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USA (Retired) recommended the establishment of a Supreme Military Council, consisting of a 4-star officer from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. (page 176) In testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services during December 1982, General Taylor reiterated this recommendation, calling for the formation of a National Military Council. (SASC Hearing, December 16, 1982, page 33) The 1960 Symington Report recommended the establishment of “a group of senior officers from all Services to be known as the Military Advisory Council.” (page 13) More recently, the Steadman Report carefully examined the option of establishing a body of National Military Advisers. In 1982, General Meyer, USA, recommended the formation of a National Military Advisory Council.
o Option 1B-establish a Chief of the Joint Staff
This option envisions the disestablishment of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the redesignation of the JCS Chairman as the Chief of the Joint Staff. The Chief of the Joint Staff would serve as the principal military advisor to the President, National Security Council, and Secretary of Defense. He would be assisted in these duties by the Joint Staff which would be responsible to him alone. In addition, a 4-star military officer from a different pair of Services than the Chief of the Joint Staff would serve as a Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff.
Proposals to create such a position have been put forth under a number of different titles: (1) Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (Collins Plan in 1945); (2) Chief of Staff, National Command Authority (General Taylor); and (3) Chief of Combined Military Staff (Secretary Brown). Despite these different titles, all of these proposals would make a single officer the principal military advisor to the President, National Security Council, and Secretary of Defense.
b. enhance the independent authority of the JCS Chairman
The second category of options to correct the problem of inadequate unified military advice is actions to enhance the independent authority of the JCS Chairman. The Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1985 has already made a number of changes to title 10, United States Code, that will serve to enhance the independent authority of the JCS Chairman. These changes were: o the JCS Chairman is to act as the spokesman of the command
ers of the combatant commands on operational requirements; o the JCS Chairman is to determine when issues under consider
ation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall be decided; and o the JCS Chairman is to select officers to be assigned to the
Joint Staff. While these changes do provide some increase in the independent authority of the JCS Chairman, they are insufficient, by themselves, to correct the problem of inadequate unified military advice. Accordingly, additional options to strengthen the role of the JCS Chairman are presented in this subsection.
Beyond options presented in this subsection to enhance the independent authority of the JCS Chairman, there are options presented in other portions of this study that would potentially have this effect. These include: (1) the JCS Chairman's role in the chain of command which is addressed in Chapter 5 dealing with the unified and specified commands; and (2) the JCS Chairman's influence over officer promotions and assignments which are addressed in the following subsection dealing with the problem of the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff. o Option 1C - designate the JCS Chairman as a statutory
member of the National Security Council The National Security Council (NSC) has four statutory members: the President, Vice President, and Secretaries of State and Defense. Like the Director of Central Intelligence, the JCS Chairman serves as an advisor to the NSC. In that capacity, he attends NSC meetings at the invitation of the President. Appointing the JCS Chairman to full statutory NSC membership would be designed to (1) enhance the stature of the JCS Chairman; and (2) ensure that military advice is directly provided to the NSC.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff Reorganization Act of 1983 (H.R. 3718), passed by the House of Representatives during the 98th Congress, included a provision that would make the JCS Chairman a statutory NSC member. The rationale for this provision in the report accompanying H.R. 3718 is:
This measure is intended to ensure that joint military advice, the corporate advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the individual advice of the chairman, receives a full hear
ing before national security issues are decided. (page 8) o Option 1D -authorize the JCS Chairman to provide the Presi
dent, National Security Council, and Secretary of Defense with
military advice in his own right At present, the JCS Chairman lacks statutory authority to formally present his own views on military issues. He can speak for the JCS when they agree; however, in the case of disagreement, he must present the various views of the Service Chiefs. The JCS Chairman does privately convey his own views when requested by higher authority. By formally recognizing what is now informally done, this option seeks to encourage the JCS Chairman to spend less time accommodating the views of the individual Services and more time developing his own views.
This option proposes that the JCS Chairman would be able to state his own views independent of the JCS corporate position or the views of the Service Chiefs. If the JCS Chairman is to enjoy more influence, it is important that he be specifically authorized to develop and advance his own views. o Option 1E -authorize the JCS Chairman to independently
manage the Joint Staff Section 143(c) of title 10 provides:
... The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff manages the Joint Staff and its Director, on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff. Under this provision, the Joint Staff reports to the corporate JCS and not to the JCS Chairman.
This option would alter this reporting relationship. The Chairman would be given authority to bypass the Service Chiefs and direct the Joint Staff to prepare position papers independent of any Service perspective. The Joint Staff would work only for the Chairman and would be responsible only to him in preparing papers in support of the joint perspective presumably embodied in his person.
o Option 1F -establish the position of Deputy JCS Chairman
Currently, the JCS Chairman is the only senior civilian or military official in DoD without a deputy. This option would create a four-star billet for a Deputy or Vice JCS Chairman who would assume the authority of the Chairman whenever he was out of Washington (which is quite often). This would give the Chairman an additional ally within the JCS who was independent of any Service, and it would enable him to sustain greater continuity and control in integrating Service policies. Most proposals for a Deputy JCS Chairman assume that he would be sixth in order of protocol behind the JCS Chairman and the Service Chiefs, though an even more forceful arrangement would be to make him the second-ranking U.S. military officer.
Under this option, the JCS Chairman and the Deputy JCS Chairman would be military officers from different Service pairs. For example, if the JCS Chairman were an Army or Air Force officer, the Deputy Chairman would be from the Navy or Marine Corps. o Option 16 -authorize a 5-star grade for the position of JCS
While holding office, the Chairman (of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff] outranks all other officers of the armed forces. There is no confusion about this statutory provision.
Despite clarity concerning his order of rank, the JCS Chairman has limited authority, power, and influence. This option would seek to enhance the stature of the JCS Chairman by making him the only 5-star officer in the U.S. Armed Forces during peacetime.
c. make other changes to enhance the prospects for useful and timely unified military advice
While the most forceful options to correct the problem of inadequate unified military advice involve (1) removing the Service Chiefs from the institution that provides unified advice or (2) enhancing the independent authority of the JCS Chairman, there are a number of other changes that could be made to improve the performance of the JCS system. One of these options (Option 1I) would be relevant only if the Service Chiefs remained part of the JCS system. The other four options would be appropriate regardless of whatever fundamental changes are made to the JCS system.
o Option 1H –lessen the pressures for unanimity in JCS advice
The JCS labor to produce a unanimous position on issues that they address. This may result from the requirement that the JCS Chairman inform the Secretary of Defense “of those issues upon which the Joint Chiefs of Staff have not agreed." (section 142(b) of title 10) Alternatively, the JCS may be responding to internal pressures based upon their view that a unanimous position will carry more weight with higher authority. Whatever the case, the JCS do a disservice to senior civilian decision-makers when they fail to present the full range of relevant, alternative courses of action.
The pressures for unanimity could be lessened by amending title 10, United States Code, to specify that one of the responsibilities of the JCS is to inform higher authority of all legitimate alternatives. The JCS system is an advisory, not a decision-making system. When the JCS offer only one recommendation to higher authority, they, in essence, become the decision-makers. This option would amend title 10 to ensure that the JCS remains an advisory body. o Option 11 -remove barriers to effective interactions with the
JCS system, especially for the Office of the Secretary of De
fense DoD Directive 5100.1 "Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major Components,” specifies that the Joint Chiefs of Staff supported by the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "consti
the immediate military staff of the Secretary of Defense." (page 4) In implementing this function, DoD Directive 5158.1, “Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Relationships with the Office of the Secretary of Defense", assigns the following responsibilities:
C. To insure that planning and operations will be of the highest order:
1. All elements of the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall cooperate fully and effectively with appropriate offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In all stages of important staff studies, the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall avail itself of the views and special skills in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a normal procedure, specialized data necessary for the preparation of such studies will be obtained from or through the appropriate offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
2. The Directors of the various Directorates of the Joint Staff shall maintain active liaison with appropriate offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This shall include, but not be limited to, the exchange of information, interchange of technical advice, and guidance for mutual benefit. The heads of offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense shall maintain similar liaison and make representatives available to meet formally or informally with appropriate members of the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
F. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall have the authority and responsibility for:
5. Arranging for the provision of military advice to all
offices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (pages 2-4) DoD Directive 5158.1 envisions a close, cooperative relationship between OJCS and OSD. This relationship has failed to develop. OJCS has, for the most part, traditionally viewed OSD as an adversary, and has held the Secretary's civilian staff at arms' length. This is due, at least in part, to the closed staff characteristics of the JCS system. However, the major cause of these poor relations is the JČS view of their independence from OSD. The Report of the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel comments on this different JCS perception of their role:
...A fundamental problem in an earlier period, no longer as severe but still quite apparent, pertains to the view that the JCS hold of themselves vis-a-vis OSD. They have tended to conceive of their role to the Secretary of Defense quite differently from the rest of OSD charged with advising the Secretary of Defense on other aspects of defense policy. The JCS still seem to assume an autonomy and to view the relationship to the Secretary of Defense as one of separateness compared with other OSD agencies. They have always made a point of setting themselves apart from the rest of OSD. They stress their legal obligation to be independent military advisors, and imply that this stance is not compatible with total subordination to OSD. They feel, in short, more of an independent agency than the rest of OSD. It took many years for the JCS to begin to accept the obligation that they should basically serve the Secretary of Defense, are responsive to his interests and concerns, and should provide him with advice and analysis that is specifically relevant to his needs and his wishes. The advice they have offered has often been designed primarily to serve their interests
rather than his. (Appendix N, page 8) In his paper, "The Future of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” John G. Kester notes the same attitude in the JCS system:
...Many in the joint staff probably still see the JCS as a semiautonomous fiefdom rather than an integral part of the defense bureaucracy. Agencies outside the Department of De
fense often seem to view the JCS the same way. (page 7) To preserve this autonomy, the JCS have continually fought to maintain a status independent of OSD. Paul Hammond's discussion of this effort is noted in Chapter 3. Kester also notes this JCS objective:
...In 1958 the JCS successfully averted a plan to include language in a DoD directive which would have described the JCS as part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (“The Future
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” footnote, page 7) As previously noted in this report, the JCS system is much more open now than during World War II and the immediate post-war period. However, the JCS system has retained too much of a "closed staff character to effectively fulfill its role as the Secretary of Defense's "military staff”. As the Chairman's Special Study Group noted in 1982:
... In short, the JCS and the Joint Staff could be much more the 'military staff of the Secretary than they are now. (page
12) The concern is not focused on the relationship between the Secretary of Defense and the JCS system. The Secretary can through perseverance break down barriers between himself and the JCS system. The real problem arises from the relatively limited interaction between OJCS and OSD. The dialogue between the Secretary's