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...unification meant and means nothing in a vacuum. It gains significance only as it affects the processes of peacetime planning and wartime planning and direction of military oper
ations. (page 388) It is these processes - here termed “mission integration” —that are the focus in this study.
Secretaries of Defense have taken different approaches to the degree of centralization of the management decision-making process. For example, Secretary McNamara favored highly centralized management authority while Secretary Laird favored participatory management. The continuing controversy over centralization and decentralization is really an argument over where certain decisions should be made. In the absence of an organizational structure and decision processes in DoD that support mission integration more adequately than the current ones, it seems that Secretaries of Defense will be forced to rely more often than not on a highly centralized approach involving themselves and a few key aides. Even in those areas where the Department of Defense would benefit from a more decentralized approach, the Secretary of Defense currently cannot effectively delegate decision-making authority to lower levels in the organization. Under current organizational arrangements, less senior officials, both in OSD and the Military Departments, do not have the necessary perspective or breadth of responsibility to make decisions that provide the greatest benefits in terms of the overall strategic goals or missions of the Department of Defense.
In essence, centralization tendencies are the result of an inadequate level, or put another way, a poor quality of mission integration. However, while centralization can marginally lessen the impact of poor integration mechanisms, it cannot achieve the appropriate level of mission integration. Moreover, overcentralization has its own problems in that the complexity of modern defense issues is too great for a small group of decision-makers to handle by themselves. This is even more true today than during Secretary McNamara's tenure. It is largely for this reason that Service predominance in resource decisions-with all of its negatives—has been allowed to persist.
(3) Mission Integration
To discuss limited mission integration in DoD, two concepts must be put forth: differentiation and integration. The term differentiation refers to the process of developing specialized differences. How much differentiation should exist among an organization's various groups depends upon what internal characteristics each group must develop to effectively interact with its assigned part of the external environment. Integration denotes the process of making something whole or complete by adding or bringing together its parts to achieve the organization's strategic goals. There is a strong inverse relationship between differentiation and integration.
DoD is a highly differentiated organization which is necessary given the great diversity and complexity of the tasks of the three Military Departments and of the main units within each Depart
ment. This is evident when one considers the different skills and capabilities necessary for tank warfare, submarine operations, and air-to-air combat. However, as noted previously, the tasks to be performed with the resources provided to the three Military Departments are highly interdependent.
Given a highly differentiated organization and highly interdependent tasks, the effort required for effective integration is substantial. This is so for two reasons: (1) the greater the differentiation, the larger and more numerous are the potential conflicts, and it takes more effort to resolve these conflicts in ways that benefit the entire organization; and (2) the more interdependent the tasks of subordinate organizations are, the more information processing is required among them, and thus more effort is required for effective integration. In their book, Developing Organizations: Diagnosis and Action, Lawrence and Lorsch indicate that highly differentiated organizations cannot rely on the basic management hierarchy for achieving integration:
...organizations faced with the requirement for both a high degree of differentiation and tight integration must develop supplemental integrating devices, such as individual coordinators, cross-unit teams, and even whole departments of individuals whose basic contribution is achieving integration among
other groups. (page 13) Mission integration can be defined as the efforts by joint organizations—those that have a multi-Service perspective Office of the Secretary of Defense, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and unified commands) —to aggregate the capabilities of the four Services in a manner to provide the most effective combat forces to fulfill the major military missions of DoD. In his paper, “The U.S. Military Chain of Command, Present and Future", General W. Y. Smith, USAF (Retired) cites the need for mission integration:
... To be prepared to defend U.S. interests, however, the separate Services must be melded together into an integrated fight
ing team. (page 6) Mission integration does not seek to interfere with differentiation within DoD; the Services and Military Departments retain full authority and responsibility for manning, equipping, supplying, and training their forces. Mission integration, however, will help estab lish priorities and guidelines for the efforts of the Services and Military Departments.
In sum, unification has produced a framework that makes mission integration possible. However, within this framework, the organizational structures and decision-making mechanisms necessary for effective mission integration have not been developed. Centralization of decision-making authority has on occasion been used in attempts to overcome the absence of effective mission integration structures and mechanisms. However, centralization is not the answer, especially in light of the broadening scope and increasing complexity of defense issues. Decentralization has even less utility; given the current organizational relationships, decentralization exacerbates the problems associated with attempting to secure unified direction of the overall defense effort.
Focusing on mission integration, the desired end product of organizational activity within DoD, offers greater prospects for understanding DoD's organizational deficiencies. Working backward from the desired outcome, the underdeveloped nature of the current framework and the appropriate balance between centralization and decentralization may be better understood
b. Current Efforts at Mission Integration
Mission integration is necessary at both of the distinct organizational levels of DoD: the policymaking level, comprised basically of Washington Headquarters organizations, and the operational level, consisting of the unified and specified commands. In the post-World War II period, there has been agreement in principle on the need for mission integration at the operational level. Despite this agreement, there is limited mission integration in the field. This situation is discussed at length in Chapter 5 concerning the unified and specified commands and, therefore, will not be addressed in this chapter. There has been considerable disagreement, however, about the need for mission integration at the policymaking level of DoD. Discussion of limited mission integration in this chapter will focus on the policymaking level of DoD.
The integration that does occur at the DoD policymaking level is primarily functional integration and not mission integration. This results from the organizational structure of the Washington Headquarters of DoD. OSD, OJCS, and the Military Departments are organized exclusively along functional lines (manpower, research and development, installations and logistics, etcetera). As a result, DoD can integrate, as an example, the manpower function and can, therefore, do manpower planning on a Department-wide basis. Effective integration on a mission basis in the Washington headquarters, however, is minimal. There is limited ability to integrate the separate Service programs in major mission areas such as nuclear deterrence or defense of NATO. DoD, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has failed to develop the extensive, supplemental integrating devices that it needs to achieve effective mission integration. The integrating devices have focused solely on achieving functional integration.
c. Deficiencies Resulting from Limited Mission Integration
Deficiencies resulting from limited mission integration are numerous. Among them are:
There is no organizational focus on the strategic goals or major missions of DoD. As a result, DoD has focused on resource inputs and not on outputs (capabilities needed to fulfill major missions). Moreover, the absence of an organizational focus on strategic goals serves to inhibit strategic planning in DoD.
There are no organizations in the Washington headquarters that are fully attuned to the operational requirements of the unified commanders.
Service interests rather than strategic needs play the dominant role in shaping program decisions. This occurrence is reinforced by the tendency of all Services (and the JCS system) to approve the force structure goals and weapon system objectives of each other.
The role of Service interests in shaping forces and programs leads to imbalances in military capabilities. Functions (e.g., airlift, sealift, close air support) which are not central to a Service's own definition of its missions tend to be neglected.
Service dominance in determining programs tends to produce an overemphasis on procurement and investment as opposed to readiness.
Tradeoffs between programs of different Services that can both contribute to a particular major mission (e.g., Air Force tactical air and Army land forces for NATO defense) are seldom made.
Opportunities for non-traditional contributions to missions (e.g., Air Force contributions to sea control) are neither easily
identified nor pursued. In sum, limited mission integration of the separate aspects of the defense program is a major organizational and management problem in the Department of Defense today. The existence of this problem is presented in more detail in the discussion of its four basic causes.
d. Causes of Limited Mission Integration (1) Inadequate Mission Integrating Support for the Secretary of Defense
It is important to note that, at the present time, the Secretary of Defense and the JCS Chairman are the only effective mission integrators within DoD. (For purposes of this discussion, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense are treated as one entity.) This is true because at present they are the only DoD officials in a position to view the total organization and its major mission efforts. The Report of the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel highlighted this fact:
The lack of convergence of responsibilities for functional areas at an organizational point in OSD below the Secretary/ Deputy Secretary level inhibits the flexibility to delegate responsibilities within OSD, for no one below the Secretary/ Deputy Secretary level has the requisite breadth of purview or
responsibility. (page 25) The Secretary appears to have sufficient authority to bring about necessary planning and resource integration along mission lines. However, he lacks sufficient assistance -both from OSD and OJCS -to effectively perform this role. This is the first cause of the lack of sufficient integration.
Regarding assistance from the JCS system, the Secretary of Defense has two separate sources: OJCS as an organization and the JCS Chairman as an individual. This discussion will address the former source; the latter will be highlighted in the following subsection.
Under the National Security Act of 1947, the OJCS was to operate as an OSD staff agency. This relationship began to weaken as the OJCS sought and secured a more independent posture. This search for a greater degree of independence was greatly aided by the 1958 Amendment to the National Security Act, according to Paul Hammond in his landmark book, Organizing for Defense. Hammond states:
... The language of the 1958 reorganization legislation, for instance, puts the JCS outside of OSD, an exclusion which can support claims for the JCS of greater independence from the
Secretary of Defense. (page 379) Moreover, beyond the weakened ties between the JCS system and the Secretary of Defense, the closed staff nature of the OJCS has inhibited the flow of useful information from OJCS to the Secretary of Defense and the OSD staff and has greatly limited the interplay between DoD's most senior military and civilian organizations. The closed staff problem is discussed in detail in the chapter on the OJCS; it is mentioned here because of its impact on OJCS assistance to the Secretary of Defense.
With respect to OJCS assistance, the unified military advice that the Secretary does receive is inadequate -a fact that is well documented in the chapter of this study that addresses the OJCS -and he must rely on OSD civilians for much of his advice on mission and program integration issues. However, OSD is not able to provide sufficient support on integrative issues because it is organized on input functional lines (manpower, research and engineering, health affairs, etc.) and not along mission or output lines. The Office of the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) has the potential to assist the Secretary in his integrator role; however, it does not have the hierarchical position or breadth of responsibility to provide the Secretary with the degree of assistance that he needs.
The functional structure of OSD deserves careful analysis because it is the source of major organizational and management deficiencies in the Department of Defense. This fact was recognized by Hammond when Organizing for Defense was published in 1961. Hammond noted that the functional structure produced ever increasing attention by OSD on business administration operations and did not assist the development of general policy (which would facilitate mission integration at the DoD policymaking level). Hammond states:
The pressures for centralization, the established prestige and functions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the public status of the Defense Department, have all pushed OSD more and more into active functional control of the business management activities of the service departments. The pattern which has unfolded in the development of Department of Defense administration has been the continual increase in the number of functional controls held and the amount of actual operating performed in OSD, which has been all out of proportion to the small increase in the systematic making by the Secretary of Defense of general policy for the military establishment or in the augmentation of his capabilities of developing a general
program. (page 312) Hammond summarizes the situation as follows: