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the different experiences, expertise, and points of view of the four Services.
The staffing process for developing JCS positions, presented in Chart 4-3, generally unfolds in the following manner. (This description of the JCS staffing process is paraphrased and, in some passages, copied from an answer for the record provided to the House Armed Services Investigations Subcommittee by General David C. Jones, USAF (Retired).) Upon receiving a request for the views of the JCS, the Director of the Joint Staff forwards it to the appropriate directorate. An officer (a Major/Lieutenant Commander or a Lieutenant Colonel/Commander) within that directorate is assigned responsibility for preparing a draft paper that explains the issue and proposes a solution. At the same time, each of the Services is informed of the request and designates an action officer to work with the Joint Staff action officer.
if requested by any JCS member or if likely to result in rejection of a CINC's request.
At this point, the course that the staffing process takes depends upon the amount of time available to answer the request, the magnitude of the task, and the relationship of the current assignment to other recent or ongoing JCS efforts. If necessary, the staffing process can be shortened to yield a rapid response. For example, if the JCS had recently completed a relevant assessment as part of the Joint Strategic Planning System - the formal administrative mechanism for inserting JCS views into the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System —the Chiefs might simply forward this product in response to the request. In addition, the Joint Staff and Service action officers may be directed to work closely with their immediate superiors, the Joint Staff and Service planners (Colonels/Captains), in order to compress the lower levels of the normal iterative process.
Assuming that ample time is allowed and that no recent or ongoing JCS effort is applicable, the staffing process continues with a meeting between the Joint Staff and the Service staff action officers. At the initial meeting, they establish a schedule for preparing the response and discuss the issue to be addressed. The Joint Staff action officer has general guidance from his Director on the content of the paper. Similarly, the Service action officers have received guidance from their Service Operations Deputies. If time allowed, the Joint Staff might request the views of the appropriate unified and specified commands. Otherwise, the Joint Staff attempts to represent their views.
After this first meeting, the Joint Staff action officer must prepare the initial draft of the response (formerly called the Flimsy). În creating this initial draft, the staff of each Service or a combatant command might write a portion of the paper or the Joint Staff might undertake the entire task. Generally, because the Service staffs are larger and have data and analysis not available to the Joint Staff, the Joint Staff action officer must rely a great deal on Service staff contributions.
Once the initial draft is prepared, the Joint Staff and Service action officers meet to discuss each Service's position on the content of the paper. Suggestions to change it are considered. For a substantive paper of some length, each Service may offer as many as 100 changes. The Joint Staff action officer then reflects the consensus of the meeting in a second iteration of the paper (formerly called the Buff). Minority views which are not incorporated into this second draft can be argued again in the next step of the process.
The same review process is now repeated by the Service and Joint Staff planners (unless they had already participated in the first review with the action officers). These officers, who work directly for the Service Operations Deputies, normally have previous experience in JCS matters and have demonstrated an ability to articulate the various perspectives of the Services. Their full-time responsibility is to represent their Services in the JCS staffing process.
At this level of review, as many as 20 issues may be left to be resolved. The planners generally are able to settle all but two or three of them. The Joint Staff planner then changes the second
draft to reflect the consensus of the planners and publishes another iteration (formerly called the Green).
The Service action officers and planners present this third draft to their Operations Deputies (on some occasions, an additional layer of review at the level of the Assistant Operations Deputy is added). The Operations Deputies then meet with the Director of the Joint Staff to discuss the paper. On many topics of lesser importance, the Operations Deputies, if in full agreement, will approve or “red-stripe" the Green paper, enabling the Director to sign and transmit it on behalf of the JCS.
The differences which cannot be settled by the Operations Deputies and the Director are highlighted for the Joint Chiefs themselves to consider. In those cases in which disagreements persist among the Chiefs, the dissenting Chief or Chiefs may add divergent views to the paper finally transmitted. However, this has been a rare practice as the JCS has been able to almost always reach full agreement on responses to requests for its views. D. PROBLEM AREAS AND CAUSES
During February 1982, General David C. Jones, USAF, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in an article, entitled "Why the Joint Chiefs of Staff Must Change” (Directors & Boards, Winter 1982), that structural problems diminish the effectiveness of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His remarks were soon followed by similar criticism of the JCS system by General Edward C. Meyer, USA, then Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. The public expression of these views by two incumbent members of the JCS renewed serious consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of the institution of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Regardless of their disparate views on needed changes, many observers agree that the JCS system suffers from organizational and procedural problems that hamper it from fully carrying out its responsibilities. Others argue, however, that the current JCS structure is effective because it draws upon the varied experiences of the most senior military officer from each of the four Services.
The institution does not seem able to provide the quality of professional military advice that the President, National Security Council, and Secretary of Defense should have when they are resolving complex defense issues. Testimony from former Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs, Secretaries of Defense, and JCS members indicates that the institutional views of the JCS corporate body often take too long to complete; are not in the concise form required by extremely busy senior officials; and, most importantly, do not offer clear, meaningful recommendations on issues affecting more than one Service. Deficiencies in JCS advice have encouraged senior civilian officials to rely on civilian staffs for counsel that should be provided by professional military officers. Some assert that the failure of the JCS to offer more useful military advice results from organizational problems while others believe that it results from shortcomings in the leadership qualities of JCS Chairmen. The Report of the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel supports the former view: "The difficulty is caused by the system, not the people.” (page 34) The Chairman's Special Study Group reached a similar conclusion:
One must infer that the fault lies not with any particular group of military and civilian executives, but rather with
the implementation of the JCS concept itself. (page 27) At least some of the Service Chiefs serving in 1982 also held this view as noted in the following comment which they made to the Chairman's Special Study Group:
The JCS cannot carry out their statutory responsibilities. It is wrong to say that there is nothing wrong with the JCS orga
nization. The basic organization concept is flawed. (page 28) In criticizing the JCS system, Generals Jones and Meyer do not recommend that the responsibilities of the Joint Chief of Staff, as prescribed by section 141, title 10, United States Code, be changed. Instead, their concern is that the JCS system is not organized and operated to effectively perform its functions. In testimony before the House Armed Services Investigations Subcommittee during June 1983, the then-serving members of the JCS also concluded that “those are the correct duties and responsibilities for the JCS.” (HASC No. 98-8, page 63) This study accepts the responsibilities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that are directed by the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, and, therefore, assesses the effectiveness of the JCS system largely by how well the institution carries out these duties.
This section discusses three problem areas that have been identified within the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS) and presents analyses of the contributing causes. These problem areas are: (1) inability of the JCS to provide useful and timely unified military advice; (2) inadequate quality of the OJCS staff; and (3) insufficient OJCS review and oversight of contingency plans. There is a fourth problem area concerning the JCS: the confused chain of command. This problem area is addressed in Chapter 5 dealing with the unified and specified commands. 1. INABILITY OF THE JCS TO PROVIDE USEFUL AND TIMELY UNIFIED
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the principal military advisers to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secre
tary of Defense. Since the responsibility of being “the principal military advisers" was assigned in 1947, the JCS have consistently been unable to provide useful and timely advice. As General David C. Jones, USAF (Retired) has noted:
the corporate advice provided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff is not crisp, timely, very useful or very influential. And that advice is often watered down and issues are papered over in the interest of achieving unanimity, even though many have contended that the resulting lack of credibility has caused the national leadership to look elsewhere for recommendations that properly should come from the JCS. (HASC No. 97-47,