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When that organization became the Central Command (CENT COM], when it became a CINC, my understanding is that the Washington liaison office was abolished, perhaps with the thought that, well now that he's a CINC, if he has one, they'll all want one.
a You can't have that.
And I gather that that was a loss. Now, I think both CENTCOM and some of the other unified commands, other CINC's have tried to establish, with varying degrees of success, informal arrangements of the same kind. I don't think you need anything like this in legislation, but I think it does make sense to do it. Particularly if you're going to make the CINC's, as the draft legislation suggests, bigger players in the resource allocation process. You'd better have somebody in Washington because that's where the resource allocation comes in and takes place.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Skelton.
First let me apologize to you and to the Secretary, General Goodpaster and General Meyer. I find myself having conflict in committees today. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Secretary a few questions before I do leave.
First I might say that I think we should emblazon in gold your comment on the front of our bill or bills that the pole star of this whole purpose is to change the balance of influence from military services to the joint activities. I think that is so terribly important for all of us to keep in mind where we are headed. I appreciate your articulating that.
Also, your comments, which I heard you so eloquently espouse, deserve reiteration, that a CINC, a commander-in-chief, has, and must have, a short range. I think you used the term “short horizon of 1-year, 2-year, get-ready-to-fight-the-war-right-away" point of view, as opposed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and their environs which, of course, must understand the short view but must have as its goal the long range, 10, 15 years: Where are we going to be in the year 2000, 2010, et cetera? So, I think, as we do our work, we should keep those in mind. Thank you for mentioning them.
I have three things I would like to touch on very briefly. First, I would like to have your opinion on the Defense agencies. I have legislation I am wrestling with which I have not introduced. I have, as you know, cosponsored the package with this chairman, and with Mr. Aspin, on the Defense agencies, which is not as strong as I have been advocating personally. If you had your druthers and you could wave the magic wand, what would you do with the Defense agencies?
Mr. BROWN. Mr. Skelton, they are a very disparate group. There are lots. They are different activities. Each of them was established at different times and for different purposes. DNA, for example, the Defense Nuclear Agency, grew out of an organization that predates the Department of Defense, the Armed Forces special weapons project, in 1946 and 1947. It does research. It also handles stockpiles. It does some things that are clearly military operational functions. But it also has some long-range functions.
DCA was an attempt to make sure that the services communicate with each other and that the President and the Secretary of Defense, and the headquarters authorities could communicate down to the field.
It hasn't worked too well in the first goal. It worked pretty well in the second. It has improved communication down. It has not done very well in lateral communication.
Defense Logistics Agency was set up by Mr. McNamara because the services were all buying their raincoats differently. It sure makes sense to buy commodities that way-
Mr. SKELTON. As I understand, they've gone well beyond their charter, though. I think in the Army they are buying some 500,000 Army-peculiar items,
Mr. BROWN. I agree. It makes sense to buy commodities that way. It doesn't make sense to buy service-unique items that way. But you know, that problem does not end at the Defense level. You have an attempt by GSA to buy all computers, helped by certain elements in the Congress whose view is that they have influence over GSA; therefore, GSA ought to have more influence. And that's at the congressional level.
At the executive branch level, you have the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, which deals mostly with the Department of Defense. You get a situation where people say: Well, all the aircraft carriers, no matter what part of the Government buys them, need to be bought the same way; and therefore, we'll have another layer that sees that all the aircraft carriers are bought the same way, or all the computers are bought the same way.
So, you've got to balance here. Where should you cut off? And I think maybe the Defense Logistics Agency needs to be looked at again to see that it deals with joint matters. And the same thing goes with Defense Communications Agency. Defense Mapping Agency is pretty specialized.
Defense Intelligence Agency is a special and difficult case because it certainly makes sense to have an overall Defense look at intelligence. That was the intention when DIA was set up in 1961, or whenever it was.
At the same time, there is service-unique intelligence. It is another form of the argument that takes place between the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, or at least on certain occasions it does, as to what is national intelligence. It is largely in the eye of the beholder.
I believe that you need a DIA to produce a less service-biased set of estimates. And I think on occasion it has done that. I think it has taken a certain amount of courage, but I can recall at least some occasions in which the Defense Intelligence Agency, because there was some particularly astute analyst supported by a brave Director, who came in with an estimate that was completely contrary to what a particular service-and in this case it happened to be the same service as the service of which the Director of DIA was a member-wanted the intelligence estimate to be, because they had a particular weapons system that depended on the intelligence estimate coming out a different way.
So, I think there's a real function there. The question is: How much should you take away from the services? And I think that in this particular case perhaps not enough has been taken away from the services-
Mr. SKELTON. There are some areas such as the procurement of small ammunition that the Army does for everybody, which doesn't go through the DLA, for instance.
Let me ask you another question, a question dealing with the chain of command. The Packard Commission will recommend the chain of command going from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the CINC. We have in our legislation that has passed, the President, the Secretary of Defense, and then at the President's discretion, through the chairman, the CINC. And now I understand it goes through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and we're not sure how it gets massaged over there. Would you comment on the Packard recommendation please?
Mr. Brown. The Packard Commission recommendation, as you describe it, continues what the law now says.
Mr. SKELTON. Yes.
Mr. BROWN. My understanding is that that law was written very deliberately by the then congressional leadership of the respective Armed Service Committee and the President, President Eisenhower. Again, General Goodpaster, I think, can illuminate this matter more than I; he was there.
It was subsequently done by directive prescribing that the orders are issued through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In effect, the way the situation works is as follows. (I think it works that way now. I know it worked that way when I was Secretary.) The Chairman essentially, but the Chairman acting for the Chiefs, acts as the agent of the Secretary of Defense in transmitting orders. He doesn't do it on his own. And I think that's probably the way it ought to be. It seems to me that that is what civilian control means.
The word is "through" the Chiefs now in the directive. The law says the command line runs from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the CINC's. The directive says it runs through the Chiefs. That certainly should be changed to say it runs through the Chairman. But I think what it means, and the way it has always been operated is, the Chairman is the agent of the Secretary. There is not an independent command level there, and I don't think
Mr. SKELTON. You don't think he ought to massage the message?
Mr. BROWN. I don't think he ought to massage the message. I mean, he gets a crack at it. If the Secretary has any sense, he will discuss such matters with the Chairman before he sends it. But it ought to go in the Secretary's name. In my day-and I think it may still be that way-any such message, any command message says “by order of the Secretary of Defense.” It may be signed by the Chairman, but if it says “by order of the Secretary of Defense, it is clear where the command lies.
Mr. SKELTON. The last question I have is that relating to the Deputy Chairman. And I appreciate your comments immensely. I feel so strongly about this, to free up your Chairman so that he can go to Holy Loch, Scotland, so he can really see things and go places, he has to have someone he can trust full time. There is, I know, a great deal of prestige, whether it be the opportunity to go to the White House, or whatever it may be, in the rotating-I am being a little facetious there-the rotating chairmanship.
I have some problem with that because the other chiefs are four individuals. They do things differently. Should you be in the middle of an emergency and you change acting deputies from the Marine Corps to the Army you're going to have two sets of thinking there at a very crucial time, that's why you should have a continuity. Also, I think that the Chairman ought to be able to have one person who he is in sync with-no pun intended-full time.
Can you expand on that?
Mr. BROWN. I have said what I think, and what you have said is certainly along the same lines.
I do think that it is better to have quarterly rotation than to have random rotation. I can understand that. Too often in the past, before the present administration, the arrangement was that the acting chairman was whoever happened to be in town. I suspect there is still some of that going on, because I just can't believe that, given the duties that the Chiefs of service have now, that the alternate for the quarter isn't often away at the same time as the Chairman.
Mr. SKELTON. Is it not true that a vice chief of a service is really second in command of that service?
Mr. BROWN. That's how they work. When the Chief is away, it's the Vice Chief who is in charge, not just one of the deputy chiefs who happens to be the one designated for that function during the quarter.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
Mr. BROWN. I am going to have to leave in about 20 minutes, if I may, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. NICHOLS. I would ask the members to be cognizant of that.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back. I remember very well your explanation about why we needed the triad. I thought at that time it's the best one that I had heard. I haven't heard one better since then.
Let me ask you this. The Senate staff report recommended reorganization of the Office of the Secretary of Defense along mission lines. What is your position on that, based on your experience?
Mr. BROWN. My view is that they are dealing with a real problem, but they are dealing with it in an overly restrictive manner. I think it is true that the Secretary of Defense's office ought to pay more attention to mission outputs, not just to resource inputs.
On the other hand, there are already organizations in the Department of Defense that are concerned with that. In particular, the CINC's clearly are concerned with that. And it is not clear to me that you solve the problem by replacing a functional organization with a mission output organization at the top. You don't do that in industry. I mean, if you look at the organization of General Motors, the executive vice presidents are not the staff people, are not organized by Oldsmobile, Buick, and so forth. That's how you organize the field.
Yet they are right. There should be more attention to this problem. I am afraid they have done it the wrong way. What they have done really is replace-as I told the Senate staff people, so I am not saying anything new-the director of program analysis and evaluation with three Under Secretaries of Defense. That kind of mission output study is done or should be done in the PA&E office. It also needs to be done in the Office of the Under Secretary for Policy and the Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs.
So, they have hit on a problem, but I don't think they have hit on the right solution.
I believe that a Secretary of Defense needs a certain leeway in organizing his staff. And to prescribe the Under Secretaries that way is a mistake. But I don't want to make too big an issue out of it, because I don't want to appear to be saying that there shouldn't be more emphasis on mission outputs; there should.
Mr. HOPKINS. Mr. Secretary, let me ask you finally, if I may. We had breakfast this morning with Mr. Packard of the Packard Commission, who is going to announce, I believe tomorrow or the next day, its findings and recommendations. Basically, they find themselves running parallel along most of the mainstream recommendations of Senator Goldwater and Senator Nunn as far as reorganization is concerned.
We have had a parade of witnesses come marching by us, namely the Secretaries, the Secretary of the Army, Navy, Air Force. We have had all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are opposed to that.
Where do you stand on that, in a nutshell?
Mr. BROWN. I stand, by and large, with those who favor substantial reorganization, along the general lines of the Senate bill and of these bills. I mean, I said earlier that there are lots of individual things I would disagree with, nitpick on. And also, I have some concern about putting too much into legislation. But I have very little doubt that this is the right direction for change.
Now, when I say that, I do not mean to impugn the judgment or the motives or the integrity or the patriotism or the ability of all the people who are now in office and have come up and told you things are just great now, we get along, we have the right people as opposed to the wrong people, and things are going well.
I think there have been some improvements over the past few years in the way these things are handled. A lot of that is the result of prodding from the outside. But one reason that improvements have happened is there has been a lot more money. When budgets are made by stapling together the requests and sending them up there's less argument about priorities since everybody gets all the high priority things he wants. Those days are over, clearly.
I think that that amity and lack of strife and collegiality that have characterized the past few years are largely now very much in danger under new and much more stringent budgetary circumstances. Even if you do make changes, there is going to be a lot more clawing inside the Department of Defense. If you don't make changes, I think it may be worse than anything we have seen so far.
Mr. HOPKINS. Thank you very much.
Mr. KASICH. Mr. Secretary, as you know, there is a proposal to try to combine the staffs. I have not been too excited about that idea to this point, probably because Secretary Marsh gave us outstanding testimony about his concerns about civilian control and military control, if you combine the staffs. I wonder what your view is on that, particularly in regard to service secretaries? I be