National Affairs: Changes for the Pentagon

"We should not deliberately maintain a Department of Defense organization which, in several parts, would require drastic reorganization to fight a war," wrote departing Defense Secretary Robert Lovett to President Truman last week.

Like his predecessors in the Pentagon's hottest seat, Lovett found that most of his troubles stemmed from the "contradictions and straddles" of the 1947 National Security Act, which "unified" the armed forces in name only. The Secretary of Defense, said Lovett, should be clearly designated as the nation's deputy commander in chief. His authority over the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be sharply established by law. He should eventually...

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