Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon / Edition 1

Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon / Edition 1

by James R. Locher III
     
 

ISBN-10: 1585443980

ISBN-13: 9781585443987

Pub. Date: 05/14/2004

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

War is waged not only on battlefields. In the mid-1980s a high-stakes political struggle to redesign the relationships among the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and warfighting commanders in the field resulted in the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. Author James R. Locher III played a key role in the congressional

Overview

War is waged not only on battlefields. In the mid-1980s a high-stakes political struggle to redesign the relationships among the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and warfighting commanders in the field resulted in the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. Author James R. Locher III played a key role in the congressional effort to repair a dysfunctional military whose interservice squabbling had cost American taxpayers billions of dollars and put the lives of thousands of servicemen and women at risk. Victory on this front helped make possible the military successes the United States has enjoyed since the passage of the bill and to prepare it for the challenges it must still face.Victory on the Potomac provides the first detailed history of how Congress unified the Pentagon and does so with the benefit of an insider's view. In a fast-paced account that reads like a novel, Locher follows the bill through congressional committee to final passage, making clear that the process is neither abstract nor automatic. His vivid descriptions bring to life the amazing cast of this real-life drama, from the straight-shooting chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Barry Goldwater, to the peevishly stubborn secretary of defense, Caspear Weinberger.Locher's analysis of political maneuvering and bureaucratic infighting will fascinate anyone who has an interest in how government works, and his understanding of the stakes in military reorganization will make clear why this legislative victory meant so much to American military capability.

James R. Locher III, a graduate of West Point and Harvard Business School began his career in Washington as an executive trainee in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has worked in the White House, the Pentagon, and the Senate. During the period covered by this book, he was a staff member for the Senate Committee on Armed Services. Since then, he has served as an assistant secretary of defense in the first Bush and the early Clinton administrations. Currently, he works as a consultant and lecturer on defense matters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585443987
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
05/14/2004
Series:
Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series, #79
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
1,206,903
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.21(d)

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsVIII
ForewordXI
AcknowledgmentsXIII
List of AcronymsXVII
Prologue: Turf, Power, Service3
Part 1The Fog of Defense Organization
Chapter 1.The Rise of Service Supremacists15
Chapter 2.Jones Breaks Ranks33
Chapter 3.The House Fires the First Shot59
Chapter 4.Texas Politics82
Chapter 5.Unfinished Business94
Chapter 6.Misfire in the Senate113
Part 2Drawing Battle Lines
Chapter 7.Beirut141
Chapter 8.Scholars and Old Soldiers164
Chapter 9.Nichols Runs Tower's Blockade181
Chapter 10.Crowe Makes Waves195
Chapter 11.Goldwater and Nunn Close Ranks213
Chapter 12.Weinberger Stonewalls234
Chapter 13.Naval Gunfire252
Part 3Marshaling Forces
Chapter 14.McFarlane Outtlanks the Pentagon277
Chapter 15.Trench Warfare299
Chapter 16.Playing the Media Card320
Chapter 17.Gathering of Eagles333
Chapter 18.Expedition into Hostile Territory346
Part 4March to Victory
Chapter 19.Seizing the High Ground357
Chapter 20.Transition to the Offensive374
Chapter 21.The Packard Commission Reinforces391
Chapter 22.The Decisive Battle399
Chapter 23.Mopping-Up Operations414
Chapter 24.The Commander in Chief Approves429
Epilogue: Unified at Last437
Notes451
Index507
Illustrations
1.Senators Barry Goldwater and Sam Nunn6
2.Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, December, 19857
3.Admiral William D. Leahy at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 194421
4.President Harry S. Truman and General Dwight D. Eisenhower27
5.General David C. Jones35
6.Burned-out U.S. helicopter at Desert One46
7.Members of the JCS meet in the Pentagon, November, 197956
8.Major Arch Barrett next to his F-4 aircraft61
9.General Edward "Shy" Meyer66
10."A Disagreement? Us?"72
11.Admiral Tom Hayward and Sen. John Tower86
12.Second Lieutenant William F. Nichols96
13.Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Cong. Bill Nichols100
14.Defense Department Organizational Chart, July, 1984117
15.Senator John Tower and Jim Locher121
16."I Believe I Do See a Little Something"123
17.Defense bureaucratic warfare128
18.General P. X. Kelley visiting the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut145
19.Congressman Bill Nichols with Alabama Marines in Lebanon149
20.A view of the destruction following the bombing of the battalion landing team headquarters building151
21.Senator Goldwater as a cadet captain, 1928217
22.Senators Goldwater and Nunn232
23."Our New Land-Based Missiles Will Launch from Super-Hardened, Inflexible, Inpenetrable Positions ..."241
24.Defense Secretary Weinberger and President Reagan243
25.Secretary of the Navy John Lehman258
26."So, As You Can See--That Item was Really a Bargain."291
27.President Reagan announces the creation of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management297
28.Paratroopers from the 82d Airborne Division312
29."What do They Mean We're not Combat-Ready?"370
30."What Command Problems?"371
31."Reduce the Authority of the Joint Chiefs?"372
32."In Your Hearts You Know He's Right."372
33.Senators Strom Thurmond and Sam Nunn389
34.Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, June 18, 1986402
35.Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird and Navy Secretary John W. Warner405
36.Senator Sam Nunn and Cong. Les Aspin420
37.Senator Goldwater, Jim Locher, Barbara Brown, Jeff Smith, and Senator Nunn434
38.General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Defense Secretary Richard Cheney, Pres. George Bush, and Gen. Colin Powell445

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