Sunday’s Washington Post contained a critique of how defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has conducted the Pentagon’s strategy review. The story made it sound like dissatisfaction is centered in the Army, but in fact all of the services are complaining about being excluded from a process that may determine their fate. Congress and the defense industry are unhappy too (although industry has grown accustomed to being ignored).
Rumsfeld ought to be concerned. Les Aspin never recovered from his early missteps as defense secretary. But complaints about Aspin were focused on the substance of his policies. The whining about Rumsfeld is mostly about style. Critics are likely to be pleasantly surprised when they see what he has actually decided. He doesn’t intend to throw huge amounts of money at space or missile defense. He is mainly concerned with fixing problems the Clinton Administration created.
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