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  • Is Gates Overhauling the DoD?
    Posted by Sean Meade 8:11 PM on Sep 22, 2009

    Got my Wired magazine yesterday and Noah Shachtman, Editor of Danger Room, has an article about Robert Gates called Overhaul the Pentagon. In fact, Noah just posted about it.

    Here are a few quotes from the introduction to whet your appetite:
    Robert Gates has emerged as the most radical secdef in generations, upending the politics of national security, scrapping the traditional ways gear gets to troops, and defying the military-industrial complex. ...

    He offers what sounds like common sense: The military needs to fight today's battles, not tomorrow's. Generals are always fighting the last war, the old saying goes, but in reality the Department of Defense has the opposite problem. While a relative handful of troops fight and die "downrange" in war zones, a massive bureaucracy develops strategies, spends money, and—most especially—builds weapons, all in the name of theoretical, decades-hence showdowns. It's a $500 billion perpetual motion machine. ...

    Gates Doctrine, if you will. Its core tenets: Base policy on the wars that are most likely to happen and the technology that's most likely to work. Stop trying to buy the future when you can't afford the present.
    I'm inclined to agree with the basic tenor of Noah's article: that Gates is doing good work in trying to make changes in DoD and taking on some of the inertia of industry.

    Gates gets criticized around here a lot for his cost-cutting efforts. Some of our commenters argue for a much larger budget (one threw out the figure of $1 trillion recently) and just buy everything we think we might need to remain the unchallenged military on the planet.

    How about you? What do you think about Secretary Gates and the job he is doing. Is he doing a good job of trying to limit costs? (And lets skip the name-calling.)

    Tags: ar99, Gates, Pentagon

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