WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain plans a long-term review of the law underpinning the modern American military, the Goldwater-Nichols legislation that created the current chain of command from president to defense secretary to combatant commanders.
“The Committee will be conducting a preliminary examination of the structure, roles, and missions of civilian and military organizations within the (Defense) Department. That will set the stage for a broader review of these issues starting after this year’s NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) and extending into next year, many of which are tied directly to Goldwater-Nichols Act,” a congressional staff member wrote in an email after McCain spoke this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
I think it is high time to review, and revise, Goldwater-Nichols. Let’s face it, GW was designed for the Cold War. Also, it has long been argued by many that GW and the DOPMA 1980 have contributed greatly to the bloat in higher headquarters.
Exactly how a reorganization should look is an interesting question, and one I haven’t answered in my own mind yet. But it is a question that should be asked. I’m not certain McCain is the right man for the job, but at least he’s got the ball rolling.