The British chiefs of staff system first came into existence eighty years ago as part of a package of reforms designed to create a higher organization for defence. It was born of political pressures and created by civilians to fulfil political needs. The deficiencies of a monolithic military structure were clearly revealed during the Boer War (1899-1902), a campaign conducted without the benefit of any forward planning or intelligence such as European general staff were equipped to provide.
"The Chiefs of Staff and the Higher Organization for Defence in Britain, 1904-1984,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 39
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol39/iss1/5