Naval War College Review

Article Title

Victory on the Potomac


Jim Locher describes the history of the intense bureaucratic struggle to rede- sign relationships between the Joint Chiefs of Staff, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, secretary of defense, the presi- dent, and Congress. The prolonged struggle culminated in the Goldwater- Nichols Act of 1986. This document is thought by many to be the most sweep- ing military reform of the last forty years. Senators Barry Goldwater and Sam Nunn believed the system was bro- ken and consequently was providing low-quality military advice to the secretary of defense.