I attach two-day old SECDEF estimates for Congress of what will happen if sequester continues into next fiscal year. Big idea: emphasis on RIFs of military and civilian personnel in preference to furloughs of DoD civilians. SECDEF doesn’t mention any specific numbers, but following would not surprise me:
*Active Army military personnel: RIF of 70K to 110K, dropping currently projected end strength of 490K to 380K to 420K..
*DoD civilians: RIF of 10 percent to 25 percent across DoD, meaning, for Army, RIF of roughly 27K to 68K Army civilians and, for DoD, RIF of 80K to 200K DoD civilians including Army.
Phi Beta Iota: Chuck Hagel is a smart man. He has clearly chosen to make some very unsavory (unethical) compromises, and/or he is surrounded by such world-class liars that he cannot get a grip on the truth. The civilian workforce of the Pentagon is without question bloated and could stand a 30% reduction — similarly, the tail of the Air Force and the Navy and the Army are severely bloated with contractors, and could stand a 30% reduction. The bottom line, however, is that the Secretary of Defense has failed to address Senator Sam Nunn’s wise counsel (then Chairman of the SASC):
I am constantly being asked for a bottom-line defense number. I don’t know of any logical way to arrive at such a figure without analyzing the threat; without determining what changes in our strategy should be made in light of the changes in the threat; and then determining what force structure and weapons program we need to carry out this revised strategy.
Hagel literally does not know what the threat is, has no strategy for address all of the threats all of the time (or for demanding that the rest of government do its job), has no idea how bad his existing force structure is, and no idea what new force structure — including inter-operable coalition force structure — he needs for the future. The “system” is on auto pilot, over the cliff and halfway to the rocks & shoals.
We are reminded of Dick Cheney’s letter in 1992, that destroyed the National Security Act of 1992. Most distressing to us is the fact that the SASC is not stupid — they also have made “unsavory compromises” and are going along until they can retire, all very very wealthy as a result of their tenure on the SASC. None of this is in the public interest.
SecDef Dick Cheney’s Two Letters Killing Intelligence Reform in 1992
Download file: Cheney 1992 Letters Defeating Intelligence Reform.ppt
For those interested in how Vice President Dick Cheney might go about destroying intelligence reform in the aftermath of the 9-11 Commission report, this document provides the full text of the two letters he used to destroy intelligence reform in 1992, when the Senate and House intelligence committees were in full agreement that substantive reform was needed.