This initiative is long overdue. Below are some comments that I made in response to to the one by Colin Clark in Breaking Defense today. My 2009 proposal for a new national security act is at the link below as is a link to my blog with the political warfare white paper.
From a Mentor:
It would be helpful if they asked if DOD is best of organized to execute it's role in political warfare....and then conclude we need a Joint Special Warfare command.
This would be in line with section 1097 of the NDAA which directs the SECDEF to come up with a strategy for countering unconventional
warfare which is something I have been working on for a long time.
At this link is the USASOC White Paper on SOF Support to Political Warfare.
Some good questions below. It will be interesting to read what Jim Locher says in his testimony. Here is my short answer to a next Goldwater-Nichols. Consider development of a professional National Security Corps of professional practitioners who are educated and trained in the national security process of how to make policy and strategy and then are assigned throughout the interagency (with assignments to multiple agencies over their careers) to ensure all agencies have sufficient focus on the national security mission. Jim Locher once told me that there are only two executive branch agencies that claim national security and national defense as their primary overarching mission and that is DOD and the CIA. My 2009 recommendations are at this link: http://smallwarsjournal.
Excerpt from Breaking Defense (http://breakingdefense.com/
2015/11/first-do-no-harm-sasc- begins-goldwater-nichols- review/):
Since the choice and testimony of witnesses is crucial to the Kabuki of Hill hearings, t’s most interesting that Jim Locher, described by the committee as “a primary author of Goldwater-Nichols,” is expected to say that the US military “has not adapted its organizational approaches to keep up with the world it faces.”
Locker, who now works with the Joint Special Operations University, will tell the SASC that “decision-making must be faster, more collaborative, and more decentralized. The Pentagon’s inadequate capacity represents a major deficiency.”
Ultimately, Locher will tell the SASC that, even though the US military performs better than most of the rest of the government, that still isn’t enough, especially in the face of enormous changes in threats, economics and other globals strategy drivers.
This oversight initiative is not a set of solutions in search of problems. We will neither jump to conclusions nor address only symptoms. We will take the time to look deeply for the incentives and root causes that drive behavior. And we will always, always be guided by that all-important principle: First, do no harm.
It is my hope that the cause of reform will not be ours alone. Reforming, reshaping, and reimagining our defense institutions to meet the challenges of a more dangerous world will require drawing on the wisdom of our nation’s best defense experts, so many of whom are War on the Rocks contributors and readers. I hope our oversight initiative will start a broader conversation that will help inform and improve our reform efforts.
Finally, this must and will be a bipartisan endeavor. Defense reform is not a Republican or Democratic issue, and we will keep it that way. These are vital national security issues, and we must seek to build a consensus about how to improve the organization and operation of the Department of Defense in ways that can and will be advanced by whomever wins next year’s elections. Such bipartisanship is in keeping with the best traditions of the Senate Armed Services Committee and all those charged with providing for the common defense.