“Corrosive” and “Flat-out Wrong”:

Those are descriptors the leaders of the powerful Senate National Guard Caucus use to describe some of the recommendations from the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, which released its final report just last week. Co-chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a joint statement that the commission had recognized “some of the general issues” that the caucus has “spotlighted over the years,” however, “that is why it is so puzzling that the commission has disconnected its findings from its recommendations.” Leahy called such recommendations as one that would remove the directors of the Air National Guard and Army National Guard from the National Guard Bureau “unjustified, counterproductive, and corrosive to effective decision-making.” His co-chair Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) agreed, stating, “While this report recognizes some of the challenges unique to the Guard, much of its is not only short-sighted but flat-out wrong.” Earlier the commission seemed to agree with much of the Leahy-Bond Guard empowerment act, a key provision of which survived in the 2008 defense authorization bill and will elevate the NGB Chief to four-star level. Leahy believes the commission now is calling for a “retreat” from such newly enacted reforms. The commission’s 448-page final report contains 95 recommendations, #94 would have Congress establish office’s within the Air Force and Army for the Guard directors, giving them “responsibilities similar to those held” by the chief’s of the Air Force Reserve and Army Reserve. The Guard directors would have “reporting responsibilities” to both the service Chiefs of Staff and the NGB Chief. (We will have more coverage of the commission report.) Full report and Executive Summary