Defense policymaking: the post-cold war roles and missions debate.
Hall, Michael A.
Parker, Patrick J.
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This thesis examines the ability of the President, Congress and Armed Services to formulate and implement defense policy that eliminates duplication and inefficiencies within service roles and missions. The hypothesis examined is that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the four military Services will be unable to formulate any significant changes in their own roles and missions because of a dichotomy between what the Services see as significant change (read structure) and what Congress sees as significant change (read budget). The Services inability to make change will force Congress to take the lead in the defense reform effort. However, congressional efforts to formulate and implement defense policy will prove imperfect again, unless Congress can first reform itself. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin has the best opportunity to formulate and implement defense policy for a post-Cold War environment. This thesis begins with a brief overview on the origins of the present day roles and missions debate, and is followed by an examination of the Goldwater-Nichols Act that provides insight as to how legislators might work with or against the President and Services in reallocating service roles and missions. The current debate over service roles and missions is examined along with constraints and implications of defense policymaking.
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