This report was originally published by the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, and was taken from an address delivered by Mr. Hadley at the Scowcroft Legacy Conference Sponsored by the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs on April 26, 2016.
The Packard Commission reform transformed the acquisition side of the Department of Defense. However, it also decapitated the innovation ecosystem. If we are to restore the culture of innovation the Packard Commission will need be addressed.
This reflection examines the relationship between Special Forces and general forces. Special Forces operate quickly and with great secrecy. Unlike general forces, the element of secrecy keeps Special Forces out of public debate. Recognizing the strength of Special Forces, how should we wage war with transparency?
Although addressed in the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the question of how much power the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is reemerging. Now in a fiercely partisan environment, Congress should take caution as they reconsider the question.
The perceived need for reform is in the interagency coordination process has increased over the years. Yet, the way forward is complicated by a constitutional fault line. This piece assesses challenges in the interagency process, the national security staff, and a possible way forward for improvement.
Reform is challenging. Reforming major government institutions is exceptionally difficult. However, it is not impossible. This essay reflects on the factors promoted the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which led to reform in the Department of Defense.