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Additional info for Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon (Texas a & M University Military History Series)
9 Neither department had designated a senior oﬃcer to represent professional military interests and provide operational advice. 10 A third major problem: Except for the president, no one coordinated activities of the War and Navy Departments. During the nineteenth century, the president’s role as sole coordinator did not overburden him. In the twentieth century, domestic aﬀairs increasingly demanded the president’s attention. The expanded scope and complexity of military activities further taxed the chief executive.
22 The lack of a consensus on principles for organizing the military exacerbated the obstacles to reform. Experts debated issues for decades without resolution. 23 The advent of military aviation blurred the distinction between land and sea warfare—the basic organizing principle since the republic’s beginning— and signaled the need for adjustments in organization and warﬁghting concepts. The demonstration of airpower’s potential in World War I raised expectations for creation of a separate military department.
Neither said a word. ” I inquired. ” Goldwater blurted. ” “Their turf is the most important thing to them,” Goldwater continued. “When it’s threatened, there’s no reasoning with them. The chiefs’ message to us was clear. ”20 “I also couldn’t believe how ill-informed many of their arguments were,” Nunn added. ” Goldwater wanted to know. ”22 “Wickham privately told me he agreed with some parts of the bill,” Nunn interjected. “So, I didn’t expect him to be the most hostile chief. ”23 “If the Pentagon is ever going to be straightened out, the only hope is for Congress to do it,” Goldwater concluded.