Defense Organization Today
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Since the National Security Act of 1947 unified the defense establishment, Secretaries of Defense have struggled to assign roles, missions, and functions among major DOD components, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, military services, and unified commands. Once responsibilities were actually assigned, securing performance of them--especially as various components exerted undue influence--proved an even greater challenge. Successive Secretaries found that they lacked authority to force compliance. Other senior leaders--such as the Chairman and CINCs--also lacked means to carry out their responsibilities. Weaknesses in central civilian as well as military authority together with ambiguities in the original law promoted interservice competition in both military operations and resource allocation. The Goldwater-Nichols Act addressed these issues by more clearly defining responsibilities and providing authority to perform them. Empowered by Goldwater-Nichols reforms, DOD has made great strides in preparing for joint operations and managing defense resources.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics