Ashton Carter Outlines Proposed Changes to 1986 Defense Reorganization Law

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said one of his proposed changes to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 is to clarify the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, DoD News reported Tuesday.

He said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event that the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman should stay outside the chain of command and be responsible to provide the Defense Department’s civilian leaders with objective advice on risk and force allocation.

Lisa Ferdinando writes Carter noted that he aims to eliminate redundancies through the integration of intelligence and logistics functions across combatant commands, Joint Staff and subordinate commands as well as expand the definition of joint duty assignment to include sustainment, fires, intelligence and other operational functions.

Aaron Mehta and Joe Gould also reported for Defense News that Carter also wants service branch chiefs to have more authority in the acquisition process as part of his proposed updates to the defense reorganization law.

He told CSIS audience that he plans to reduce the required time for joint duty assignments from three years to two years and would consider changes to the U.S. Cyber Command’s role in the Unified Command Plan.

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