"On May 14-15, 2008, the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College hosted a colloquium entitled 'Civil-Military Relations in a Post-9/11 World.' The colloquium, inspired by past, present, and future interactions between civilian leaders and the uniformed military, sought to examine three general areas: the roles and responsibilities of civilian leadership, the roles and responsibilities of military leaders, and changes in the relationship between civilian and military leaders. To address these issues, experts from the military, government, and academia presented their not-for-attribution assessments and recommendations for further increasing U.S. effectiveness in civil-military relations. The colloquium began with a speaker discussing the congressional intent behind the Goldwater- Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Goldwater-Nichols. He argued that the act was passed partly to reestablish a clear chain of command between the civilian overseers and the uniformed military. The overwhelming success in the prosecution of the war during Operation DESERT STORM demonstrated the success of Goldwater-Nichols. The speaker reflected upon civil-military relations during the 2000 presidential administration transition and suggested that during the upcoming transition, with wars on two fronts and the interagency process lacking, civil-military relations will be strained. However, in the absence of a full-time management team, the single best option is for the Secretary of Defense to heed the counsel of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Service Chiefs, and the Senior Enlisted Advisers."
Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/