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Now, I do not want, and I think it would be a mistake to have, additional planning and programming responsibilities as a unified commander because I am dead certain that if I were to inherit those responsibilities, I would not also inherit a proportionate number of additional resources, and people, to discharge them; but, more importantly, I think it would serve to take my eye, and my headquarters' eye off the sharp, operational focus that we try to maintain—that is to say, our war-fighting mission.
Mr. KASICH. Do you think there is a difference between the problems that a unified and a specified commander has in this whole area effecting resources?
General MAHAFFEY. Yes. The specified commander, of course, is dealing with only one service for the purpose of programming against his requirements. CINC's are, in most cases, dealing with two or more. Mr. KasiCH. I asked the question the wrong way.
The unified command versus the specified operation-I am talking about the CINC in Europe, as opposed to you, who serves in a unified command. What I mean by that is-General Rogers has a problem that is different than yours because he is in charge of an operation in Europe, whereby you are in charge of a Readiness Command. Is there a difference between his responsibilities and his ability to impact resource decisions as opposed to the functions that you have to carry out? In other words, I am asking whether the Readiness Command and the Airlift Command are different than the command in the Pacific and be command in the Atlantic?
General MAHAFFEY. Only in the difference that stems from our differing mission requirements. General Rogers has exclusively theater-related missions.
Mr. Kasich. He has a completely different view of his ability to impact this, as opposed to you.
General MAHAFFEY. I am not sure of that. I cannot speak for him. But my observation has been that he very effectively impacts that process. And, as a matter of fact, I think the other ČINC's do
Mr. KASICH. What about the four or five areas that we recommend in the bill? I don't know if you have happened to see the joint training and the joint exercise programs. Do you have a problem with being given, at the Secretary's discretion, two or three of those areas? Would that take your eye off the ball or do you think that would be helpful to you?
General MAHAFFEY. If it were in the form of an opportunity to specify to the Joint Chiefs of Staff what I believe I require in very selective areas, in order to meet my mission requirements, I would have no trouble with that. On the other hand, a more expended role might take the CINC's focus off operational matters.
Mr. KASICH. It is new in the bill.
General MAHAFFEY. I know, and I do not have any great trouble with that. But I would add that the procedures exist today by which I can get the same thing done through my components. I have, again on a short-experience base, yet to experience any shortfalls generated by the Services against my requirements.
Mr. KASICH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. LALLY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, what is your view as to what the role of the proposed Deputy Chairman should be? Should he be the Acting Chairman, or should the current procedure continue where there is an alternation between the Chiefs of the various services?
General MAHAFFEY. Mr. Lally, I observed the inner workings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the operations deputy-the Army Operations Deputy to the Joint Chiefs of Staff-for 242 years. I was impressed with the tremendous workload that confronts the Chairman, and the difficulty that that imposed on his ability to get out and visit with the unified commands and see the different problems as they exist in the field. General Vessey did that, but he did it at the cost of spending his weekends and any planned leave time traveling
On the other hand, I also saw the very great benefit that I believe came to the service Chiefs as they went through that rotational experience under the current set of procedures by which they were brought up to speed and then became the Acting Chairman during the Chairman's absence. I think that system ought to continue to be provided for, in whatever legislation may happen, because it has great benefit for the Chiefs themselves. I guess my bottom line is that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are, first, and foremost, the military staff for the Secretary of Defense. In that role the Secretary ought to be able to organize and make use of those assets in any way he sees fit. So, I favor the Deputy Chairman proposal, but I believe the Secretary ought to have the final say-so as to how that Deputy is, in fact, used.
Mr. LALLY. Thank you, General.
Mr. NICHOLS. Under that situation, would it bother you that one Secretary might like him and rank him No. 2 whereas the next Secretary might rank him No. 6?
General MAHAFFEY. No, sir, it does not bother me at all. I think that is perfectly in keeping with the Secretary's role under our form of government.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Barrett.
General, you heard the questions I asked General Welch, not about the Joint Commanders Council, but about Mr. Kasich's amendment, in which the CINCs would have a voice in the overall shape of the Defense budget through the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman. He would take a document, such as the JPAM (Joint Program Assessment Memorandum], and pare it down so that it is a fiscally constrained document. It would mean cutting into your requirements as well as the other CINC's. Do you support or not support that provision that is in the JCS bill?
General MAHAFFEY. I am not entirely sure that I am clear on exactly what he would do differently.
Mr. BARRETT. All right. What it says is that the chairman will submit program recommendations and budget proposals to the Secretary of Defense based upon inputs from the CINCs, and that those proposals will be fiscally constrained. The CINC's proposals
will not be fiscally constrained, but the chairman's proposal will be.
General MAHAFFEY. I think that in a budget-constrained environment that someone has to make those tradeoffs; someone has to make those decisions. As General Welch said, no CINC should, or will, get all of his priority items funded.
Again, and from my perspective as the operations deputy for the Army, I saw great strength in the crosswalk analysis that was done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the JPAM assessment was part of it, but beyond that, with the advent of the Strategic Plans and Resources Analysis Agency-SPRAA—they have been able to look in more detail across Service programs in an effort for the Chairman to go into the DRB better prepared; and he has, in my judgment.
Certainly, a part of that process has been-and should continue to be-direct input from the CINC's. As General Welch said, before any DRB proceeding, all of the CINC's do, in fact, come together with the JCS, lay out our requirements, and explain to them the implications of not having those requirements satisfied. I feel that the Chairman, the CINC's, and the members of the JCS, therefore, go into the DRB proceedings fully informed.
As I said, somewhere along the line, someone has to make the decisions on priorities. I would have no trouble with the Chairman playing the role that you describe, on behalf of the CINC's.
Mr. BARRETT. Thank you.
Mr. NICHOLS. Thank you very much for being with us, General. We appreciate your testimony.
Our final witness, then, is Mr. Robin Pirie, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics. Do you have a statement, a prepared statement?
Mr. PIRIE. I have some brief remarks, Mr. Chairman, if I may.
Mr. NICHOLS. You are welcome. You have been before this subcommittee before, and I would say to those in attendance, members of the subcommittee, that Mr. Pirie is one of the country's leading defense experts. He is currently serving as vice president of the Institute for Defense Analysis. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy, and he completed his studies as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.
In the course of a 20-year Navy career, Mr. Pirie served principally as a nuclear submariner. His assignment during that career included command of the nuclear attack submarine U.S.S. Skipjack. Following his retirement from the Navy, Mr. Pirie became the Deputy Assistant Director for National Security in the Congressional Budget Office. During the Carter administration, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and was appointed in 1979 to be the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics. We would be glad to have your testimony at this time. Mr. PIRIE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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STATEMENT OF HON. ROBIN PIRIE, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRE
TARY OF DEFENSE FOR MANPOWER, RESERVE AFFAIRS AND LOGISTICS, AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSIS
Mr. PIRIE. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on these matters before you, and to appear before you one more time.
My primary interest is in the matter of ensuring high-quality, well-trained, and independent staffing for joint staffs. That is an area in which I have some background and prior experience. To provide some context for my remarks on that issue, I would like to outline the system in which I have to see the joint staffs operating, and perhaps some such system will evolve out of current deliberations.
The system I hope to see has the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the senior military adviser to the President and the Secretary of Defense in the chain of command between Secdef and the unified and specified commanders. The Chairman is supported by a Vice or Deputy Chairman, permanently appointed as his Deputy and alter ego, who acts for the Chairman in his absence.
The Chairman is supported by a Joint Staff that reports to him, and is independent of the services. He acts-the Chairman, that is-acts as spokesman for the unified and specified commanders, in the formulation of national strategy, the allocation of resources to the various missions of the Department of Defense, and in the development, deployment, and employment of military forces.
The Secretary of Defense and his main military adviser, the Chairman, would develop defense policy to support the broader national security objectives developed by the National Security Council. The armed services would develop and maintain forces as directed by the Secretary of Defense. The unified and specified commanders would be responsible for operations and for developing realistic war strategy and plans in support of defense policies.
In that context, I believe that change is needed in the selection, training, and promotion of officers who will serve in joint billets, these being billets on the Joint Staff and the staffs of the unified and specified commanders. I find myself greatly in sympathy with what I see as the underlying motivation of H.R. 4235—that is, to get the best military officers involved in joint duty, to assure they have appropriate training, and to assure that they are not penalized by the promotion systems of their services for their loyal performance of joint duties. The current Joint Staff system and service promotions systems cannot meet these criteria.
Under present arrangements, the interests of the individual armed services are protected in the joint arena by the dominance of the Chiefs, the virtual veto power of any Chief over issues that are considered by the JCS, the position of the Chairman as spokesman for the Chiefs, powerlessness and general lack of relevance in the Joint Staff. In such a situation, the services have no incentive to assign top people to joint duty. Similarly, training and education for more effective performance on joint staffs is a low priority item for the services. It is with respect to the system of promotions, however, that the worst deficiencies of current practice arise. Briefly, and very generally, the officer promotion systems of the services inevitably tend to reward conformity and parochialism and to penalize independence.
The reason for this is not hard to see. Each year the services convene selection boards to recommend officers for promotion to the next higher grade. The zone of eligibility for promotion is determined by time in grade. The numbers to be selected, including how many may be selected ahead of their contemporaries and how many may be picked up after having been passed over earlier, are specified to the selection board in advance. The board contains senior representatives from the important service communities for warfare specialties. For example: In the Navy it would include surface warfare officers, submariners, and aviators. Each of these representatives wants to get as many of the candidates from his community promoted as possible, at least in the same proportion as those who are eligible for promotion-hopefully better. Not to do so exposes the individual to criticism for not supporting his side. The work of the board is generally very intense. The obvious nonpromotions are quickly identified by a screen of service records.
However, the vast bulk of the candidates, because of the wellknown grade-creep phenomenon, are found in an amorphous mass that might be loosely characterized as sort of excellent to outstanding. There is no numerical way of distinguishing these people from each other. Their records must be read for qualitative clues in the written remarks in the records, and in the nature of the duties that they perform. While attempts are made by the boards to do this subjectively-in fact, only a member of an individual's warfare specialty can really do it credibly.
Further, an individual's service reputation tends to reside in his or her community. Thus, support from the community representatives on a selection board is essential for promotion. Now this support is very often conditional on how ardent a supporter of the community interests the individual has been.
This should not shock us. Who is more likely to be promoted to major, other things being equal—the young captain who has been flying with the Thunderbirds for 2 years, or his contemporary who has been in the Office of Secretary of Defense helping senior civilian officials raise issues about the Air Force's budget submissions?
Well, this brief sketch is provided to underscore my doubts about whether officers with subspecialties and joint duty could survive and prosper in the present environment. Plainly, I do not think they could; and I do not think a young officer in his right mind would get involved in such things. I think therefore the change is needed.
Now, what I said indicates—the sort of change which I think, is needed. First, there must be a real job to be done, a real prospect of usefulness. Thus, the role of the Chairman, the unified and specified commanders, and their staffs should be made more pertinent as is currently being suggested in one form or another by many actors. Second, the officer who is given joint duty should be appropriately trained and seasoned; and, finally, and most important, officers who step outside the parochial interests of their services and warfare communities must not be penalized for doing so.
None of these changes will be easy to make, and I regret to say that I do not think they can be most effectively made by legisla