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• Option 4A clarify appropriate command relationships within

the unified commands, especially concerning the principle of

unity of command The Department of Defense has taken an ambivalent approach to the concept of unity of command. This is reflected both in doctrinal writings as well as command relationships within the unified commands. In particular, the concept of "in-support-of" forces appears to directly contradict the principle of unity of command because it permits divided command.

This option proposes that the Secretary of Defense clarify the currently ambiguous concepts concerning appropriate command relationships. • Option 4B -revise UNAAF to remove obstacles to the creation

of additional sub-unified commands and other necessary subor

dinate joint organizations If the unified commanders are to be able to orchestrate warfare throughout the conflict spectrum, subordinate organizations must be unified as far as possible down the command chain. The only constraints to the application of this principle would be when logistical, administrative, and training inefficiencies would be created that outweigh the benefits of enhanced unification or when necessary flexibility in force deployment or employment would be lost. UNAAF is a major obstacle to obtaining desired unification at subordinate levels because it places great emphasis on maintaining uni-Service integrity. This option would require revisions to the UNAAF designed to promote appropriate unification in subordinate levels of the unified command. o Option 4C -remove the Service component commanders from

the operational chain of command The requirement that operational command be normally exercised through the Service component commanders is a major impediment to unification. This option would solve this problem by removing the Service component commanders from the operational chain of command. The Service component commands would then be limited at the operational level to logistical responsibilities comparable to the responsibilities of the Military Departments within the policymaking level of DoD.

The CSIS report, Toward a More Effective Defense, recommended that the unified commander be authorized to establish his chain of command:

Although the National Security Act grants the unified and specified commanders "full operational command” of the forces assigned to the combatant commands, it leaves the definition of that phrase to the JCS. In our view, the JCS have defined “full operational command” too narrowly. Specifically, the JCS guidelines that require a CINC to exercise operational command only through the component commands and those that allow the component commander to select subordinate units to perform tasks assigned by the unified commander should be relaxed. Subject to approval by the secretary of defense, the CINC should have the authority to establish the operational

chain of command in his theater and to select the units he be

lieves necessary for a given military operation. (page 21) o Option 4D –place greater emphasis on joint training within

the unified commands If subordinate forces in the unified commands cannot be organized on a more unified basis, the ability of forces to take unified action could be improved by more joint training. This option would provide for expanded joint training programs within each unified command.

General W.Y. Smith, USAF (Retired) comments on inadequate joint training:

...for a variety of reasons, the CINC historically has not achieved what he believes is a satisfactory level of joint training. He has had to rely heavily on Service training for the readiness of his units, but, as noted, he has little or no influence or control over that training. (The U.S. Military Chain of

Command, Present and Future, page 6)
To correct this problem, General Smith recommends:

...since the JCS exercise program is central to the CINC's ability to train his forces, JCS exercises should receive a higher priority in the available funding. A balance between Service-oriented exercises and joint exercises is justified; how

ever, the balance is not yet correct. (page 32) 5. PROBLEM AREA #5 –ABSENCE OF AN OBJECTIVE REVIEW OF THE

UNIFIED COMMAND PLAN The first two options to lessen this problem area focus on improving the work of the JCS system on the Unified Command Plan and on increasing the attention that OSD and NSC place on the UCP. The third option offers one way of enhancing the prospects that the goal of the second option would be achieved. o Option 5A -correct the institutional deficiencies of the JCS

system Chapter 4 dealing with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presents various options for correcting the institutional deficiencies of the JCS system. This option merely acknowledges that one of the benefits of such actions would be an enhancement of the prospects for an objective review of the UCP. o Option 5B -seek increased attention to the UCP by OSD and

NSC If the objectivity of the JCS review of the UCP is less than desired, the only possible solution is to shift the burdens of objective UCP review to OSD and NSC. This option would call for a more active role by these two organizations in reviewing the UCP. o Option 5C -require the submission by the President to the

Congress of a one-time report on the UCP This option would seek to give the UCP high-level attention in the Executive Branch by requiring the President to submit a onetime report to the Congress.

G. EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

This section evaluates the specific options for reforming the unified and specified commands that were set forth in Section F. No effort will be made here to compare these options with each other or to identify the most promising options for legislative action. Rather, this section seeks to set forth in the most objective way possible the pros and cons of each alternative solution. The options will be identified by the same number and letter combination used in the preceding section. 1. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF THE CONFUSED

CHAIN OF COMMAND Before options to correct the problem of the confused chain of command can be usefully evaluated, a fundamental issue on the power of Congress to specify the operational chain of command needs to be examined. This issue is addressed as an introduction to the evaluation of options which follows.

a. Is the Congress empowered to specify the operational chain of command?

There are differences of opinion on the powers granted by the Constitution to the Congress and the President, as the Commander in Chief, to specify the operational military chain of command.

John Kester in his article, “Thoughtless JCS Change Is Worse Than None,” argues that the President solely has the authority to adjust the chain

of command: ...it is Presidents, not Congresses, who adjust the military chain of command. The Congress, of course, is empowered in Article I of the Constitution to raise and support armies (including those that fly), to provide and maintain a navy, and to pass laws regulating the armed forces. Much is granted there that Congress can do. But there also are some things that Congress may not do. The exact borderlines are hazy. It is clear enough, however, that Congress does not have any Constitutional authority to direct in detail through what chain of command the President exercises his power as Commander-inChief.

The President's power as a commander comes from an independent grant in Article II of the Constitution, and not from the Congress. At the very least this allows him to pick the command channel he prefers—as Presidents have done, sometimes using one and sometimes another. Congress can do much to set the size, shape, content, and capabilities of the armed forces. But most Constitutional scholars agree that it cannot intrude upon the essence of the command function. (Armed

Forces Journal International, November 1984, page 115) Despite Mr. Kester's assertions, there are persuasive arguments that the Constitution does empower the Congress to specify the chain of command. A legal opinion prepared by Raymond J. Celada, Senior Specialist in American Public Law of the Congressional Research Service, reaches this conclusion. This legal opinion, prepared in support of this study, is presented as Appendix B of this chapter.

The three basic arguments in this legal opinion can be summarized as follows: o Through the creation of positions in the U.S. military estab

lishment and the fixing of appropriate grades with respect to such positions which essentially establish the hierarchy of responsible parties, the authority of the Congress to fix the chain

of command is significant. o The congressional power to make rules for regulation of the

armed forces adds additional support to a role for the Congress

in specifying the chain of command. o Congress by law (the National Security Act of 1947) has effec

tively established the chain of command and by law has changed it (1953 and 1958 amendments) or authorized the

President, subject to congressional scrutiny, to change it. The recommendations of this chapter are based upon the premise that the Congress is empowered to specify the chain of command. In the exercise of this power, the Congress must, however, ensure that the President has sufficient flexibility to adjust command relationships to provide for effective command in unforeseen situations. • Option 1A -remove the Secretary of Defense from the chain

of command This option would return to the chain of command arrangements employed during World War II. At that time, the JCS reported directly to the Commander-in-Chief, and through the executive agent arrangement, a JCS member supervised each of the operational commands. Other than the Commander-in-Chief, there were no civilians in the operational chain of command.

In his book, The 25-Year War - America's Military Role in Vietnam, General Bruce Palmer, Jr., USA (Retired) appears to argue for this option:

In our system of government, the president, with his dual role as civilian chief executive and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is the indispensable key to national security. For the president to control the nation's armed forces, he must command them; he cannot delegate this to his secretary of defense or to the military chiefs. He must have direct access to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, collectively and individually, and must regularly see them. If he shunts them off or allows his secretary of defense to isolate the chiefs, he does so at the nation's peril. The president is the commander-in-chief and there is no substitute for his forceful and visible leadership in discharging this supreme command function over the Department

of Defense and the armed forces. (page 201) If the President were to dedicate, as Roosevelt did during World War II, nearly his full attention to the conduct of military operations, such an arrangement might make sense and ensure effective civilian control of the military. In today's world, however, the Commander-in-Chief will be able to spend only a small portion of his time on military operational matters. Without the full-time assistance of the Secretary of Defense, the President would be unable to effectively supervise and control military operations.

Moreover, there is evidence that there was an absence of effective civilian control during World War II. In his book, The Soldier and the State, Samuel P. Huntington discusses the extent of civilian control during World War II:

The military attitude toward civilian control changed completely during the war. The plans for postwar organization of the armed services, developed by the military in 1944 and 1945, reflected a new conception of their role in government. One would hardly recognize the cowed and submissive men of the 1930's in the proud and powerful commanders of the victorious American forces. Civilian control was a relic of the past which had little place in the future. “The Joint Chiefs of Staff at the present time,” Admiral Leahy said quite frankly and truthfully in 1945, "are under no civilian control whatever.” (pages 335

and 336) Apparently, a persuasive case can be made for a continuing role for the Secretary of Defense in the operational chain of command. However, three problems remain: (1) the relative inexperience of the Secretary for this role; (2) the limited time that the Secretary can devote to this responsibility; and (3) the absence of adequate and independent staff support on operational matters for the Secretary. o Option 1B --clearly assign to the Secretary of Defense the role

of commander of the operational commanders If one were convinced that the Secretary of Defense should remain in the operational chain of command, there is a need to clarify his role. The current uncertainty as to the Secretary's responsibilities has resulted in confusion within the chain of command and a weakening of civilian control. It can be convincingly argued that the Secretary of Defense has lost much of his authority in the chain of command because of a lack of an understanding of his precise role.

In addition, the absence of statutory emphasis on the "command” role of the Secretary of Defense may have led to insufficient attention to necessary qualifications for this role in selecting Secretaries of Defense. Undue emphasis may have been placed upon the Secretary's political and managerial roles and not enough on his civilian “military commander” role. In testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA (Retired) refers to the Secretary of Defense as the:

...defacto Deputy Commander in Chief just below the President in the chain of command. (SASC Hearing, December 16,

1982, page 31) There may be merit to specifying through amendment of the statutes that the Secretary of Defense is the

de jure Deputy Commander in Chief.

If the Secretary of Defense is to remain an integral part of the chain of command and become an effective participant, no negative consequences of clarifying his role have been identified. However,

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