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Most other issues-arms control policy, strategy-are not so time urgent that they come to a head when the Chairman is gone. What comes to a head when the chairman is gone is a crisis. We handle crises in this country very poorly. If you look back in our history, we do not do well in crisis management. I think it is the weakest part of our overall defense system. It is a serious political/military problem.
It is a part of the organizational difficulty. And I would like to see more attention to crisis management. And I would like to see this Vice Chairman be deeply involved in the crisis management, planning, wartime capabilities, readiness. And I would like to see him be the acting chairman.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Hopkins.
Mr. HOPKINS. General, let me ask you about two things, if I may. How do you feel about the abolition of the Defense Logistics Agency? And second, do you think there would be any value in perhaps limiting the DOD congressional oversight committees to three committees: the Armed Services Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Budget Committee? We have had testimony that some of the secretaries, some of the Joint Chiefs have to appear before as many as 45 committees here on the hill. How do you feel about this?
General JONES. First, with respect to the Defense Logistics Agency. I would clearly look at reducing its scope. I have not looked at it enough to say I would abolish it. But I would move in the direction of reducing its scope.
I am one of the strongest advocates of jointness. But in many cases I would rather have a single service take the lead. For example, as an air commander in Europe, I would be happy to have the Army be the lead in the supply of petroleum. So generally I would move in the direction of reductions. Whether I would abolish it or not, I do not know.
I think with regard to the committees, anything you could do to reduce the great fixation that everybody in this town has on the budget process would be invaluable. There is nothing that takes more time than the budget process, within the building and over here on the Hill. The fewer the committees, the fewer the appearances, the better. There should be more emphasis on output rather than input-and budget actions are input. So, I would applaud whatever we can do to reduce the time people have to spend on budget. I have lots of friends in the military of nations around the world. And they are amazed at the amount of time the U.S. military has to spend in the budget process, both in the Pentagon and, particularly here on Capitol Hill.
Mr. HOPKINS. Thank you very much.
Mr. STRATTON. General, I was not entirely clear on what your proposal was with respect to the unified and specified commands. You indicated that there ought to be some additional mixture below the level of the top commander.
General JONES. Yes, Mr. Stratton; I would like to see and I do not have a perfect road map to say how we should reorganize—but I would like to see day-to-day, somehow where we are much more joint in day-to-day operations. For example, when Grenada came up, my understanding is that the commanders met and in 48 hours they invaded. I would like to see more joint task force activity, where you plan an exercise ahead of time rather than requiring the Service components to do it. I think there could be some reorganization of the unified and specified commands which are really a holdover from World War II. As I mentioned, only about 10 percent or 15 percent of our units are in four Service commands. The rest are in commands that tend to be Service dominated or almost solely a single service.
Mr. STRATTON. General Rogers, for example, has Army forces which are the major deterrent in Europe; he has Air forces and if I am not behind the time, he probably does not have too much control down in the Mediterranean. The idea of sort of mixing up the Air Force and the Army elements-
General JONES. I am not suggesting
Mr. STRATTON [continuing]. That would appear to me to be a complicating factor rather than
General JONES. I am not suggesting that. The European Command is the most joint command we have. It has the greatest involvement of the four Services. The Pacific, somewhat less joint; but it has four. All other commands are, for the most part, made up of either sea-based or land-based forces. So, I am not mixing up the units in that sense. But somehow there should be more fundamental jointness, both in the organization of the unified commands, and in the establishment of joint task forces and in planning ahead for the time when you are going to have to use the forces.
Mr. STRATTON. Doesn't this become further complicated when General Rogers has command of German forces?
General JONES. I think European Command is a unique situation. It is not only the one place that is already four Services. It is multinational. And so I am really more concerned about the forces based in the States not being as joint as our forces overseas, particularly in Europe. So, I am not talking about messing that up. I am talking about more jointness here in the States.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Kasich.
Mr. KASICH. Thank you Mr. Chairman. General, I am really surprised to hear what you say about DLA. You are a big guy for jointness. And the DLA has been buying equipment for parts for consumables at a higher rate of competition than the Services, with a higher degree of readiness than the Services and with a greater degree of competition, and obviously with better prices. Why would you say that we should move back in the other direction? The Grace Commission recommends that we move the other way. In fact, if you want to buy cheap and you want to buy efficiently, you let somebody in a centralized area, who understands buying, be able to buy more. I understand why the services need to retain a portion of their buying activities on sensitive parts or things that they clearly feel they do better on. But why would you advocate moving in the other direction and creating more bureaucracy in a decentralized way with people who can't buy as effectively?
General JONES. I think part of it has been the experience with GSA. I can remember when the great logic was to establish GSA. However, it has become so big that you can buy a lot of things cheaper then GSA does. Certainly, I would encourage the great competition. I am not trying to say that I would advocate the abolishment of DLA, or that each Service should go back to buying its items. But I would have no problem with the Army being the manager of petroleum.
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I guess my orientation is: the more that you can put in the hands of those who have to fight the forces, the better I feel.
Mr. KASICH. You mean to tell me, you think that we ought to let the individual Services buy their own fuel?
General JONES. I did not say that. I am using as an illustration that I would be comfortable with the Army being the executive agent for procurement of petroleum, as opposed to each Service or a central agency.
Mr. KASICH. Oh, I see what you are saying. In other words, the Army would buy for everybody rather than
General JONES. And I am not sure that is a wise thing to do because I really have not spent that much time looking at it. All I am saying is that bigness is not always good. We form special agencies that get bigger and bigger. So, I would put a lot of pressure on the agencies. I am not an advocate of abolishing them. I would have to look at it in greater detail. But I generally would be skeptical of making agencies bigger.
Mr. KASICH. I would agree with that, except when the bigness leads to economies of scale in the purchasing of consumable items in something that certainly is not that complex. But to follow up on what you say about bigness not necessarily being better, and I agree with that-would you endorse a proposal that could come before this committee that would give the Secretary of Defense the authority to run his department or his own shop any way he wants to? For example, if the Secretary of Defense wants to have three Undersecretaries, one that might handle procurement, one policy, one maybe for R&E, the proposal would allow him and at the same time require him to reduce the total number of people in his shop, rather than the Congress mandating all these different offices and who should report to him. We have 41 people who report to the Secretary of Defense now. He is deciding things like whether we should have smoking on military bases. Shouldn't he be focusing, or be given the latitude to focus, on budget policy questions rather than having Congress mandate all these operations in his shop? Would you endorse something that would allow him to have the flexibility to focus on output rather than on input?
General JONES. Yes; I would endorse that.
Mr. KASICH. I am asking you to answer that affirmatively so the chairman can hear you say that.
General JONES. I would philosophically endorse decentralization. And therefore I would generally support what you had to say, yes.
Mr. KASICH. Secretary Schlesinger, speaking of the position of Secretary of Defense, said (essential): “You sometimes think that when you give an order, hard right or hard left, the ship moves. The problem is with all this bureaucracy within my own office I give the order and the people in the engine room are all seasick."
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Carney.
Mr. CARNEY. General, would you care to comment on the need for joint sub specialities?
General JONES. I think it is very important that somehow we get away from this idea that only 2 percent on the Joint Staff have ever been on the Joint Staff before. We have to have some greater joint experience. And we need some identification of people who are really good in the joint arena. We do not reward strategists enough. I have said a number of times, if Clausewitz were in the U.S. military he would retire as a colonel and go to work for a think tank. The strategist is really more at the national level than the joint level. You can be a service strategist, but we really need some broad-thinking strategists. And I think one of the problems in dealing with the Congress is that strategy really has not been laid out clearly enough.
I would like to see rewards to people who are strategists. Somehow you have to identify them, keep track of them, and be able to bring them back, not as a full time career, but bring them back a number of times. And as they get in senior positions, the people who have had that joint experience should be known. You should be able to put them into the jobs as they grow. If they don't grow, they don't come back.
Mr. CARNEY. How do you see this impacting on promotions, fasttracking, creating a royalty corps?
General JONES. I did not say it would be a royalty corps. The problem is we have had just the opposite. Generally, people who spend a lot of time in the joint system do less well. You will get a few statistics that these people did better. But if you really want to get promoted from a staff position, particularly to the 07 rank, the best thing to do is to be on a small specialized group on a service staff which structures issues.
What we are trying to do is to give people whose perspectives are broader than one service a greater reward. I think there are all kinds of safeguards so you will not end up with a royalty group. We are not advocating a general staff. We are not advocating what a lot of nations have, that joint people are almost in a separate service and wear different colored lapels.
What we support is just an identifier of who has better qualifications for the joint business, and some additional reward. Officers will get good rewards for doing well in their service. They do not get that across the board in joint assignments. Over the years it will fluctuate. But generally they do not do as well. It is one way to correct that problem.
Mr. CARNEY. Down in the area of 04's and 05's, would you think that there would be any-not intentional, but human nature being what it is-do you think there would be any prejudices on promotion boards and that type of thing? You know, the Lord Faunteroy type of thing, who was fortunate enough to be in joint service.
General JONES. Not as long as the services control promotion boards. Obviously the people in the service on the promotion boards are going to press those people who perform the best for their service. That's human nature. You take a wing commander in the Air Force, outside of Washington that is the best way to get promoted to become a general. And that will continue. I do not think there will be a
Mr. CARNEY. I would agree with you. And maybe I am saying this wrong. It is that same service that runs the promotion board, and you have an 03 or an 04 who has been selected for a joint specialty. I would have to think that 05 who is sitting in front of him on that board, not purposefully, but through human nature, would say, "What does he know?" He has been down there all the time. He is not out with the troops, he is not this, he is not that. There would be a difficulty.
General JONES. And that is why I think you have to say that generally these people must be little enriched in numbers and promotions. Not a great deal, but at least some. Or you will run into that type of bias.
Mr. CARNEY. Thank you. No further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. NICHOLS. The Chair is delighted to have Congressman Blaz with us today. He has had former service as a member of the Joint Staff. Do you have any questions you would like to ask, Mr. Blaz?
Mr. Blaz. No, sir; I just appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Mr. STRATTON. I have one other question that I would like to address to the General. I may be wrong, but in reading over the documents that the Packard Commission submitted in their report, I had got the idea that they were proposing that the Deputy Chairman be involved in some other function. It seemed to me that it was tied in with procurement. And I may have misread that portion. But it seemed to me to be terribly wrong to have a Deputy Chairman mixed up with some other function that is not directly connected with the JCS.
General JONES. I am trying to find the specifics.
Mr. NICHOLS. If the gentleman will yield, I think the gentleman is exactly correct. That was a recommendation of the Commission.
General JONES. But I do not think it was procurement. I have it right here. The Joint Requirements Management Board, he would cochair it. It would also have representatives from the services.
What type of military should you have is a legitimate issue to address but he should not be involved in the procurement process. I would be careful about giving the-
Mr. BARRETT. Excuse me, General Jones. He would have responsibilities at two procurement milestones. The Joint Requirements Board would be revamped. And that board would make decisions at two procurement milestones, as Mr. Stratton indicated. So, it would put him into that position.
General JONES. I would question getting the chairman too much into the procurement business. He certainly ought to have an input. But I would be careful about getting them too involved in the detailed budget process. Too many people in the building are already too deeply into the budget process. Not that they should not play a role. But I would be careful about spending too much time on procurement and too much time on budget, certainly, the budget of the unified commands and exercises and that part. But to get into deciding whether or not a radar is ready or a cruiser or an airplane is ready for procurement, I would keep them out of that, except as a secondary role.