better member?
Admiral TRAIN. I find that there is merit in that point, but not sufficient merit to support on-the-job training of that type that would prompt me to say that that is a better system than a system that would provide full continuity and a completely known personality and predictable behavior that is so necessary in our leadership structure. On-the-job training is important, but I don't think it is so important that we should lose this opportunity to establish a Deputy Chairman as an alter ego to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs.
Mr. NICHOLS. What is your view of the strong concern that seems to surface from members of the current JCS that this man-it would just be terrible for him to be ranking, ahead of the other chiefs there? Obviously the JCS has a strong viewpoint on this. I see a tremendous amount of respect that the JCS have for the