Accession Number:



Beyond Goldwater-Nichols: New Proposals for Defense Reform

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



On March 18, 2004, the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS released Beyond Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reform for a New Strategic Era Phase 1 Report. This event culminated almost 2 years of effort at CSIS, which began by developing an approach for both revisiting the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and for addressing issues that were beyond the scope of that landmark legislation. The project was officially launched in November 2002. When a CSIS team briefed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top advisers on January 10, 2003, the Secretary urged CSIS to accelerate its efforts so the results would be available for the 2004 legislative cycle. In response, the center decided to address its issue agenda in two tranches, planning initially to release a Phase 1 report in February that both analyzed and made recommendations on a smaller set of issues, with a Phase 2 report to follow in December 2003. Congressional interest in defense reform grew as a result of the Bush administrations last-minute that is, shortly before the House and Senate voted on the defense authorization bill submission of its proposals for changes in the military and civilian personnel system. Although the provisions affecting military personnel were stripped from the authorization bill, the House version, which was largely accepted by the Senate during conference negotiations in the fall, substantially revamped the civilian personnel system. Congressional appropriators, however, decided that defense reform issues warranted additional attention and provided 1 million in the fiscal year 2004 defense appropriations bill to support further work. This enabled CSIS to address a much broader range of issues during its Phase 2 effort, which will end with the release of its report. This article summarizes the Phase 1 report and outlines the Phase 2 agenda.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: