Institutional and Political Impediments
Chapter 3 analyzed U.S. civil–military relations in terms of the threedimensional framework that is at the heart of this book. While democratic civilian control is not the issue in the United States that it is in most of the world, and although the executive and legislature wield an impressive number of instruments to oversee the efficient use of resources, the effectiveness of the security sector is recognized to be problematic by virtually all policy experts. As the only remaining superpower, with commitments across the globe, the challenges concerning U.S. national security and defense are real in terms of blood and gold and have to be dealt with seriously. Not surprisingly, there have been many diverse efforts to improve the effectiveness of the U.S. defense and security sector.
This chapter will review the most important reform efforts in recent years, beginning with the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. The other reform initiatives reviewed here all began after the events of September 11, 2001, which signaled the dramatic end of false tranquility in the United States and saw a renewed emphasis on the emerging threat environment. This in turn led to the so-called Global War on Terror and the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Besides the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the chapter will review the findings and recommendations (released in July and August 2004) of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, commonly known as the 9/11 Commission; the 2005 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report, “Department of Defense Reform: Beyond Goldwater-Nichols”; the CSIS “Smart Power Initiative” of 2007;