National Journal, 7 February 2012
Two of the highest-ranking Pentagon officials to leave government in the past year have landed on a lucrative rainmaking board for the federal contracting arm of business-consulting giant Accenture.Former Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James “Hoss” Cartwright have signed on to provide advice on “the federal market, industry trends, and business strategies” for Accenture’s federal business arm, based in the Washington suburb of Reston, Va.It’s the latest evidence that the “rent-a-general” business is booming for Pentagon retirees in the post-9/11 decade. Sitting on internal advisory boards for government contractors has become a popular destination for high-level Pentagon retirees, and while it’s perfectly legal it remains controversial.
Phi Beta Iota: In a properly managed military, not only would be cut the flag officer and senior executive service by half, but by the time they retired, they should not be qualified to serve in the private sector — they should have been focused every waking moment on training, equipping, and organizing national capabilities, and as a general rule should be considered by contractors to be Darth Vaders on fraud, waste, and abuse. Not today.