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many times. Certainly according to the interpretation they give me of that, I think I would have the kind of flexibility and latitude that I need. Other people with a very legalistic frame of mind say: "Oh, that emasculates the whole proposition; we couldn't do that.” Good men disagree.
Mr. BARRETT. Sir, you spoke about resource allocation responsibilities for the CINC's. You indicated, I believe, that you think that we have gone just about far enough in that area. One aspect of the question I want to ask you is, should we codify the changes? But I also want to have you respond to the formula that we have in H.R. 3622, and which is repeated and somewhat elaborated in the bills that you now have. That is that the CINC's would come to the Chairman with their requirements. The Chairman would integrate those requirements perhaps in the same sorts of documents that you have now. But he would go one step further. We would establish the priorities among them so that the document that came out of that process would be a fiscally constrained recommendation from the joint side. It sounds to me like that is very similar to what you are saying, that would almost be a codification of what you are doing now. But perhaps not.
Admiral CROWE. Mr. Barrett, in a sense it would be. I should be frank, though. What we are doing now is new enough that we are still feeling our way. Every year, to be frank about it, the Chairman gets into more and more under the current system, because he hasn't had this authority long- I think, just less than a year now. So, we are feeling our way. It looks to me like it is going to work
I should tell you, this is one area-if you really want the Chairman to assess the entire budget and to give war-fighting assessments, and so forth-that cannot be done as a corporate body. It just won't work. I would not even suggest or pretend that it would work.
On the other hand, I think the system we are following now has real promise and with a little maturing will work very well. If you choose, or want, to codify that, I would hate to see the Secretary of Defense's flexibility circumscribed. But if you want to codify a system
that works very well, I have no objection to that. Mr. BARRETT. That is one responsibility that the Chairman could not perform on behalf of the JCS, based upon what you just said.
Admiral CROWE. I have a strong tendency to agree with that. But that's outside of policy-making and the normal duties that have historically been associated with the JCS.
The JCŠ involvement in the budget process is a relatively new phenomenon.
Mr. BARRETT. You spoke of the joint specialty with some concern. There is another set of provisions in that joint officer bill that has to do with promotions. The intention of the joint subspecialty, quite frankly, is to get the right kind of officers and train them correctly and give them the right kind of experience for joint duty. Another aspect is, how do you ensure that those officers will not suffer from service intimidation, if they do a good job on the joint side? Now, you can comment, if you like, about intimidation. But what I really want to ask you about is the procedure that is built into that bill that would allow the Chairman to have a voice in service promotions of officers who have served in joint billets.
Admiral CROWE. Of course, your motivation in trying to set up incentives that would increase the caliber of the people who serve and would attract people I would agree with those completely-at least idealistically. I myself would like to improve the ability of the JCS, of the unified commanders, of joint duty to attract people. We are trying to do that right now.
I should say on this whole subject, I consider the heart of the problem-and incidentally, each service has faced this another way in another place, at another time, when it tries to route officers into special force duty, into submarine duty, or nuclear submarines, or into fighter aviation. How do we structure that so a new thing becomes popular and prestigious and attractive to a portion of the officer corps?
I can assure you that making regulations, making laws, restructuring the system may help a little bit. But the big problem is attitudinal change. And you don't do that quickly or easily. No matter how we structure, it takes a long time before it begins to work the way we want it to work. And that's going to be just as true of joint duty as it is of anything else.
Now, we have, as a result of your legislation, increased the authority of the Chairman, in regard to the Joint Staff, to get people, and so forth. We have now brought some chiefs of service in who have joint duty and who are, on their own, doing things in their own services. On a much more mundane plane, I think my own assignment as Chairman has sent a signal. I think the interest of this committee and of the Senate in improving the caliber and the quality of our people has sent a strong signal throughout the military. In the process of implementing the legislation you passed last year, we have done a number of things to improve the selection system for choosing people and also in encouraging the services to give us good people.
All those things are helping. They are working. We are now following statistically all the officers, starting this last year, who have served on the Joint Staff, what happens to their promotions, what happens to their assignments, what happens to where they go, so we have some information to work from. All those things are going to help.
We are seeing improvements on the Joint Staff. We are not seeing enough improvement yet. We are not seeing it as fast as we want. We have got a lot of work ahead of us.
I must tell you that, no matter what you pass, translating it into a practical personnel assignment system is tough. I am sitting now on a prescription that says the "most outstanding" officers from the services. Well now, what does that mean? Does that mean that all the outstanding officers in all the services are going to serve on the Joint Staff and nowhere else? Does that mean the Joint Staff is ahead of all the command billets in the four services? Does that mean that I should have 100 percent of the outstanding officers on
There are a lot of definitional problems here, and I don't even want that. What I want is a fair share of the talent of the services serving in joint billets. We are going to get that. But I am just
pleading for a little patience because it's hard. People don't change their minds easily. They watch promotion lists. Young officers watch promotion lists. They see who gets promoted, and that's where they try and go. Now, the promotion lists are improving for those people who have served on the Joint Staff, and they're going to improve some more.
But I would not favor a joint specialty. I would favor what we call in the Navy a subspecialty and what the other services call identifiers, of people who have expertise in joint billets. And they do both operational matters and do also joint responsibilities. That I would favor. I think it will work. I think it will do for us what we want.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Chairman, this morning the full committee had breakfast with the Packard Commission. Of course, the entire city is looking forward to recommendations that Mr. Packard and his commission, a very able group of people, will be making in a few short days. One of the areas that came under some conversation was the chain of command, the flow of the chain of command. Would you discuss the chain of command as you visualize how it should go from the President to the CINC, who has to fight the war in his particular area?
Admiral CROWE. I interpret the chain now, Mr. Chairman, to go from the President to the Secretary of Defense. The chain itself goes directly to the unified commander. However, by defense directive, the Secretary has put the JCS-it runs from the SECDEF through the JCS to the unified commander.
I have testified previously that this is an area, as I described a moment ago, of implementing operational decisions, where I think it would be more appropriate to go through the Chairman as opposed to the JCS as a body. But it should be up to the Secretary of Defense and the President whether or not they want it that way.
Mr. NICHOLS. Did I understand you to say that your recommendation would be that it flow from the President to the Secretary of Defense through the Chairman to the CINC?
Admiral CROWE. That the Secretary of Defense have the flexibility to do that, yes, sir.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Barrett, do you have any further questions on that particular point?
Mr. BARRETT. Admiral Crowe, as you know, we received somewhat conflicting advice on this particular provision.
Admiral CROWE. A lot of these issues are pretty emotional, I have discovered.
Mr. BARRETT. So, your recommendation now, I take it, would be the way we have it in the House bill; that is, that the Secretary of Defense would have the authority. Under this bill, we don't direct it, we give him the authority to shape the chain of command as he sees fit, and specific authority to route it "through" the Chairman and not “to” the Chairman. So, as we understand it, that would mean that the Chairman would transmit orders only on behalf of the Secretary or the President.
Admiral CROWE. That's the way I would understand it.
This again is an area that goes back to what I said previously. I think we are looking for doable things. I, of course, coming from a very parochial standpoint, have no qualms about the Chairman actually being in the chain of command. But I don't know that I hold that strong a view about it.
Mr. BARRETT. Well, of course, as you know, before you became Chairman the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended not only that change-placing the Chairman in the chair-but putting it in the law. But we have had some criticisms of actually doing that.
Admiral CROWE. I know there's quite a bit of controversy over that.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Kasich.
Admiral, I am sorry I was late. We have so many committee meetings going on right now, it's tough to keep track of them all.
I quoted you a couple of times in our hearings the last couple of weeks where you were expressing concern when you were a CINC about your ability to affect resources. I wonder what your view is about letting the CINC's themselves have somewhat of a limited operating force budget; for example, in areas like joint exercises, joint training, command and control.
The witness this morning from the Georgetown Center had a recommendation. He said he didn't necessarily believe that the CINC's ought to have their own budget, but that CINC's should be in the position to be able to define minimum areas of support. I thought that was kind of an interesting alternative. I wonder what your view is on those two thoughts.
Admiral CROWE. Mr. Kasich, I said before you came that I had done a lot of talking out there in the Pacific as a CINC and now I had to live with it back here in Washington when I returned.
I understand that in the last 2 years General Vessey has, in the budget process, testified in favor of a readiness fund for the CINC's, which I personally would support. I think it's a fine idea-a modest amount of money that the CINC would have to meet unforeseen operational requirements or even training requirements that present unusual opportunities that are not funded.
But in all fairness, that has run into quite a bit of static along the line, I think, both with the defense budgeting people and within the Congress. I have never seen a great deal of sympathy for that point of view. But I would subscribe to it, and I believe from the way you have painted it here, what the Georgetown man said I would concur with.
Mr. KASICH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's all right now.
Mr. NICHOLS. Admiral, have you been on duty as Chairman long enough to be able to converse with us about the agencies? That is one of the areas that we have been looking at, the DLA in particular. We have a bill before the committee which would, in effect, abolish the Defense Logistics Agency. The argument is that it has grown like Topsy. It's got 50,000 people in it now, and the scope of its operations is much beyond what was originally set out-joint buying for all three of the services.
Would you discuss your views on that?
Admiral CROWE. I have never served in one of the agencies, Mr. Chairman. I have not as yet been through a budget cycle with the agencies. But I have, in the process of discharging this post, had quite a bit to do with them. In preparing for my testimony today, I consulted with my staff very heavily on our relationship with the agencies.
I believe that, from my standpoint, the agencies perform a very important function and that, on balance, we are well advised to do it that way and to keep them. That doesn't mean we shouldn't look into how they are operated; or, if there are things we don't like or are not being done well, that we shouldn't move to correct them. I have no qualms about that.
But all of those agencies were more or less created on the theory that there are certain functions across service lines that could be centralized. For purposes of management, for budget, for efficiency, it would be better to concentrate them in one agency, which would be able to concentrate the kind of talent that dealt with that kind of matter, such as intelligence experts or authorities in the nuclear business, or scientists. It's easier in one agency to bring together the requisite talent, particularly in a highly technical field, where you need expertise.
At the same time, you don't get something for nothing. There are some disadvantages in doing that. One of those is that these various things separated from the services may be associated with a particular war fighting capability or wartime function. Now, will agencies do then well?
I have an interface in the JCS, for example, DIA reports to the JCS, to the Chairman of the JCS, for operational control. I have an interface with the Defense Nuclear Agency, with the Defense Mapping Agency. I also have one with NSA. With all of these, I feel that I have a responsibility to follow and to assess and to monitor their interface with the CINC's and with our war plans and with our war-fighting functions. If they don't do that well, I think part of my responsibility is essentially to point that out, flag that. We have to do something about that.
I noticed in the bill that I think you have a draft of today, if I understood it correctly, they are proposing to set up some system where the JCS would assess, actually report on the performance of these agencies. I have no problem with that at all. In a certain sense we do that now. If we didn't do it before, I am going to do it, because I think it is an important function for us to see whether those agencies, which are primarily worried about other things, do interface well with my unified commanders and with our war-fighting business.
We do meet with the heads of those agencies now randomly, the JCS does. They come in and report what they are doing, how they are doing it, and accept taskings from us. But to formalize that and codify it, I think, would be fine. I have no problem with that.
I have just one other comment. Most of those agencies work for an ASD or under secretary, except for some such as NSA and SDIO, which work directly for the Secretary of Defense and report to him. I believe for budget, advocacy, and management purposes, that system has worked pretty well.
Now, I don't have a lot to do with the DLA, which you mentioned specifically. On the other hand, we feel in the JCS that if a unified commander is not getting the logistics support that he wants, needs, or feels he should have, and he comes to me and says that, then I have a function to get into the business and take it up