Cover: Service Responses to the Emergence of Joint Decisionmaking

Service Responses to the Emergence of Joint Decisionmaking

Published 2001

by Leslie Lewis, Roger Allen Brown, Charles Robert Roll, Jr.


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The Goldwater-Nichols legislation, passed in 1986, sought to counterbalance the decisionmaking authority of the services by giving the Commanders-in-Chief (CINCs) a far greater voice in the determination of operational requirements. Toward this goal, the CINCs_ spokesperson, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was empowered to integrate CINC requirements as well as to demonstrate how those requirements related to joint operational readiness. This report examines in detail how the Goldwater-Nichols legislation has affected decisionmaking within the Department of Defense and, more specifically, how the individual services have responded to the changes brought about by that legislation. After first describing the forces that underlay the passage of Goldwater-Nichols, the report outlines the manner in which the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force have changed their decision models as well as their planning, programming, and budgeting processes in order to better respond to CINC demands. The report concludes that all of the services have to varying degrees undergone some reorganization in response to the changes brought about by Goldwater-Nichols. However, those changes, which have largely reflected the cultures of the individual services, have been incremental at best and have yet to fully meet the challenge this new decisionmaking environment has posed.

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