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Service perspectives in DoD decision-making results from three basic problems: (1) OSD is not organized to effectively integrate Service capabilities and programs into the forces needed to fulfill the major missions of DOD; (2) the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) system is dominated by the Services which retain an effective veto over nearly every JCS action; and (3) the unified commands are also dominated by the Services primarily through the strength and independence of the Service component commanders and constraints placed upon the power and influence of the unified commanders. In sum, the problem of undue Service influence arises principally from the weaknesses of organizations that are responsible for joint military preparation and planning
This overwhelming influence of the Military Departments and Services works at cross-purposes to efforts to integrate the U.S. military establishment along mission lines. This is not the fault of the Military Departments. They have correctly pursued their interests vigorously through capable and tenacious headquarters staffs. What is missing is the organizational structure and supporting mechanisms that would provide an equally vigorous and capable integration effort along mission lines - to balance the influence of the Services on basic issues of strategy, policy, and resource allocation. Correcting the imbalance between Service and joint interests will require the strengthening of the authority, stature, and support of joint organizations, primarily the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (or its succeeding organization) and the unified commands.
While these realignments are critically needed, they will not, by themselves, be sufficient to correct the imbalance between Service and joint interests. The problem is more deep-seated; it involves the basic attitudes and orientations of the professional officer corps. As long as the vast majority of military officers at all levels gives highest priority to the interests of their Service or branch while losing sight of broader and more important national security needs —and believes that their behavior is correct —the predominance of Service influence will remain a problem. Whatever changes are made at the top of the DoD organization, powerful resistance to a more unified outlook will continue to be the basic orientation of military officers deeply immersed in the culture of their Services. This dimension of the problem will require changes in the system of military education, training, and assignments to produce officers with a heightened awareness and greater commitment to DoD-wide requirements, a genuine multi-Service perspective, and an improved understanding of other Services.
3. Imbalance Between Modernization and Readiness
The imbalance between Service and joint interests is a major cause of the imbalance between modernization and readiness in the defense program. Overemphasis on future needs deprives operating forces of capabilities needed to respond to today's or tomorrow's crisis. Current warfighting capabilities are robbed to pay for hardware in the distant future. For the most part, the Washington Headquarters of the Services are focused on future requirements and the modernization of their equipment. The constituency for readiness is the operational commands which are among the joint organizations whose interests are under-represented in senior decision-making councils. Correcting this modernization-readiness imbalance will require a strengthening of the representation of the operational commanders, especially the unified commanders, in the resource allocation process.
4. Inter-Service Logrolling
While strong criticism of destructive and disruptive inter-Service rivalry is frequently voiced, DoD suffers more from inter-Service logrolling. The intensity of the postwar rivalry among the Services was so great that its continued existence has been assumed. It is true that inter-Service secretiveness, duplication, lack of understanding, and inconsistencies continue to exist. These are found at lower levels of organizational activity where they continue to undermine coordination and cooperation. However, over the last 20 years, the Servic have logrolled on the central issues of concern to them in order to provide a united front to the Secretary of Defense and other senior civilian authorities. The natural consequence of this logrolling has been a heightening of civil-military disagreement, an isolation of OSD, a loss of information critical to effective decisionmaking, and, most importantly, a political weakening of the Secretary of Defense. The overall result of inter-Service logrolling has been a highly undesirable lessening of civilian control of the military. Actions to correct this problem will need to ensure that senior civilian authorities are informed of all legitimate alternatives.
The current system in many regards represents the worst of many possibilities. On critical issues, the Services logroll and deny the opportunity for effective decision-making. On lesser issues, the Services remain determined rivals and preclude the degree of cooperation and coordination necessary to provide efficient and integrated fighting teams.
5. Inadequate Joint Advice
The JCS system has not been capable of adequately fulfilling its responsibility to provide useful
and timely unified military advice. The institutional views of the JCS often take too long to prepare; 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. As General David C. Jones, USAF (Retired), a former JCS Chairman, has stated:
...the corporate advice provided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff is
not crisp, timely, very useful or very influential. Former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger concurs in his evaluation of formal JCS advice:
... The proffered advice is generally irrelevant, normally unread, and almost always disregarded. Symptoms of inadequate joint advice are found in many activities within DoD, including strategic planning, programming, operational planning, force employment, roles
and missions of the Services, revision of the Unified Command Plan, organization of the unified commands, and development of joint doctrine. The JCS are viewed as the key military advisors on a substantial range of important strategy, resource, operational, and organizational issues. Shortcomings in their ability to meaningfully address these issues have had a serious impact on the ability of DoD to prepare for and to conduct military operations in times of crisis. Moreover, the JCS have failed to provide adequate staff support to the Secretary of Defense in his mission integrator and chain of command roles. As a result, the Secretary has been forced to rely on civilians, whether they are qualified or not, for advice on issues for which independent military recommendations would have been preferred.
The dual responsibilities of the Service Chiefs -often referred to as "dual-hatting" -to their individual Services and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the primary cause of the deficiencies of the JCS system. “Dual-hatting poses an inherent conflict of interest for the Service Chiefs. They have one job that requires them to be effective advocates for their own Service. Their second job as JCS members requires them to subordinate Service interests to broader considerations. The Service Chiefs have been unable to balance these two conflicting demands; they have normally been unable to subordinate the interests of their parent Services to the larger interests of national defense. Therefore, "dual-hatting” yields weak JCS advice that simply reflects whatever level of compromise is necessary to achieve the four Services' unanimous agreement. “Dual-hatting” also overburdens the Service Chiefs by requiring them to shoulder more responsibilities than one person can handle. Simply performing all the duties entailed in leading a military Service is enough to fully consume the time and energy of a single individual.
6. Failure to Adequately Implement the Concept of Unified Command
The concept of unified command, as formulated in the immediate postwar period and articulated by President Eisenhower in 1958, has not been adequately implemented. At that time, President Eisenhower stated:
Because I have often seen the evils of diluted command, I emphasize that each unified commander must have unquestioned authority over all units of his command.... Today a unified command is made up of component commands from each military department, each under a commander of that department. The commander's authority over these component commands is short of the full command required for maximum ef
ficiency. Despite President Eisenhower's efforts, the authority of the unified commanders remains extremely limited. They have weak authority over their Service component commands, limited influence over resources, and little ability to promote greater unification within their commands. As a result, the unified commands remain loose confederations of single-Service forces which are unable to provide effective unified action across the spectrum of military missions. In essence, there is limited mission integration at the operational level of DoD. As the 1970 Blue Ribbon Defense Panel Report noted:
The net result is an organizational structure in which "unification" of either command or of the forces is more cosmetic than substantive.
The operational deficiencies evident during the Vietnam War, the seizure of the Pueblo, the Iranian hostage rescue mission, and the incursion into Grenada were the result of the failure to adequately implement the concept of unified command.
7. Unnecessary Staff Layers and Duplication of Effort in the Top Management Headquarters of the Military Departments
Each Military Department has two separate headquarters staffs (three in the Navy): the Secretariat and the military headquarters staff. This arrangement results in an unnecessary layer of supervision and duplication of effort. Moreover, the existence of two separate staffs leads to delays and micro-management and is counterproductive and inefficient. There are two causes of this problem. First, the current arrangements are a holdover from an earlier era when the Service Secretaries headed separate, executive-level departments. The second cause is the failure of the Service Secretaries to effectively control the military headquarters staffs and their attempted use of the Secretariats to provide this control. The Service Secretaries would be able to exercise more effective management and control if these separate staffs were fully or partially integrated. Moreover, the dual levels of staff review would be eliminated; paperwork would be reduced; and substantial manpower savings would be possible.
8. Predominance of Programming and Budgeting
The overall performance of DoD suffers from the predominance in organizational activity of the programming and budgeting phases of the resource allocation process. Too much of the time and attention of DoD and its senior civilian and military officials is consumed by resource decisions. This has led to insufficient attention to strategic planning, operational matters, and execution of policy and resource decisions. For example, the Secretary of Defense —the critical civilian link in the chain of command -pays insufficient attention to his operational responsibilities. Moreover, insufficient attention is given to contingency plans, joint doctrine, joint training, and alliance issues.
The overemphasis on resource issues and the underemphasis of operational matters are also reflected in the professional development of military officers. The development of leadership skills needed in wartime has been given relatively low priority in the resource-oriented Services. Instead, technical, managerial, and bureaucratic skills have been emphasized. DoD's predominant focus on programming and budgeting must be diminished.
9. Lack of Clarity of Strategic Goals
Inattention to strategic planning has led to numerous deficiencies, including a lack of clarity of Dod's strategic goals. The stated goals are vague and ambiguous. In an organization as large as DOD, the clear articulation of overall strategic goals can play an important role in achieving a coordinated effort toward these goals by the various components and individuals within them. Clarity of goals can enhance unity and integration. DoD loses the benefit of this unifying mechanism through its failure to clarify its strategic goals. To correct this problem and other strategic planning deficiencies, DoD needs to establish and maintain a well-designed and highly interactive strategic planning process.
10. Insufficient Mechanisms for Change
Throughout history, military organizations - like all large organizations -have been noted for their resistance to change. The U.S. military establishment shares the resistance to change inherent in the military profession. However, in DoD, this tendency is magnified by systemic problems. Key among these systemic problems are (1) the bureaucratic agreements among the Services - the Key West Agreement on Service roles and missions, the Unified Command Plan, and JCS Publication 2 (Unified Action Armed Forces) being key examples - which are "off-limits” even when se rious deficiencies are identified; (2) the predominant influence of the Services, particularly when compared to that of joint organizations; (3) inter-Service logrolling on critical issues; and (4) absolute Service control over promotions and assignments of all military officers, including those in joint duty billets. The result of these systemic problems is that DoD does not have effective mechanisms for change.
As this study documents, the Department of Defense suffers from numerous organizational and procedural deficiencies.
Of major concern is the frequent inability of DoD to correct these deficiencies on its own. Despite substantial evidence of poor performance, DoD expends its energies on defending the status quo. The absence of an effective process of self-correction and self-modification has resulted in an undesirable rigidity in DoD organization and procedures.
11. Inadequate Feedback
Related to insufficient mechanisms for change is the absence of useful feedback in many activities in DoD. Effective management control is not possible without useful and timely feedback on actual operations and implementation of plans. While the absence of useful feedback reduces management control of the resource allocation process, it also precludes learning important lessons from poor organizational performance. Past mistakes —whether in the procurement of a weapon system or in the employment of forces during a crisis do not receive the critical review that would prevent them from recurring. DoD has not established a tradition of comprehensive, critical evaluations of its performance in many areas. The lessons go unlearned, and the mistakes are repeated. While there are other factors that contribute to this deficiency, inadequate feedback mechanisms play an important role.
12. Inadequate Quality of Political Appointees and Joint Duty Military Personnel
Problems with the quality of DoD personnel have been identified in political appointee positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Service Secretariats and in joint duty military positions, especially in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the staffs of the unified commanders. Political appointees are a problem because of their relative inexperience and high turnover rates as well as lengthy vacancies in appointed positions. These factors lead to extended periods of on-the-job training and poor continuity. DoD has given insufficient attention to the development of