Rumsfeld, Pace Say “No” to JCS Spot for Guard:

Both Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace tossed cold water on a bipartisan effort to give the National Guard Bureau chief a seat on the JCS. Testifying before a budget hearing of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Rumsfeld said, “The Army includes the total Army and the Air Force includes the Total Air Force; … to begin to segment them inside the Joint Chiefs of Staff is not a good idea.” Pace told the lawmakers that such a move would be “disruptive” and “would do a disservice to the country,” since the effort over the last 20 years has been “to kludge together a joint force.” Pace did suggest that the Commission on the Guard and Reserves should consider whether the current rank structure is “appropriate.” Legislation, introduced by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), would make the NGB chief a four star, as well as elevate the position to the JCS.