A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column addressing the fact that in an era of fiscal restraint, policymakers and strategists needed to think harder about U.S. strategic priorities. One commenter stated that my piece was a slur on admirals and generals who spend considerable amounts of time thinking through this nation’s strategic options. Anyone who believes this is actually what generals and admirals do has a poor grasp of how things work.
In fact, the Pentagon’s new Number 2, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, immediately after being sworn in last week created the Deputy’s Management Action Group (DMAG) to guide decisions on critically important issues such as the Pentagon’s five-year investment plan, force structure, global posture, and space and nuclear deterrence. One must therefore assume that the already-established Deputy’s Advisory Working Group (DAWG) was not up to the task. One of the key tasks Mr. Carter wants his new group to undertake is determining “strategic choices,” and he has established a special committee for that purpose. One would have assumed somebody in the Pentagon would already have that job. One would have assumed wrong.
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