Saturday, September 23, 2006

Goldwater-Nichols part of the problem?

Big shocker - I like argument. I like different views. I do not like group think. Group think leads to the lowest common denominator, destroys innovation, and removes the fact that only iron can sharpen iron. Goldwater-Nichols....that great Purple it more of a problem or part of the solution? Admiral James A. Lyons, USN (ret.) in the Washington Times (can't find it on their site anymore, BZ to PoliticalOpinions for getting the txt prior to it rolling off the front page) makes some solid points.
The unhappy conclusion one must draw from an examination of the Joint Chiefs and the war in Iraq is that their historic function as the principal body providing military advice is defunct. The Joint Chiefs as a corporate body have become irrelevant. The chairman's role as it has now evolved seems more distant from the operating forces than ever. There is a real danger that the Joint Chiefs is careening toward the dreaded "general staff" syndrome, in which uniformity of view and ideological lock-step are more important than the no-holds-barred robust debate over tactical and strategic goals that lead to decisive victory.

It has been 20 years since Goldwater-Nichols was enacted. Now it's time to make a significant course correction. It is time for the Congress to step in and create an independent, free-thinking, committee that will bring the Joint Chiefs back into the mainstream. The 21st century demands a military that is nimble, proactive and aggressive and they are entitled to a Joint Chiefs of Staff whose individual members will stand up and be counted.
This needs to be looked at - hard. I know it has a clear ring to me. My follow-on question to Admiral Lyons is, "OK sir; when are you available to lead the initial review commission? Ideas to start?"

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