Military of One: Unification of the US Armed Forces

Preface

The subsequent discussion involves reasons for unifying the United States of America armed forces. The idea for contemplating merging the forces is a reaction to the outcry of Americans for the continuous deterioration in performance of the United States of America armed forces, as well as huge expenses that the U.S. armed forces use for management and operation of their services. Thus, it is imperative to transform the armed forces to run as a whole entity, rather than operating in independent units. This unity is administratively and economically beneficial to the force. To do this, they require an effective scenario-planning framework that will transform their status, while enabling each force to maintain its independence. Presently, there is independent management of the four U.S Military forces: the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. However, there are no doubts that if administered as a whole, these forces will be much stronger and effective. This research paper investigates the importance of combining these forces.

The study unearths the benefits associated with the merger of the U.S armed forces. Joining the forces will help in boosting the country’s economy and strengthen the military services. To affirm these points, the paper has provided evidence of the poor financial situation in the military force. In 1947, the United States adopted the Goldwater-Nicholas Act, which identified the Air Force as an independent service from the Army. In addition to that, the act enabled the country deal with security challenges. This task could not have been possible without the help of various bodies. Special acknowledgement to CCJO for providing the necessary sources related to the benefits of joint forces, their planned operation and management. It was necessary to look at other countries that have unified their forces in order to emphasize the benefits and feasibility of this proposition. One such country is Canada, which unified its three defensive services into Canadian Forces. The central argument of this research paper is its argument that joint forces results into joint opportunities, military skills, minds, opportunities and other assets.

Abstract

This paper seeks to investigate the argument for unification. It explains the arguments presented in the research by stating its claims together with the reasons behind the claims. To offer readers a complete understanding of these claims, it covers the background of the problem, together with the problem’s significance. It also provides various primary, secondary and tertiary sources to support the research and promote an in-depth understanding of the problem. There is a framework and outline to the paper, which direct readers where to obtain information easily. It later offers recommendations for the United States on how to go about unifying these forces. After that, the paper concludes by highlighting the main objectives of the research, reasons and procedures followed

Introduction

This research paper will utilize the scenario-planning framework as the methodology for the subject. This framework will offer a methodology for study and analysis of why the US should consider unifying the military structure. The unification of the five Military Services will be beneficial for the US, as it will contribute to the administrative and economic success. To reveal the essence of this argument, one should delve into the crucial points of this problem. The United States five military powers are like five self-governing US military forces. However, if these forces work together, they will become undoubtedly stronger. Thus, the claim for the present research paper is as follows: it is necessary to take a bold risk, and consider combining the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. This claim has its own reasons: first, this powerful combination of joint forces will maintain and move the US into the future with a viable strong military force; second, the US economy is in a crisis, and poorly maintains five separate military services, investing budget money into research and development, personnel, and equipment (Challenges of an Aging America 2009).

There is the following evidence: currently, the US military force is cutting personnel to balance the budget; nevertheless, that goal is not related to the consideration of what current standards are required to complete missions (Bourne 2008).In addition, all the military services are budgeting for research, development funding, and high-tech equipment. At the same time, the research argument is based on an essential acknowledgement. The personnel and leadership of each of the four US military services are against combining them owing to the historically fixed principles guided by pride, tradition, and heritage (Bourne 2009). Considering this, one may see that the response is evident in the following research statement. The united military forces will not erase the United States history, but will improve its economy, as the budget will not be allocated to five separate military services. Finally, the research argument has the warrant: the joint United States military forces will improve economic and administrative systems of the country, and will make the country stronger in the face of a danger that threatens the nation’s welfare.

Problem Statement

The adoption of the Goldwater-Nichols Act was in 1947; it recognized the Air Force as a service independent from the Army. However, the Act was also a way for the United States to deal with security challenges of that time, and allowed the president to receive information needed to make decisions about future threats. Although there have been many changes needed in the Act, one should consider more changes related to combining the United States military services. Economy is the catalyst warranting such reflection on a possible drastic change (Joint Publication 2011).

The United States economy is in crisis, and budget cuts for the military are not conducive to what the standards require for performing a particular job. In the early 90s of the previous century, the military cut 25,000 men and women from the military services in order to meet spending cut requirements. In 2006, the military force transformed the United States Air Force personnel through dividing it to introduce 40,000 flyers. This is a reactive approach to the shrinking budget for national defense. In retrospect, these cuts affected the military negatively (Blechman 1993)3.Thus, combing the United States Armed forces is a strategic move to cut down huge expenses required by the four Americans independently managed units.

Research Question

The research question offers the basis for the study, as well as guiding the researcher in answering the research question. The researcher used the following question to guide the following discussion.

Why should the United States seriously consider being a united military force?

Purpose of the Study

This study will be important to various stakeholders in America. For, instance cutting the expenses of the military force will enable channeling more funds to health care provision to lessen the high expense that accompany healthcare provision in the United States. Similarly, the United States armed forces will improve their service delivery, which will be availed at lesser costs. This will be important in exterminating any possible downsizing of the military personnel in future due to financial challenges.

Thesis Statement

The United States of America armed forces should unify to enhance their performance and cut down their huge expenses.

Framework and Roadmap

The research paper will be based on the scenario-planning framework as the work is focused on resolving the problem concerning the necessity of the unified United States Armed forces, with a set of scenarios offered for evaluation and choice of the best ones for ultimate implementation. A thorough literature review will reflect the intellectual investigation aimed at interpreting, discovering, and revising knowledge available in the defined field of inquiry. In addition, the content analysis focused on the crucial points relevant to the problem will help to answer and discuss the research question in details. However, the present research topic will utilize the scenario-planning methodology as different scenarios of military unification will be described and discussed. Firstly, the subsequent literature review will be focused on the necessity of reorganization of military services (namely, there will be mentioned the Canadian Forces unification).

Secondly, the literature review will be focused on the Goldwater-Nichol Act. Thirdly, it will proceed to the need in United States joint military activities, and mention what the United States Constitution states concerning the military services. The scenarios will be critically analyzed and ranked. This research will describe four possible ways of how the United States military could be structured in the 21st century. Furthermore, the research will describe the recommended structures, and the ways in which the economies could benefit from such unification efforts. Eventually this research will be concluded with a recommendation of the scenario that needs to be considered and implemented by the US government; the chosen scenario will most likely have a positive impact on the US economic and administrative systems.

According to the research design, the literature review will give an in-depth understanding of the research problem. The review of the literature relating to the United States military history official documents, and current situation in the Military Services will contribute to the accomplishment of the research purpose. At the same time, the literature review will create a powerful basis for the design of scenarios of military unification. The evaluation of the scenarios will help to choose the optimal one to be applied in the real-life United States context. Conclusions will present the synthesized research findings based on analyzed literature related to the idea and aspects of the United States military unification.

Background Study

The National Security Act was adopted in 1947; it recognized the Air Force as a service independent from the Army. However, the Act was also a way for the United States to deal with security challenges of that time, and allowed the President to receive information needed to make decisions about future threats (Blechman 1993). Although there have been many changes needed in the Act, one should consider more changes related to combining the United States military services. Economy is the catalyst warranting such reflection on a possible drastic change.

The United States economy is in crisis, and budget cuts for the military are not conducive to what the standards require for performing a particular job (Challenges of an Aging America 2009)1. In the early 90s of the previous century, the military cut 25,000 men and women from the military services in order to meet spending cut requirements. In 2006, the military force shaped United States Air Force personnel through cutting it to bring into accordance with 40,000 airmen. This is a reactive approach to the shrinking budget for national defense. In retrospect, these cuts affected the military negatively (Blechman 1993)2.

This research is significant because it will show a thought-out suggestion that will unify the services, and will recommend a way to budget for one service that would combine the five United States military forces. The Canadian Forces went through a similar transformation by military restructuring, and proved the effectiveness of the united military forces that are able to work and respond jointly (Blechman 1993). This example serves as a lesson to the US separate military services, and encourages the US Department of Defense to make corresponding changes. The research will also offer alternatives to combining the services with respect to unification of some of the duplicative efforts of the personnel on administrative and operational level, and procurement of compatible war-fighting equipment.

The Need for Transformation: Canadian Military Unification

The concept of military unification has attracted the US political leaders for a long time. Since the 40s of the 20th century, Congress made the efforts to unify the United States Armed Force for its administrative and economic welfare. Blechman (1993) noted that for some people (including political leaders and civilians), unification seems to be the only effective way to “strengthen the hand of executive branch civilians in controlling the military,” and improve the performance of all Armed Forces (Blechman 1993, 15). 1At the same time, the adversaries of military unification believe that this process will decrease the authority of Congress, and complicate the United States defense policy (Blechman 1993).

Nevertheless, if one examines the examples of successful unification of forces in the Canadian experience, this process would seem reasonable and beneficial. In 1968, Pall Hellyer, the Minister of National Defense, unified Canadian Forces by merging Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force into a united structure. After World War II, “the need for a single coherent defense policy for Canada” was officially recognized (Gosselin 2008, para. 1)3. Moreover, Hellyer realized that the warfare conditions and situations demand a collective response and unified functional commands that make the commanders of different forces act together. He reorganized and restructured forces, and established chain of command in such a way that the unified structure conducted both domestic and international operations.

Three defensive services (Navy, Army, and Air Force) turned into a system of unified commands for the purpose of operations and planning. All forces were grouped into a single command, and the new command structure was integrated. Chief of the Defense Staff applied the concept of joint task forces that became “the cornerstone of the CF Transformation” (Gosselin 2008, para. 10). The transformation turned out constructive: the new command structure proved to be notably efficient and successful although it was far from perfect. However, Gosselin (2008) noted that

“The creation of Canada Command means that, for the first time in Canada, one unified chain of command exists for routine and contingency domestic operations, with each regional JTF commander being responsible for the employment of all CF assets assigned within his or her region” (Gosselin, 2008, para. 11).

One cannot but agree that the Canadian experience can serve as a model for the US military transformation. The neighbor’s military transformation and the adoption of Canadian experience have kept the United States government in suspense for many years. After the World War II and Vietnam War, the process of unification was necessary but it proved to be extremely challenging for the United States forces, taking into account the fact that the Army and Air Corps supported the idea, and the Navy with Marine Corps opposed it. The National Security Act of 1947 reorganized the United States Armed Forces, and established the post of Secretary of Defense (Gosselin 2008). It was “unification without integration” that allocated roles and missions among the military services (Blechman 1993, 7). However, it did not make the reorganized system effective: powers of the Secretary of Defense were limited, the services wanted to preserve their combat roles, and did not want to share powers.

Military unification of all forces under a single department attracted the government because it would fix problems caused by inter-service rivalry. The idea was formally realized, but it needed practical agreement. Today, many people in the United States support the idea of military unification because the main role of forces is to act like a team to defend civilians (Blechman 1993). Nowadays, in the context of the global threat to national security, the need for transformation grows although several acts were signed to approximate to the new model of command.

Goldwater-Nichols Act

In 1982, the Committee on Armed Service approved the amendment to the United States Code. The signed bill provided “for more efficient and effective operation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” and established “a Senior Strategy Advisory Board in the Department of Defense” (US House, 1)4. The mentioned amendment was a major precondition for the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 that reorganized the Department of Defense, strengthened civilian authority, improved the military advice provided to the Secretary of Defense, the President, and the National Security Council. In addition, the Act placed clear responsibilities on the commanders of the unified combatant commands for the accomplishment of assigned missions. Moreover, the Act increased attention to the strategic planning, and was aimed at other positive changes in the Department of Defense concerning management and administration (Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986).

Although organizational, operational and fiscal pressures were inevitable, the necessary defense reforms followed the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, and the military services’ worry about some of the effects of the Act grew strongly. According to some opinions, these effects are inimical to the effective and efficient support of the United States military forces (Bourne, 1998). Some Navy officials were especially concerned with the implementation of the Act and unintended consequences of the reforms for the United States Navy and Armed Forces. For them, “a growing divide between a military-run requirements process and a civilian-run acquisition process” was evident (Nemfakos et al. 2010, 1). Even so, the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 opened a new era in the United States Department of Defense, implementing positive changes (namely, a single military chain of command, more effective interaction of services, and shared procurement) that proved to be successful (for example, in the Gulf War) (Nemfakos et al. 2010).

The Concept of Joint Military Force

Revealing the concept of joint military force in the US context, one may see the evident reason for military transformation and unification of forces. According to the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) that reflects the vision of joint forces from the perspective of the Department of Defense, the implementation of joint force is beneficial for each of the Services: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. One may agree with the following point of view formed by this concept: “each Service possesses its own unique traditions and competencies, which contribute to the versatility, flexibility, and effectiveness of the joint force” (CCJO v3.0 2009, 3). Thus, the creation of joint military forces is reasonable and logic as they have numerous advantages for the country and its people.

According to CCJO, only joint forces may act like a competitive team always ready to protect people and vital national interests. If the civilian personnel of the US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are unified in the joint forces, the country will maintain its wealth for a long time. United combined forces are taught in responding to any adversity and emergency in a proper manner. Thus, enhancing peace, and stopping human suffering. People engaged in joint military forces may defeat enemies who threaten national security. Combined forces reinforce and enhance relations with global partners that undoubtedly take part in enhancing peaceful environment, and assists affected nations to deter possible adversaries. As the US Armed Forces are on the peak of their capabilities in the 20th century, it is necessary to join its intelligence capabilities, as it will enhance the success of all military operations. Combined forces will reinforce the military muscle unparalleled manner on land, air and space, as well as in the sea (CCJO v3.0 2009).

However, the CCJO is inseparably connected with the realization of such activity concepts as joint combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction concepts. The joint combat concept suggests the following actions: acting like a single defeat mechanism, identification of enemies, fight for domain superiority (including cyberspace), minimization of damage, employment of controlled combat power, etc. The concept of joint security has relation to multi-faceted security activities during conflicts, crises, or peacetime that follow the framework of prevention and de-escalation; in addition, it provides security-specific functions of regulation, intervention, and dissemination of information. The joint engagement concept includes purpose-built, ad hoc coalitions and alliances, establishment of logical and overarching framework aimed to achievement of a common purpose (namely, reconciliation) through human resource coordination, cooperation, training, and special high-tech equipment (CCJO v3.0 2009).

Finally, the concept of relief and reconstruction can be realized through the following activities: provision and improvement of critical infrastructure and essential services, increase of communicating credibility, implementation of principles of neutrality, humanity, and impartiality (CCJO v1.0 2010).

The US Military Forces and Economy: Budget Issues

The connection between a country’s military forces and economy is notably visible in its budget. The US military budget is an essential portion of the federal budget. Being allocated to the Department of Defense, the military budget goes to defense-related expenditures: training, salaries, health care of civilian and uniformed personnel, equipment and facilities, etc. However, Blechman (1993) noted the following evidence:

“the US Congressional Budget Office estimated that reducing force levels to 3,500 warheads would save the United States an average of $16 billion (1993 dollars) each year for fifteen years” (Blechman 1993, 252).

Unfortunately, the implementation of budget cuts and a reduction in the defense budget are inevitable processes for the US Armed Forces. Nevertheless, the United States Department of Defense should adjust its spending and priorities to meet new threats of the changing world. Therefore, the need to pay more attention to special programs and training for staff is evident, and may bring many benefits on the nationwide level. The current discrepancy in declining military budget resulted through pressures caused by broader missions in the post-9/11 world, new requirements after wartime (namely, Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom), and dramatic increases in operating and personnel costs (Blechman 1993).

In the context of continuous global high-tech development, cyber security assumes greater importance because cyber space has become one of the main defensive domains for the United States military forces. According to the recent news, the Department of Defense needs to reduce spending in order to be able to fund cyber security, investing in modernization programs (Sternetein, 2011)5. Otherwise, the Pentagon will be forced to shrink military forces, and halt Information Technological upgrades. The network security reforms for private defense work need to be implemented: they will provide with such network protection activities as scanning for viruses and applying bug patches.

The recommendations of some Department officials “urge expanding or extending existing tax credits for companies that invest in cyber technology rather than creating new tax credits” (Sternetein, 2011, para. 5). In addition, the federal government should take advantage of existing grant programs instead of new funds. However, the cyber security insurance market should be studied to lessen the financial burden of the federal budget concerning the unexpected costs. At the same time, the United States possesses many opportunities to fully prepare for new cyber threats or attacks, and to decrease their current vulnerability in the cyberspace area (Sternetein, 2011).

Army and Air Force Reductions.
Figure 1. Army and Air Force Reductions.

The following chart shows the cutbacks if services are concentrated in one unit

 Annual and 1991 Net Accession Reductions.
Figure 2. Annual and 1991 Net Accession Reductions.

Issues Analysis

The Unification of Administrative Requirements of the US Military Services

Using the advantages of scenario planning, one can foresee the realization of this scenario. According to the CCJO, to create effective joint forces, one should provide them with services interaction. In this context, it is necessary to establish administrative requirements for the convenience of the unified forces (CCJO v1.0 2010).

The systematized knowledge about the aspects of the US Military Services contributes to the present scenario. Undoubtedly, authority distribution among commanders and subordinates will increase the administrative control over the joint forces (Joint Publication 3-0 2011). Taking into account the peculiarities of the US Armed Forces environment, there are nine aspects needed to be taken into account in the process of unification of administrative requirements: force support, battle space awareness, force application, logistics, command and control, net-centric, protection, building partnership, and corporate management and support (Joint Publication 3-0, 2011). Each of these aspects or areas of the United States Military Services are assigned to the corresponding subdivisions.

For example, force support is one of the administrative requirements created for the administrative convenience of the unified military forces. Force support embraces four essential categories: force management, force preparation, human capital management, and health readiness. Naturally, administrative power should be allocated in correspondence with the mentioned categories. For example, the personnel engaged in health readiness consist of uniformed and civilian people that specialize in three main areas: force health protection, health service delivery, and health system support. Another example is battle space awareness that engages people specializing in electro-optical, geophysical, nuclear radiation and other scientific areas that have relation to battle spaces. Human-based collection (observation, socio-cultural data, biometrics data, etc.) also contributes to battle space awareness; there are its own administrative requirements for this area as well. The personnel from different subdivisions share the administrative authority, and follow their own administrative requirements concerning such aspects of battle space awareness as processing/exploitation; analysis, prediction and production; battle space awareness dissemination, and relay.

Total Unification of All US Military Services

According to the CCJO, the idea of joint forces means total unification of all US Military Services (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). Although the idea of total military unification may seem impossible to realize, the CCJO provides with a practical framework that can be applied to the United States Forces. To understand how this scenario can be utilized, it is necessary to view the unified military forces as a single effective instrument of policy because “the fundamental purpose of military power is to deter or wage war in support of national policy” (CCJO v3.0 2009, 9). Thus, the joint force is one of the essential instruments of national policy that serves its interests, and contributes to the achievement of its purposes.

Total unification of all United States Military Services means a single chain of command, diffusion of power and authority among the subdivisions subordinate to Department of Defense, and other essential aspects. Total unification is beneficial because it ensures identification and elimination of the problem (disaster, crisis) everywhere: on the land and sea, in the air, space, and even cyberspace. Joint force should be engaged in joint operations that demand integration and adaptation of the mentioned activity concepts: combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction. However, the joint operating environment characterized as uncertain, complex, changing, and conflicting includes not only military force, but also other elements. For this reason, the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard should collaborate with different agencies to develop strategic partnerships. In general, the CCJO suggests the following idea: being totally unified, the United States Armed Forces use joint capabilities of the Military Services to accomplish the tasks of any complexity (CCJO v3.0 2009).

If this scenario is realized, there will be numerous advantages for the United States military system, the country, and its population. The main purpose of the CCJO lies in creation of greater versatility and adaptability across the force to cope with the operating environment of 21st century. Some of the notable advantages are the following ones: versatile and balanced joint force; improved knowledge and capabilities for warfare, operations, and activities; renewed understanding of strategic deterrence, etc. (CCJO v3.0 2009).

Two Military Services – Army/Air Force & Navy/Marines/Coast Guard

The establishment of two military services, Navy/Marines/Coast Guard and Army/Air Force, seems to be successful for several reasons. First, Navy and Marine Services have often cooperated with each other; they strongly rely on one another, and have close links. Army and Air Force have repeatedly provided mutual support (for example, the United States Air Force provided tactical airlift for the Army), and were those military branches that supported the idea of unification, unlike Navy and Marine Corps (Blechman, 1993). Secondly, the unification of these two forces is reasonable because the military branches share the same responsibilities (for example, military aviation is shared by the Army and Air Force in long-distanced operations; the Marine Corps are subordinate to the US Navy, and both of them are engaged in military operations on sea) (AU-2 Guidelines for Command, 2008).

The unified combatant commands of the US Army and the Air Force will bring benefits to the country and its people. The alliance of these two branches will provide the USA with exceptional air-land control. The joint force will be engaged in joint tasks, missions, and operations in air and on land. In the 1940s, the Air Force was a component of the US Army; together, they were a powerful military force of the country after World War II. Their short-term collaboration was effective and strategically beneficial for the country, but later, they separated, and became independent. However, this scenario offers the re-unification of the Air Force and Army. The Air and Ground Corps may operate as the single organism aimed to defeat the enemy in two domains (Blechman, 1993).

The unification of the Navy and the Marine Corps promises to be effective from an administrative, strategic, and practical point of view. These forces have achieved excellent performance in the same battle domain. Both of them are subordinate to the Department of Navy, which gives an opportunity to be engaged in flying, seaborne, and amphibious military operations. Historically, they have unique relationships: mutually beneficial support and cooperation helped them to achieve best results in joint missions. Together, these two forces opposed the unification because they “feared that an independent air force in a unified military department would usurp its control over sea-based aviation” (Blechman, 1993, p. 6). Nowadays, the Marine Corp and the Navy have the common training base, strategy, operation environment, and purposes.

The Unification of Basic Training & Technical School

The US Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard should have the unified basic training and technical schools. According to the CCJO, jointed forces have the same purpose: to identify and eliminate the problem, protecting national interests and the country’s population. If the personnel of the five Military Services are trained together, they will view the United States forces as a single organism with five arms aimed to defend the country and its population regardless of any challenges. In addition, one can note several basic training and technical school benefits resulting from the unification scenario.

First, it will facilitate communication and understanding among the forces. Effective communication is believed a powerful tool for 21st century military forces. Training and learning together, people communicate and understand each other’s words and thoughts, exchange, and adopt invaluable professional experience. Sharing information, ideas, and messages with others proves to be a helpful practice that will improve the quality of joint military operations. Unified training and learning structure encourages inter-service communication, support, teamwork, and leadership that are very essential for carrying out the orders (AFH 33-337, 2004)6.

Secondly, this scenario is strategically beneficial because each military structure takes advantage of the common military techniques, tactics, procedures, and equipment that allow them to serve the national priorities. In addition, the Air, Land, & Sea Application Center that specializes in advising foreign forces may help Military Services to direct their efforts and opportunities into a common action course. The advisor team of the Center will help to increase credibility, remove mistrust, and misunderstanding among the forces through their engagement in the joint operations (Field Manual (FM) 3-07.10. 2009).

Analysis of Issues

Ranking of the Scenarios That Would Likely Have the Greatest Impact on the US Military

The four mentioned scenarios are likely to have a great impact on the US Military Services. However, it is necessary to rank each of them to understand to what measure they may influence administrative and economic welfare of the US. Having evaluated the scenarios, one may rank them in the following manner:

  • Scenario II: Total Unification of All US Military Services
  • Scenario III: Two Military Services – Army/Air Force & Navy/Marines/Coast Guard
  • Scenario I: the Unification of Administrative Requirements of the US Military Services
  • Scenario IV: the Unification of Basic Training & Technical School

The ranking takes into account economic and administrative convenience’s that will undoubtedly strengthen the potential of the United States. The second and the third scenario occupy the highest positions in the ranking because they seem to be the most important scenarios applicable to the United States military structure. The second scenario (total unification) seems to be the most appropriate and suitable scenario for application as it embraces economic and administrative aspects of the military unification problem. The third scenario (unification of three Military Services) is also beneficial from economic and administrative points of view as it is based on systematization principle as well. The first and the fourth scenarios are not so essential in comparison with the other two. Owing to the main weakness of the first scenario (emphasis on administrative aspect without economic considerations), it is placed on the third place in the rank. Finally, the fourth scenario is guided only by administrative convenience to the prejudice of economic balance.

Discussion of Results: Selection of the Two Highest Ranking Scenarios that Would Best Serve the Future US Military Forces

The two highest-ranking scenarios are the following ones: “Total Unification of All US Military Services,” and “Two Military Services – Army/Air Force & Navy/Marines.” These scenarios would best serve the future US Military Forces as they imply economic and administrative balance. The following three points are the sound arguments that prove the effectiveness of the chosen scenarios.

Both scenarios aim to realize the idea of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986

One of the key purposes of the Act was to “improve the management and administration of the Department of Defense” (Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, stat. 992). Powerful administration enhances the effectiveness of the Department that relies on joint efforts of the military forces. Following these scenarios, the Secretary of Defense establishes and supervises the execution of policies, procedures, and principles related to organizational and administrative matters concerning the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. In addition, the single military chain of command makes the personnel of the forces to share its own authorities and responsibilities. The unification of Military Services contributes to the efficient, effective, and economical allocation of financial resources. Moreover, excellent performance of budgetary and fiscal functions, capital property accounting, and statistical and economic reporting of the Department of Defense create economic balance of the unified US forces.

The scenarios enhance military teamwork and defense unification

As it was mentioned, unified unique opportunities of each of the Military Services may turn the US forces into the most powerful military unit of the future. It is one of the main ideas in the capstone concept: productive and effective teamwork for the benefit of the nation. The ability to act in different battle domains (land, air, sea, space, and cyberspace) is one of the main privileges of the unified forces. The opportunity to respond professionally to any problem threatening national interests will enable the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to easily face complex and changing conditions of the joint operating environment, and overcome challenges with the help of inter-service interaction, cooperation, and communication (CCJO v3.0 2009).

The scenarios contribute to the US economic welfare

According to the CCJO, joint engagement activities will help to meet the economic need of the affected communities, and enhance economic interaction with the federal government (CCJO v3.0 2009). However, the economic contribution to the national economy is visible in the current military economic policy relating to budget reduction. For example, to meet future needs, the Air Forces are implementing the positive changes: balancing fiscal responsibility with the investment in the nation’s defense and personnel, reduction of overhead costs, and redirection of financial resources for the benefit of the growing areas (restructured workforce shaping, support to Airmen families) (Gettle 2011)7.

Conclusion

It is evident that unifying the U.S. armed forces is the best option. According to the literature review, the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 suggested the legal base for unified Military Services to combine their warfare planning and training activities. Although it makes sense for the US to have a single armed service providing unity of effort, the scenario of creating two unified Military Services seems to be more reasonable and practical, taking into account the tensions between Army/Air Force and Navy/Marines/Coast Guard. The military unification of the two forces could benefit the country economically and administratively. The United States government should consider the idea of creation of two unified military forces.

According to the CCJO, the joint forces (the Army and Air Force, and the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) that are subordinate to the Department of Defense will have numerous advantages (CCJO v1.0 2010). First, they will operate together as a single team, and maximize their mutually beneficial results. The common administrative requirements will undoubtedly facilitate their activities. The presence of the single chain of command, Chief Commanders, and effective personnel who share responsibilities and authority in each of the Military Services will contribute to administrative success.

Secondly, joint operating environment will be based on the following building blocks that positively affect the country and its population: combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction. The activities included in the aforementioned blocks embrace essential practices of the forces during wars or peacetime: defeating armed enemies; protecting of population, resources, and territory; cooperation and collaboration with allies and different specialized agencies; provision of essential services during natural disasters or civil disorder, etc. Full control of the domain (land, air, sea, space, and cyberspace) will give an opportunity to identify and eliminate the problem before the country or population face danger and insecurity. Thirdly, the unified two Military Services will contribute to economic welfare. Reasonable fiscal, financial, and budgetary operations, reduction of costs, and allocation of material resources and investment into growing areas (for example, cyber security, and special social programs) will contribute to the economic success of the country, and will shorten unnecessary costs.

In general, the United States unified Army and Air Force, and the Navy and Marines Force is the idea that should be realized by the United States government. Taking into account the historical interactions and close relationship between the two joint forces, it is reasonable to unify them. Joint Forces are joint opportunities, minds, military skills, knowledge, and other assets that can make the future United States military unit unconquerable and the most powerful defensive force in the world. The two Joint Forces will serve the national interests, and will take care of the United States population. Intelligent administration and economic policy will contribute to the overall welfare of the nation. At the same time, the Forces are likely to strengthen their international relationships, and find strategic alliance that will help them to defeat all enemies that threaten national security. The United States unified Army and Air Force, and the Navy, Marines Force, and Coast Guard will embody the idea of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, and will approximate the military mechanism to the accessible ideal. These unified forces will become the symbol of national security, confidence in the future, and provide effective support to social, economic, and administrative life of the United States.

Recommendations

For the reason that total unification of Military Services seems to be too idealistic and hard to be applied in real life, the Scenario III is chosen: “Two Military Services – Army/Air Force & Navy/Marines/Coast Guard.” Using the advantages of practical scenario thinking, one may see that this scenario can be applied to the US military context. The “What If” principle gives an opportunity to project the situation, and to imagine what will be if the United States government approves the chosen scenario (Scearce et al. 2004).

The Department of Defense needs to be divided into two main subdivisions responsible for their own Military Service (the Army and Air Force; the Navy and Marines Force, and the Coast Guard). The personnel of each force are subordinate to its own Chief Commander responsible for the military force. The Army and Air Force should consist of Ground and Air Corps, while the Navy and Marines Force – of Naval and Marines Corps. Each of the military service will perform the tasks related to their domain (land, air, sea, etc.), but will pursue the common purpose that meets the national interests of the United States through such military activities as combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction activities (CCJO v1.0 2010). The two joint forces will be able to cope with future challenges of the country they face in an uncertain, changing, and complex environment (Challenges of an Aging America: a Scenario-Based Glimpse at the Future 2009).

The mentioned CCJO may contribute to the application of this scenario. Mainly, the chosen jointed forces (the Army and Air Force, and the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard Force) will be aimed to overcome national security challenges (for example, defend the homeland). Each of the Military Services will have its own specialists, uniformed and civilian members, and other personnel representatives. The forces will perfectly fit into joint operating environment as the scenario takes the close relationships between the two branches involved in the unified force into account. Their teamwork, common equipment, tactic, techniques, and procedures will make their operational work mobile and responsive, and will facilitate the activities aimed to alleviation of problems and defense of national interests (CCJO v3.0 2009).

Endnotes

  1. Challenges of an Aging America: a Scenario-Based Glimpse at the Future. Air Command and Staff College Research Report, 2009.
  2. Blechman, Barry M. The American Military in the Twenty-First Century. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993.
  3. Gosselin, Daniel. Hallyer’s Ghosts: Unification of the Canadian Forces is 40 Years Old – Part Two. Web.
  4. US House. Full Committee on Armed Services consideration. 97th Cong., 2nd sess. 1982. H. R. 6954
  5. Sternetein, Aliya. “Departing Pentagon Official Warns Against Cutting Cybersecurity Funding”. Nextgov, 10 May 2011.
  6. AFH 33-337. The Tongue and Quill: Communication is an essential tool for the twenty-first century Air Force.1 August 2004.
  7. Gettle, Mitch. Air Force Building the Future Force. 2011. Web.

Bibliography

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