Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Legislation: Why Was It Passed and Have the Voids Been Filled
Individual study rept.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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In Oct 1986, the U.S. Congress passed the Cohen-Nunn Act as a attachment to the FY 1987 Defense Authorization Act. President Reagan signed the Act in Nov 1986, making it Public Laws 99-661. This legislation mandated the creation of a unified command for all special operations forces of the various services and placed a four-star general in command. The law also directed the establishment of a new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. Under the law, the President was directed to form a Board for Low-Intensity Conflict within the National Security Council. Congress also provided a Sense of Congress that the President should designate within the Executive Office of the President a Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs to be the Deputy Assistant for Low-Intensity Conflict. Passed despite the strong objections of DoD, this law has been controversial and subject to criticism by many who did not understand why lawmakers concluded that binding legislation was necessary. Interviews with those involved with passage of the legislation plus an analysis of the legislation form the basis the of authors assessment of why the congress took this unprecedented step in passing legislation which reorganized the Department of Defense and the National Security Council. What voids were Congress trying to fill in U.S. military capabilities An analysis of this question is included as well as an assessment of whether those voids have been filled.
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