Toward the Valued Ideal of Jointness The Need for Unity of Command in U.S Armed Forces
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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The U.S. Armed Forces concept of jointness is flawed and, contrary to current rhetoric, the struggle to attain it is much more than simply overcoming force of habit and eliminating stovepipes. Such struggles are symptomatic of a larger, systemic problem lack of unity of command. Promoting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the five star rank and ceding to him operational and administrative control of all U.S. armed forces would enable him to provide a unifying vision, accruing operational efficiencies through the development of clear and prescriptive doctrine and the growth of shared and complimentary cultures. The trend during the past half-century has been a steady increase in the power and prestige of the Chairman. Opponents of change fear a continued consolidation of power would result in necessary Service interests taking a back seat to the Chairmans personal preferences. They emphasize that an empowered Chairman would threaten civilian control over the military, suppress Service autonomy, inhibit innovation, and cause armed forces to lose their core competencies. This thesis concludes that the dissenting views are largely alarmist in nature. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the only military member in a position to push full implementation of joint initiatives, protect national security interests from Services cultural biases, and foster a unified, sychronized, and synergized style of warfare.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics