ABSTRACT

Goldwater-Nichols for the Executive Branch: Achieving Unity of Effort   [open pdf - 103KB]

This report is part of chapter two of five chapters in the series: Threats at Our Threshold: Homeland Defense and Homeland Security in the New Century: A Compilation of the Proceedings of the First Annual Homeland Defense and Homeland Security Conference. The following is taken from the introduction of the report: "The United States military's successful return to dominance following the Vietnam War was marred by a series of setbacks during the 1980s that revealed a need for further improvement in the way the various branches of the military fought together in battle. One of the most compelling examples is Operation Desert One, the failed attempt in 1980 to rescue the Americans held hostage in Iran. Of the many problems that plagued the aborted attempt to rescue the American embassy hostages, a core lesson was the need for the armed services to better train and exercise their ability to conduct joint, complex operations. Three years later, when the U.S. military invaded the island of Grenada, several mishaps again demonstrated that while the Services each possessed impressive individual capabilities and strengths, they still did not operate together well as a team. Inter-Service rivalries led to friction among leaders, and incompatible communications systems and operational doctrine hampered cohesion among the many units involved. To address these problems, Congress passed the landmark Goldwater- Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. A chief objective of the legislation was to force the disparate Services to forge themselves into a true joint force able to operate with their collective and unified might, seamlessly weaving together their capabilities for a common purpose."

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Threats at Our Threshold: Homeland Defense and Homeland Security in the New Century: A Compilation of the Proceedings of the First Annual Homeland Defense and Homeland Security Conference
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