Dec. 1, 2007
Organizing for National Security: Unification or Coordination?
Experience gained from the 9/11 attacks, combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, disaster assistance during and after Hurricane Katrina, and the ongoing war on terror provides the basis for amending our anachronistic national security structures and practices. Many analysts and officials have called for a second-generation version of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 to address the array of organizational and management challenges that we face. Some argue that the new security environment requires even more fundamental change, similar to what was enacted after World War II. The principal legislation that emerged from that era was the National Security Act of 1947. Goldwater-Nichols aimed to fix inter-Service problems by streamlining the chain of command and promoting “jointness” but did not fundamentally alter the structure of the U.S. military.