OK, Mike suggested that a comment on another thread be promoted to a self standing thread, and here it is.
Before jumping up and starting this thread, I did a little looking around and found that retired LTC Louis DiMarco had written on the subject in Small Wars Journal, albeit pertaining to staffs within the Army, not the Joint Staff, as I had mentioned. Sadly, there was very little discussion by the SWJ denizens, but then, there is much more talent here in the Pub.
DiMarco makes some excellent points for having a professional staff "corps" within the Army. In addition, since current military doctrine involves joint operations, I would offer that the "Joint Staff" should equally be considered as a place where professional staff officers, to include so called "strategists", need to be the majority.
There is no question that two historic examples of a permanent, professional general staff (Germany & the Soviet Union) showed periods of tension between the political leadership and the military staff. But, as DiMarco points out, Germany still sees fit to maintain a professional staff corps, probably as a result of much more success with it than otherwise.
In my years in the Army, the "Holy Grail" was always command. That is what was sought, as it was the key to promotion. Battalion and Brigade level command billets are by central selection boards, yet key staff positions are not. As I have opined in the past, occupants of key staff billets and the Joint Staff are transients through the field, simply taking time out from operational assignments. No permanency, mentoring, staff development or continuity. Perhaps it's our alleged belief in having "citizen soldiers" that makes us afraid to have a permanent cadre of staff planners and strategists.
The thing is, we see what the constant turn over of transients has caused at the strategic level, no less the operational level. And, calling our AVF "citizen soldiers" is horse-puckey. We've already discussed the growing separation of the military from mainstream society.
Is it time for a change? And why?