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LETTER OF SUBMITTAL
OCTOBER 16, 1985. Hon. BARRY GOLDWATER, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC. Hon. SAM NUNN, Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
DEAR SENATOR GOLDWATER AND SENATOR NUNN: During June 1983, Senator John Tower and the late Senator Scoop Jackson, then the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, directed the staff of the Committee on Armed Services to prepare a comprehensive study of the organization and decision-making procedures of the Department of Defense. After an initial period of hearings, interviews, and research, a more vigorous study effort was initiated under your direction in January 1985. Additional guidance has been provided by the Task Force on Defense Organization which was formed in May 1985. The staff study, entitled Defense Organization: The Need for Change, has now been completed and is respectfully submitted for the Committee's consideration.
In response to the broad tasking given the staff, the study addresses a wide range of issues affecting the performance of the Department of Defense. The Department's four major organizational elements are analyzed: the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the unified and specified commands, and the Military Departments. Two key decisionmaking and management procedures of the Department of Defense—the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System and the acquisition process—are examined. By reason of its impact on the performance of the Department of Defense, congressional review and oversight of defense policies and programs are also addressed. Lastly, the study examines the fundamental principle of civilian control of the military.
In testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger stated:
.. in the absence of structural reform I fear that we shall obtain less than is attainable from our expenditures and from our forces. Sound structure will permit the release of energies and of imagination now unduly constrained by the existing arrangements. Without such reform, I fear that the United States will obtain neither the best military advice, nor the effective execution of military plans, nor the provision of military capabilities commensurate with the fiscal resources provided, nor the most advantageous deterrence and defense posture available to the Nation.
The staff study concurs with Secretary Schlesinger's statement. The performance of the Department of Defense has been seriously hampered by major structural deficiencies.
While the staff study is critical of the current organization and decision-making procedures of the Department of Defense (and of the Congress), it would be incorrect and unfair to place responsibility for these problems on present or past Administrations or on current or former civilian or military officials of the Department of Defense. Most of the deficiencies identified in this study have been evident for much of this Century. Moreover, these longterm problems have confounded some of the most thoughtful, decisive, and experienced officials who have sought to solve them during the last 85 years. As the Department of Defense is the largest and most complex organization in the Free World, it is understandable that effective solutions have been difficult to develop and implement. However, the greater demands on the Department of Defense that have evolved over the last 30 years have increased the seriousness of structural deficiencies.
As is the nature of organizational studies, the focus of this study is on deficiencies in the performance of the Department of Defense and the Congress. Obviously, these two organizations perform many tasks well. The absence of discussion of these areas does not mean that they have gone unnoticed. In some activities, the Department of Defense has achieved a level of efficiency unmatched elsewhere in the Federal Government. Moreover, the trends in the organization and procedures of the Department of Defense are moving in the right direction. Numerous improvements have been implemented, particularly in the last two years. However, much remains to be done, especially in light of the more severe fiscal constraints currently anticipated for the immediate future.
The purpose of this study is to strengthen the Department of Defense. The capabilities of U.S. military forces have been improved over the last five years. In many respects, American forces are better manned, equipped, and led than has been the case for a long time. The full potential of this revitalization cannot, however, be realized under current structural deficiencies. The study does not suggest that this revitalization of American military capabilities should be slowed or that defense spending reductions should be made. On the contrary, substantial force improvements will continue to be necessary for the foreseeable future. The study does, however, see the need for a parallel revitalization of antiquated organizational arrangements.
While the staff study contains 91 specific recommendations, it is likely that only a small portion of these recommendations would be appropriately implemented through legislation. The vast majority of the proposed changes can and should be made under the existing authorities of the President and Secretary of Defense. The staff study examined a broad range of problems—including many for which legislative remedies are not feasible or appropriate-so that the Committee might have a comprehensive context in which to formulate legislation.
The conclusions and recommendations of this study represent a consensus of the participating Committee staff members. Not all staff members agree, however, with each conclusion and recommendation. In this regard, the study was the result of an extraordinary effort by a small group of Committee staff members, most of whom were concurrently responsible for their normal staff assignments. In fact, the study would not have been possible without the enormous contributions of two individuals: Rick Finn and Barbara Brown. The quality of this study is due, in large part, to Rick's thorough research and analysis and writing skills. Beyond his substantive contributions, Rick edited the entire study. Barbara typed nearly the entire manuscript through its many drafts—an enormous undertaking. Moreover, she handled much of the administration of this massive effort. Barbara simultaneously performed these two demanding tasks with great skill, patience, and dedication. The important contributions of Jeff Smith, Alan Yuspeh, Pat Tucker, John Hamre, and Colleen Getz also need to be recognized. Each of these individuals played a key part in preparing the study. Finally, another staff member-Carl Smith-and two former staff members-Bruce Porter and Jim Smith-also deserve recognition. While they were not involved in the final stages of the study, their early contributions were significant.
This staff study represents only a starting point for inquiry by the Committee on Armed Services. Many of the issues and proposals will need to be examined in more detail, especially by the most experienced and thoughtful experts available. The issues addressed in this study are critical to national security. Hopefully, the staff study will assist the Committee in its consideration of these important matters. Respectfully,
JAMES R. LOCHER III,
and Study Director.