Marcus Aurelius: Secretary Harold Brown on Cutting Service Secretaries

Corruption, Government, Ineptitude, Military
Marcus Aurelius

Dr. Brown paints Service Secretaries, in the terms my father would have used, as “spare gear.”)

A Better Place To Cut

To protect military programs, get rid of redundant service secretaries

By Harold Brown

Washington Post, October 19, 2012, Pg. 21

The four military services in the Defense Department differ in their roles, missions and skills — which are good reasons to retain their separate identities. But as the duties of the uniformed service chiefs have converged with those of the civilian secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the latter have become redundant appendages. Eliminating those positions would save money and streamline management, a good example for the rest of government. In today’s climate of fiscal austerity, cutting overhead is better than cutting defense programs.

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota:  Secretary Brown means well, and his idea has merit, but only on the margins.  This is a classic example of trying to do the wrong thing better.  What the USG really needs is a complete revision to Title 10 that rips acquisition out of the Services, and creates a theater and mission driven requirements process, a joint/coalition design and acquisition process, and an absolutely ruthless operational test & evaluation process that includes the infantry — 4% of the force, 80% of the casualties, 1% of the budget — as the lead voice and vote.  The same Title 10 revision should put the M back into the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), rebalance the instruments of national power, and mandate intelligence with integrity as the foundation for ethical evidence-based decisions.

See Also:

2013 Public Governance in the 21st Century: New Rules, Hybrid Forms, One Constant – The Public [Work in Progress]

2012 PREPRINT: The Craft of Intelligence [Full Text Online]

2009 Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Retrospective

2009 Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else

2009 Fixing the White House & National Intelligence

2008 Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power–Army Strategy Conference of 2008 Notes, Summary, & Article

2008 The Substance of Governance ELECTION 2008 Lipstick on the Pig (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

2001 Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security

2000 Presidential Leadership and National Security Policy Making

1998 JFQ The Asymmetric Threat: Listening to the Debate

1995 GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information

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