JFCOM May Go, But Not Jointness

Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn assured House lawmakers Wednesday that disestablishing US Joint Forces Command will not reverse the great strides in jointness that the Pentagon has made in the last several decades. “We have a much stronger joint culture inside the military departments and the military services themselves, and the combatant commands inherently operate jointly and have a joint ethos,” he said during the House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on DOD’s efficiency initiatives. Because of this, Lynn continued, DOD leaders think it’s possible to get rid of JFCOM, “but retain the culture of jointness.” He said DOD is going through “a thorough analysis” to see what JFCOM functions will be kept. Many committee members, including Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), HASC chairman, said they were dissatisfied with the lack of information that DOD has supplied thus far to justify JFCOM’s closure. “Somebody is going to have to ride shotgun on jointness,” said Skelton. He added, “I am deeply concerned that the years of creating the joint culture and the enforcement thereof could go down the river and be lost.” (See also Stiff-armed and Stonewalled)