Roles, Missions, Functions, and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review: Now is the Time for the Services to recommend Real Change.
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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Roles, missions, and functions have been a source of continuing controversy in the Department of Defense since the early efforts of the Air Force to create a separate service. During the last 50 years, little significant change has occurred in this area, but it continues to be a topic for study, debate and discussion. Unfortunately, the senior leadership in the Services are unwilling or unable to find satisfactory solutions that do not look like the status quo. The demise of the U.S.S.R. and the resulting disappearance of our long term peer competitor have given the U.S. Defense Department a prime opportunity to logically address and resolve the long standing disputes on military roles, missions, and functions. This paper reviews the history of the roles and missions debate over the last 50 years, and suggests specific areas that can be resolved without jeopardizing the national security of the United States. Many of the suggestions will anger one or all of the Services or branches of the Services. Significant change cannot be accomplished without changing the comfortable status quo. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review will recommend any more substantive changes than the previous roles and missions reports.
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