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the one hand, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and, to a lesser extent, the Chairman and Joint Staff on the other hand.
I will omit, in my discussion today, the important other area of organization, that is, organization for national security at the Presidential level and in terms of the Congress. I could say those are above my pay grade, but instead I will say those are too complicated to try to tackle today. And I am not here to tell the Congress how to run its own business.
I think some substantial changes need to be made there. I think that the interagency process can also be improved. In my book, to which you kindly referred, Mr. Chairman, I do deal somewhat with both those questions. But the legislative issues before you have to do with changing the organization of the Department of Defense, and that is what I will concentrate on.
If we were starting the world over, my own preference would be to separate the service chiefs from the joint activities. That is to say, service chiefs would be service chiefs; they wouldn't be members of a Joint Chiefs of Staff. There would be a combined military staff headed by a chief of military staff. That organization would work with the Secretary of Defense and his office, be in fact part of his office, in order to do the planning and oversee the execution of military operations. Military planning would be done by this military staff beginning with inputs from the unified and specified commanders. These inputs would be reconciled by this staff. Then the execution would be overseen by the combined military staff and carried out by the CINCs, unified and specified commanders, or by designated task force for that purpose.
The chief of military staff and the combined military staff would be the staff of the President and Secretary of Defense in executing military operations.
Moreover, if we were starting over again, I suspect that we might not have service secretaries. Service chiefs would run their services, and you would be prepared, in the interest of simplification, to give up the political insulation which is usefully provided by the service secretaries. This would give the service chiefs clear indication that they were in charge of their service, but they would not be primary actors in the joint planning and operations.
However, we are not starting over. The world can't be reinvented. Therefore, I think it makes sense as a major step, maybe not the last step but a major step, to proceed along the lines that this committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the corresponding committee in the other body are moving along. Now, they're not identical, but they are certainly moving in the same direction. Some combination or some compromise between what you and the Senate committee are advocating clearly would be a major step forward.
In particular, with respect to to H.R. 3622, which deals with changes in position of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and related bodies, I would agree that making the Chairman the principal adviser to the President and the Secretary of Defense, putting him in charge of the Joint Staff, asking him to produce a set of program recommendations that are constrained by realistic budgets, to draft military strategy for the Secretary of Defense to consider, to reconcile the operational plans of the CINC's, to be the staff for the President and Secretary of Defense in executing operations and transmitting orders to the CINC's or the task forces, all makes sense and would be a major step.
Rather than try to nitpick individual pieces of this document, I will say, in general, I think it makes sense. There are some items that I might have expressed differently, but I think it, in general, is the right thing.
I would urge one thing very strongly on the committee. That is to preserve the position of the Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as set forth in that bill, assuring that he has precedence and that he functions in lieu of the Chairman in the Chairman's absence. When you get the service chiefs up there, ask them if they rotate their function among their various deputy chiefs of staff, when they're out of town or during a period of 4 months on any day when they're not in town? When the CNO is out of town during January, February, March, and April, does the DCNO Air act, and then during the next 4 months the DCNO for Surface Warfare, and the following 4 months the DCNO for Submarine Warefare? I doubt it. Why should it be so different with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs? You want one alter ego. There can be only
I think this may turn out to be a critical issue in the debate because, whether you have or don't have a Deputy Chairman who really is an alter ego will be the real sign of whether you intend to change the way things now operate.
You might also ask the unified and specified commanders their opinion on this question. I have little doubt what their private and, I hope, public opinions would be.
OK, let me turn now to some of the items that are in the draft bills in very abbreviated form. I think it makes a lot of sense to increase the unified and specified commanders' control over their components and over at least a part of their resources.
There is a problem here. You have to make a judgment on the balance of how you deal with support. I must confess to some uncertainty as to whether it really is going to be possible or would be a good idea to put the issue of support up for bid among CINC's, the services, and the defense agencies. I think there is always going to be a gray area. What part of training is an appropriate function for the military services? What part of training is an appropriate function for the CINC's? Well, the joint training clearly ought to be CINC's. The exercises clearly ought to be CINC's, not the services. But there is going to be a gray area between primary training and joint training, probably.
I think there will be a problem if the CINC's become even more concerned with the details of the budget process than they are now. As things are now, as I understand it, the introduction of the CINC's into the resource process, which I made a start on while I was Secretary, has since been expanded. I think that is a good idea. But we fool ourselves when we think that having the CINC's on the Defense Planning Resources Council and giving them 10 minutes every year to come in and make the case for the resources they need is really going to do the job.
I think it makes sense for each of the CINC's to have an office in Washington. We established an office for the rapid deployment joint task force headquarters in Washington and that served very usefully. I have been told by CINC's who were appointed after I left that they thought that was a good idea; and they tried to do the same thing informally. It would be a useful thing, I think, to at least allow it.
Again, I am not sure how much belongs in legislation. There is a lot that ought to be done that should not be prescribed in legislation. I take it that at least some of this is a way of surfacing these ideas and pushing the Defense Department to do what it ought to do by the threat that if they don't it will be legislated.
But let me say again, increased CINC's control over their components and a bigger say in resources can't really substitute for the Services. Service function is important for the esprit and the loyalty and the dedication that come from identifying with a service, which I think is extremely valuable, and indeed necessary, to military people. Also, service function is important because there is a certain unity about the things you have to do for land forces, a certain different unity about the things you have to do for air forces and sea forces. It makes sense to have a degree of matrix organization.
I would only caution that there is a balance here and that it does not make sense to expect the unified and specified commander to take the 10-year view or the 15-year view. He shouldn't. He should be thinking about how well he can do if he has to fight tomorrow or next year or the year after that. To distract him by asking what the world is going to be like 20 years from now is a mistake. That really needs to be done in headquarters and in the service organizations.
About the joint specialty that is suggested- I think that makes a good deal of sense. It really should have been done long ago, and it shouldn't have needed legislation. But if it takes legislation, by all means go ahead and do it.
The promotion protection or the assurance that promotion will not be adversely affected by a joint specialty, I think is very desirable. I myself have seen that, by and large, military officers recognize that the path to the highest levels is through serving your service and not through joint service.
You all probably know that I put in a directive shortly after becoming Secretary of Defense that directed that those officers who were promoted to general or flag rank, that is 0-7, that had not had joint service would be given a joint service spot as their next assignment. I am sorry to say that, although that was a very good idea, it was not carried out very effectively. The services started to divine joint service as almost anything. Your bill certainly shows an awareness of what happened there. We did better than had been done before, but we didn't do well enough. That needs to be improved.
Finally, let me turn to the issue of service and military department organization. I believe that an integration of the military and civilian staffs would reduce the number of layers, could increase the effectiveness. I like the way you go at it. Again, I am not sure how much should be done by legislation. I recognize that the Navy has a somewhat different problem because the Department of the Navy has two services. Naval forces include the Marines as well as the Navy. Integration of the military and civilian staffs may be somewhat more difficult there. But I think a lot of it can be done anyway. Three or four different studies have recommended that. To some degree, of course, it can be done by a good relationship between the military department secretary and the service staff. But the bureaucracies below them, even when they get along well, tend to have a life and a goal of their own. So, again, I would endorse the general idea without saying that I agree with every sentence in the draft.
Let me finally say that I think this committee is doing very important work by trying to move these defense organizational changes forward. I hope something gets done this year because the Nation needs to have an improvement in the way it operates its defense organization. Although legislation won't do it, it certainly can help. It can help the senior people in the Department of Defense do a better job, assuming that they want to. I am sure that they all do.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You have been before this subcommittee a number of times on this very same issue. We feel perhaps this is the year that we are going to put something into law on this.
Do you have any further suggestions beyond those that we have incorporated in our legislation to strengthen the staff, to make it more attractive, to not make it appear to a bright young officer that it is the kiss of death, and so forth?
Mr. BROWN. I think that you are moving in the right direction. I am not certain how far it is sensible to move in each step. I believe that overall, over the long term, a combined military staff, which you can call a general staff, is a good idea. What I am less clear on is how the career pattern should work. You may recall that in my book I point out that there are disadvantages to having a too eliteappearing group, a group that is self-contained. Yet, movement back and forth is not going to be so easy. I think it makes sense to have movement back and forth from a service to a general staff early in a career, beginning, say, at 0-3. But by the time you get up to 0-6, it seems to me that those who have gotten that far are likely thereafter, with rare exceptions—there may be some exceptions—to serve in joint billets, either in the combined military staff or in unified and specified commands.
Your draft legislation tries to ensure that there will be incentives to serve in joint posts by saying that CINC and chairmen have to have joint specialties. I think that makes sense. What I am not quite so clear on in my own mind I haven't thought it through-is how somebody at the 0-7 level, the 0-8 level, brigadier, major general, rear admiral, upper half or lower half, can serve in a joint billet and then in a service billet and then in a joint billet. I think it can be done, but I would like to hear from people who have been in such spots a little more before I prescribe exactly how it's to be done.
I don't believe that there should be a distinctive uniform, such as a red stripe for a British staff officer, because I think what you really want is people in different uniforms sitting around together working for a joint goal. I think there's going to be a problem in working out a career pattern that works one way and another way. There are lots of examples of people who have served largely joint careers. General Goodpaster, who will be testifying after me, is a very good example. He has some wisdom on this.
Mr. NICHOLS. Would you support putting into law a proposition that would require service on a joint staff as a requisite for an 0-7 billet?
Mr. BROWN. I think that that is something that I failed to do with the regulation, the directive to which I reformed earlier. A law may be indicated which allows, as I think this draft legislation allows, exceptions to be made, but only by the Secretary of Defense and then require that there be joint service afterward. I am not sure whether 0-7 or 0-8 is the place, but somewhere in there I think something like this is required. Having failed to do it by regulation, I think legislation may be desirable.
Mr. NICHOLS. Would you support a similar provision that would mandate a service chief having served in a CINC slot?
Mr. BROWN. It seems to me that that's harder, at least it's harder for me to be sure that makes sense, because it is not clear to me which is a more senior job. In other words, if one is a qualification for the other, that implies that the second is the one to which you are promoted. In the kind of arrangement that you are envisaging and that I envisage, I think a CINC's job, at least some CINCs' jobs, are more senior.
At one time I tried to examine the question of whether the CINC's shouldn't rank the Chiefs. That did not get very far, and one of the reasons is that the CINCs' jobs are very different. They vary a lot. There is very little doubt in my mind that CINCEUR is a more responsible and a more senior job than the chief of service job. Indeed, General Rogers had been chief of service first and General Lemnitzer had been not only a chief of service but a chairman before he became CINCEUR. So, at that level I have more questions in my mind as to making that particular level of joint service, that is a unified or specified commander, a prerequisite.
Mr. NICHOLS. I can understand why that trial balloon might not have gotten very far.
You introduced a new face card, I think, in our discussion when you mentioned the possibility of CINC's—it would be desirable, you said-each having an office of the CINC's here in Washington. Would you explain the necessity of that, the benefits that you see to be derived?
Mr. Brown. Yes; necessity is perhaps too strong a word. But it's clear that resource decisions are going to keep being made in Washington. If you're not on the scene, you don't have nearly as much influence; in fact, often you don't even find out what's going on.
When we first established the rapid deployment joint task force with General Kelley as head, he was down at MacDill in Tampa. He was the new boy on the block-and he wasn't a CINC, since it was a task force. It wasn't a unified command. In order to make sure that that got going with access to information and ability to input right at the top, a Washington liaison office was established with, if I remember correctly, an 0-7, a brigadier as its head. And that was extremely useful.