Arnold Punaro, chairman of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, said that the commission’s March 1 report to Congress includes 26 findings and 23 recommendations in six broad areas—but only eight of those recommendations require changes in legislation. The rest can be implemented by the executive branch. “There are very, very serious problems that need to be fixed,” he said, and added that commission sees a need for a broad set of recommendations and reforms. “There’s no magic pixie dust that you can sprinkle and all these problems will go away. We feel very strong as a commission we need to go much further than the legislation itself actually requires. Our recommendations look at pulling together the whole national security team in this area.” He noted that the National Guard is an integral part of the team, which includes DOD, Homeland Security, US Northern Command, and the United States’ governors. “We’re trying to break down these institutional stovepipes,” he said. (We reported last week that the commission does not favor a separate service for the Guard.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.