Washington, November 10, 2011 — All members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff testified unanimously opposed to ”S 1025 National Guard Empowerment Act of 2011.” The Senate committee headed by Carl Levin (D-MI) is considering legislation that confuse and impede the command/control structure and decision making effectiveness of the U.S. military.
Is this a power play by the federal government to gain additional control over the largely state controlled National Guard?
Congress should listen to the Joint Chiefs of Staff when it comes to making military command/control decisions, defense preparedness, and national security.
* This act would elevate the bureaucratic advisory level ”Chief of the National Guard Bureau” to a sitting position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff which currently includes six military commanders: a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and one military leader from each of the four branches (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force).
* The President appoints this adviser (does not train, command, deploy like the four branches).
* It would upend the Goldwater Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 which clearly delineated military roles and federal/state relationships.
* All members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are opposed to the measure for good reason — it will confuse the chain of command and impede military operations as well as drive a wedge between the main military branches, reserves, and the National Guard.
* There is no compelling problem or need for the Act according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and could actually hurt military command/control and operations.
* This political appointee can give the President additional control over the National Guard to for a host of uses including suppress insurrection, etc., when it is rightfully more the role for the states.
The Senate bill, S 1025, is called the National Guard Empowerment and State-National Defense Integration Act of 2011. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., co-chairmen of the Senate National Guard Caucus, are chief sponsors of the bill. Similar ”riders” to defense appropriations, etc., were sponsored by Leahy and Kit Bond in 2007.
Read Vice Chairman of Joint Chief of staff Statement on 11/10/2011: