In today’s Washington-Post former Secretary of the Air Force and later Defense Harold Brown proffers a provocative argument that there is no longer a need for the service secretaries e.g Secretary’s of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. That they are redundant and that the service Chiefs would remain under Civilian Control as they would continue to report to the Secretary of Defense.
Several questions immediately come to mind:
- Who will be the independent political voice (vice military) who will challenge the programming and budgeting decisions of Department of Defense?
- Would this result in the diminishing of service parochialism?
- Would this be the first step toward consolidation of the services?
- Who would be responsible for providing and ensuring the proper functioning of the services—the Secretary of the Services are charged currently with, “, the Secretary of the Army [sic Navy and Air Force] is responsible for, and has the authority necessary to conduct, all affairs of the Department of the Army, including the following functions:”? Will this result in the growth of the Department of Defense as organizations are created to handle the myriad of administrative matters currently handled by the Service Secretaries? Would there truly be a net saving in personnel and cost if this proposal was implemented or would this be another rearranging of the deck chairs?
I am sure there are other questions that others will think of.