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tive service secretaries, that we've got to take a look at as we're attempting to shore up our own little units of support, the budgetary considerations that Mr. Hopkins spoke of, and that all of us face. We're all going to be doing a lot of shoring up, and I think DLA is one of those areas that will be looked at for the reasons that have been cited.
Mr. MARSH. Mr. Chairman, if you look at DLA, and I think your observations are correct, the logic and the concept of central buying of common items is a sound one. The risks that you get into, and I think they have occurred, are two: either encroachment or lack of supervision. I believe there is a tendency on DLA's part to reach down and to want to get into things that we in the Army, believe are Army peculiar-that are essentially unique to the Army, and they want to pull those up to DLA. We think that is not helpful, and we don't think that's going to save. But there is, you might say, I guess it's sort of empire building, there's encroachment.
Second, they buy about three-fourths of all of our foodstuffs in the Army. Whenever they get involved in contracting around this country, the problems that DLA has in contacting around this country is no different than the problems that we have in contracting. That is, when you're having somebody manufacture something for you, or perform contracts for you, you have to supervise those contracts. You can get fraud, waste, and abuse from organizations that have been consolidated just as easy as you can get fraud, waste, and abuse from those that have not been consolidated.
To cite an example of that, there was a recent item of procurement that was defense-wide which involved the helmet. I think if you get into that situation it will confirm some of the observations that I've made about the administration of that contract.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Hopkins.
Let me ask one other question. From my Senate staff report, I understand they recommend reorganization of the Office of Secretary of Defense, along mission lines generally. Would you give us your position on that proposal?
Second, do you favor an Undersecretary of Defense for readiness?
Third, do you believe the several Office of Secretary of Defense positions mandated by statute are useful? Who wants to be first?
Mr. ROURKE. Mr. Chairman, if I may, since I know the least about it, I'll speak first, and not be embarrassed by the substance.
Mr. Chairman, on each of those, if I interpret the last item first, the Secretary of Defense has done very well-and I've only known this one well, but have been familiar with some other Secretaries of Defense in previous incarnations. I think it's such an extraordinarily difficult burden that he bears, as you yourself, sir, have correctly observed. I think he ought to be free from legislation to organize that place any darn way he wants within reason, within certain burdens.
It is an extremely difficult function, as I've indicated, and to saddle him with a wiring diagram with which he himself is not personally comfortable, I don't think makes a heck of a lot of sense. I've seen the practical result of that where people are cut off from information flows, from intelligence flows, and where you just cannot force that mule to go into that corral. And my suggestion, sir, is that he be given all the flexibility that the burdens of the job will permit.
In terms of an Under Secretary for readiness, sir, I am not certain that that is a requirement that is not already being fulfilled in an ample manner by other people who have those responsibilities presently. The present policy and structure of the Under Secretaries and their substrata of Assistant Secretaries, for this Secretary of Defense from my observation of 5 years, works extraordinarily well.
And as my colleagues have pointed out, it isn't really a question in this instance of a wiring diagram. It's a question of the people. You can change those wires any way you want, and if you don't have good people you don't have a good wire.
And my suggestion, sir, is that we even get better people than we have today, not only in the Department of Defense, but in a lot of other agencies, and the wires will adjust accordingly.
Mr. MARSH. Mr. Chairman, I oppose the suggestion that we go to a mission-type organization at DOD. I have served as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, served there for a year, and I've been in this particular post for 5 years. Their suggestions about what is termed matrix management, and this approach, I agree with Mr. Rourke completely that you've got to give-you've got to trust somebody, and you've got to give the Secretary of Defense the necessary background, by statute and authority, for him to organize that building.
There's no one that can tell you what reorganizing will do along mission lines. We can tell you pretty much what will happen in Defense because of our 40 years of experience as a department. But people can't tell you what's going to happen once you start reorganizing and placing significant responsibilities into a mission type of management.
I would not want to set out on that course now when we have the difficulties that we face, one, in budgeting, and second, and more importantly, is the threat. I think to move into such a new, broad, programmatic mission-type approach is the wrong thing at the wrong time and will probably yield the wrong results.
Mr. LEHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I agree with my two colleagues. I think that the system, as outlined, could work, but I think it's essential that the Secretary of Defense be given the flexibility to organize his staff the way he thinks best. Every staff has to really be adapted to the individuals involved, and the functions that they perform. And I couldn't agree more with Secretary Rourke that the real key, instead of continually making it less and less attractive through the revolving door legislation, and the constant real reduction in pay, is to make it more attractive to bring in very good people, and keep them for a long period of time instead of the average 2-year tenure that we have today. Otherwise, I agree with everything that my colleagues have said.
Mrs. BYRON. I might have a question.
I apologize for being late. I was in another hearing and I had another meeting.
Since we have all three Secretaries in front of us today, and the thrust of this hearing is reorganization of the Department of De
fense, what would happen if all three of the Secretaries' slots were eliminated?
Mr. MARSH. Mrs. Byron, the Congress can do whatever they want to do because under article 1, section 8, that's their responsibility. But I would tell you that what you would lose, in my view, is a constitutional element that you would not be able to replace. That element is civilian control and oversight of the Defense Establishment, which is an implied constitutional power.
As a result, you would lose some of your connecting links with the American people. Your civilian Secretaries perform a role as spokesman for the Defense programs and policies of this country by going out to the country.
Also, it's the service Secretaries, more than likely, that are up here on this Hill responding to Members of Congress, and responding to the press when things go wrong either in procurement or in the performance of our forces.
I don't quarrel with that because there is an accountability to the Congress that rests in the Secretaries of the various departments. This is their function. I think it is essential that we retain this.
Mrs. BYRON. What if they were transferred to an Under Secretary of Defense?
Mr. MARSH. I think once you-I think you have to make a determination that you're looking at a pyramid from the top down, and how far down that pyramid do you want to go with your civilian oversight. I think that the place that you want to put that oversight is at separate units of services—the Air Force, the Navy, and the Army. I think that pulling them up into the Office of the Secretary of Defense is going to estrange them from the services that you want them to surveil.
Mrs. BYRON. Would you be in favor of strengthening the jurisdiction of the service Secretaries as opposed to the service chiefs?
Mr. MARSH. I don't think it's necessary that you upgrade the service Secretaries, and that you have to downgrade the service chiefs in order to do that. I believe that the current statute that creates the Office of the Secretary of the Services, and they're each slightly different, is adequate as long as each Secretary exercises the authorities that are contained in the statute. I think the necessary ingredients are on the books now to implement the kind of oversight that the Congress wants.
Mrs. BYRON. You're comfortable with the way things are? Mr. MARSH. I think that some changes can be made, as I suggested in my statement. There are certain issues that occur in which the service Secretaries do not become involved that I think need to be corrected. I think we've made progress in correcting them. However, you have in the Department of Defense a distinction that turns on the word "operations.” Until you've been there, and worked under that you cannot really fully comprehend it, but it's a very significant thing.
As a result, you find service Secretaries sometimes not becoming involved at certain stages in programs where I think it would be helpful. They're bypassed, so to speak, because they're not involved. That is not intentional by the military departments, but it occurs by virtue of the interpretation of what the word "operational" entails.
Mr. ROURKE. Mrs. Byron, the last thing in the world I'd want to do today is try to justify my own existence. Even the question is mildly uncomfortable. I know you're not referring to us individually. But as the Office of the-
Mrs. BYRON. I hope I wasn't referring to you individually.
The real response is, as Secretary Marsh has pointed out, and as we've reflected a little bit earlier, is the civilian control over the military. We've had separate discussions on this subject, and if you I know the word is not denegrate-but if you reduce, by perception, the office of the civilian head of the respective services, you must, of course, reduce the manner in which they are viewed by the services, and by the public at large, and, indeed, by the Congress.
But that doesn't mean if you reduced it to something on a wiring diagram that was a bit lower that you couldn't get good people. One of the incorrect suggestions in the city of Washington is that you've got to be able to offer a title to get good people. We have millions of good people in this country. I suggest tens of thousands could fill my job tomorrow with equal ease and capability. So that isn't the question. The question is how do they individually function within their respective services, and within the Department of Defense, and as a cross link with the Congress. And I suggest that the manner in which it's been accomplished, I would also hope, is with less politics.
I think you have on my right and my left two of the most extraordinary service Secretaries you've had in history. This administration has been, myself excluded, extraordinarily devoid of politics in the service Secretary appointment function, and that's a healthy thing. Too much politicization and you do get problems. I think the present operation works magnificently.
Mr. LEHMAN. I think the issue of civilian control has been well addressed by my colleagues. I would say however, that another essential aspect is the fact that the service Secretaries of the military departments are the executive agents of the Secretary of Defense, and through him, the President. For the administration, the running of the military departments, there needs to be a strong executive operating officer, and as has been said, that needs to be a civilian.
If you took that function and made it a staff rather than a line job, several things would happen. One, you would lose some of the most essential tools of management for a chief executive, which are promotions, and assignments, and the comptroller functions. Once you lose those, you become merely an adviser.
Because of that you would not attract high quality people. I disagree with Secretary Rourke. I don't believe you would have your pick of tens of thousands of qualified people. I don't think you'd get many at all because the substance of the job would not warrant attracting that caliber of people.
But more importantly, if you are going to have line accountability and run the operations, the business management, the training, the readiness, and the procurement of the military departments,
you need strong executive authority in order to decentralize and have accountability.
And so, if you did away with the service Secretaries you would have to have some other chief executive officers, call them whatever you will, who have those controlling levers of managementassignments, promotions, and budget authority.
Ms. BYRON. Well, I think the record will show that you all have stated very strongly your feeling on that. It's something I wanted to make sure was in the record because, when the discussion comes around to putting an under secretary of the services in the Department of Defense, I think we have lost that flexibility that is so necessary for our military. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no further questions. Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Kasich. Mr. KASICH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Lehman, in regard to your comments that you made about the CINC's becoming more involved in budgeting, resources, these kinds of, well, I guess, paperwork kind of duties, I asked Secretary Taft this morning what his opinion
would be about assigning functions in budget categories to the CINC's things like joint training-responsibilities that are far removed from bureaucratic paper shuffling or budget justification kinds of items.
The CINC's don't have the kind of authority they ought to have. Now, I don't say that because I'm new in the committee really. But when I look at this report from Georgetown. I look at the comments made by General Rogers-he says there's an imbalance between my responsibilities and accountability as a unified operational commander, and my influence on resource decisions. There remains in Washington a preeminence of the services in the program and budget process. General Rogers is saying, "Hey, I can't affect resource decisions being made in Washington, and so, consequently, I've got to fight with what they do tell me I have to fight in Washington."
Now, we talk about this "inside the beltway" psychology, which is why I go home just about every weekend, because I want to avoid it. That's why you go to Philadelphia to see the games you see up there, to get outside of the beltway.
Aren't we doing too much beltway decisionmaking as it affects the CINC's, and shouldn't we, in fact, set-aside some specific areas and some specific budgets so that the CINC's can perform their duties in the right way? Mr. LEHMAN. No; because what you hear is the complaint of a CINC who has lost a few battles. I've watched him since he's been there during my tenure over the last 5 years, and he's won 95 percent of his battles on the budget. He's had the budget changed every year since I've been here. But, he's lost a few. I think that all of us complain. We haven't won all our battles. Mr. KASICH. What about Admiral Crowe saying that on occasion the results of major service decisions not previously coordinated with me have affected my ability to execute strategy?
Mr. LEHMAN. Sure; but who is that not true of? Decisions made by Admiral Crowe, and by General Rogers have affected my ability to do my job. They've affected my training. They've affected the flexibility we need to keep readiness and morale up. They've inter