Goldwater-Nichols at 25; Success or Failure? | USNI Blog


The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 was implemented on 1 October 1986.  It has been called the most significant Defense policy change since the National Security Act of 1947.  Goldwater-Nichols gave us a globe divided into Combatant Commands, each with a CINC (until 2002, when they became COCOMs).  It also made the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the principle military advisor to the President, whereas previously the Service Chiefs had a much larger role in providing that advice.

via Goldwater-Nichols at 25; Success or Failure? | USNI Blog.

Our favorite Marine artilleryman, Ultima Ratio Regis, has a thought provoking post at the UNSI blog asking whether the Goldwater-Nichols act of 1986 was a success or failure.

I tend to think it was a success. Then. Now, perhaps it is time for the DoD and Congress to rethink the approach to defense strategy.

Your suggestions?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Goldwater-Nichols at 25; Success or Failure? | USNI Blog

  1. Quartermaster

    Mike M. makes some very good points on G-N. Looking back at things, it was flawed like any other thing that was ever produced by humans.

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  2. Esli

    My only thought on GN is that it mandates joint education. I see Joint Professional Military Education level 1 (JPME 1) at CGSC and it simply makes for a better education to have a joint curriculum. Every staff group has to have 1 USAF, 1 sea service (USN, USMC, or USCG), 1 SOF (may be the USN or USAF guy, or ARSOF), and at least one international officer. We teach the Joint Operations Planning Process, as well as other joint processes, and each class has a Joint instructor, too. It is an eye-opener in some cases!

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