Chiefs in Search of a Chief

When Admiral William Crowe took over as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1, he acquired a fancy title and a sometimes frustrating job. The 1947 law that established the four-member JCS gave it little authority. In theory, the members were supposed to lead a unified military structure. In reality, the four who serve as operating heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines often consider their first priority to be protecting the interests of their re- spective services. The fifth chief, the Chairman, has no power to arbitrate disputes; he can act only as spokesman for...

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