Posts Tagged secretary of defense

Civilian-Military Chain Of Command

From War on the Rocks:

These high-level principles, however, do not tell the full story about the complexity of civil-military relations on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis. Both Congress and the courts have significant roles in shaping defense policy through substantive statutes, appropriations acts, and judicial orders, but these are of little direct concern to the rank and file. Civilian control of the military is, as a practical matter, exercised through the chain of command, which runs to the president as commander-in-chief. Neither laws nor court decisions are self-executing. Until the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff turn Congress’s will or a court’s mandate into policy orders, they have little direct effect. 

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Rumsfeld Will Vote Trump

From The Daily Mail:

Rumsfeld said he agrees in principle with Trump’s position on reforming the NATO alliance, keeping Syrian refugees at bay over fears of terrorist infiltration, and other issues.

And besides, he added, ‘I’m a Republican, and there’s not any doubt in my mind how I’ll vote,’ and ‘I don’t believe Hillary Clinton is qualified to be President of the United States.’

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Canceling The F-22 Was A Mistake

From Foxtrot Alpha:

As if they suddenly came to an epiphany, the United States Air Force brass is now admitting what many of us have been screaming about for so long: We didn’t build nearly enough F-22s, and the F-35 cannot simply pick up the slack. So why aren’t those who pushed so hard to cancel the F-22 program being held accountable?

At the same time that the Raptor was coming online and proving itself, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, of both the Bush and Obama Administrations, was calling for the F-22’s demise. This was said to be due to the aircraft cost and use as “only” an air-to-air, destruction of enemy air defense, and deep strike platform.

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New Secretary of Defense’s Statement

From Department of Defense:

To all Department of Defense personnel:

I am honored to become your Secretary of Defense.  I am proud to lead men and women who devote their lives to the highest calling – the defense of our nation.  And I am grateful to follow in the footsteps of Secretary Hagel, one of our nation’s most honorable and conscientious public servants.

We live in challenging times – times that demand leadership and focus.  And starting today, I will be calling on each and every one of you to help carry out three top priorities.

Our first priority is helping the President make the best possible national security decisions for protecting our country – and then implementing those decisions with our department’s long-admired excellence.

We confront a turbulent and dangerous world: continuing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, and the malignant and savage terrorism emanating from it; an ongoing conflict in Afghanistan; a reversion to archaic security thinking in parts of Europe; tensions in the Asia-Pacific; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and intensifying threats in cyberspace.

In addressing these challenges, I have pledged to provide the President my most candid strategic advice.  I will count on your experience and expertise as I formulate that advice.  I will also ensure the President receives candid professional military advice.

But as we tackle the many threats to our national security, we must never lose sight of our nation’s enduring strengths – or of the opportunities to make a brighter future and better world for our children.  The United States remains the strongest and most resilient nation on earth.  Because of you, we have the finest fighting force the world has ever known.  We have friends and allies in every corner of the world, while our adversaries have few.  We have long possessed the world’s most dynamic and innovative economy.  And our values, principles, and leadership continue to inspire hope and progress around the world.

Safeguarding America’s security and global leadership will depend on another of my main priorities: ensuring the strength and health of you who make up the greatest fighting force the world has ever known – our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, civilians, and contractors all around the world.

I will do that by focusing on the well-being, safety, and dignity of each of you and your families.  I will ensure your training and equipment are as superb as you are.  And I pledge to make decisions about sending you into harm’s way with the greatest reflection and utmost care – because this is my highest responsibility as Secretary of Defense.

Honoring all these commitments also requires us to focus on building the force of the future, which is my third priority.

We must steer through the turmoil of sequestration, which imposes wasteful uncertainty and risk to our nation’s defense.  We must balance all parts of our defense budget so that we continue to attract the best people – people like you; so that there are enough of you to defend our interests around the world; and so that you are always well-equipped and well-trained to execute your critical mission.

To win support from our fellow citizens for the resources we need, we must show that we can make better use of every taxpayer dollar.  That means a leaner organization, less overhead, and reforming our business and acquisition practices.

It also means embracing the future – and embracing change.

We must be open to change in order to operate effectively in an increasingly dynamic world; to keep pace with advances in technology; and to attract new generations of talented and dedicated Americans to our calling.

I first arrived at the Pentagon more than three decades ago, and have had the privilege of serving 11 Secretaries of Defense in Democratic and Republican administrations.  I took the oath of office this morning because I love our country and am devoted to you who defend it.  And I am committed to our fundamental mission: the defense of our nation.

I look forward to leading and serving alongside you at this extraordinary moment in our nation’s history.

May God bless you and your families, and may God bless America.

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Secretary of Defense: “ISIS beyond anything we have seen”

From Reuters:

“They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.

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Panetta Warns Of Defense Cuts

From National Journal:

He went even further on Thursday, using arguably the strongest rhetorical weapon in his arsenal. Mandatory defense cuts, he warned, would weaken the armed forces to the point that enemies would be emboldened to attack the U.S.

“In effect, it invites aggression,” Panetta said during the new conference, just his second since taking office in July.

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Guard and Reserve Need To Maintain Readiness

From the Army Times:

The Defense Department anticipates fewer warzone deployments for guardsmen as deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan slow down, but the skills those troops have learned over a decade at war must stay sharp, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told top National Guard leaders Tuesday.

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Panetta assails plan for U.S. military cuts

From: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday sharpened his rhetoric against a measure that could force across-the-board cuts of nearly $1 trillion to U.S. defense spending, calling it a “goofy meat-axed approach.”


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SecDef Gates on Wikileaks

From: Michael Yon

Q:  WikiLeaks:  Post-WikiLeaks reaction.  What’s your sense on whether the information-sharing climate and environment created after 9/11 to encourage greater cooperation and transparency among the intelligence communities and the military led to these three massive data dumps?

And how concerned are you now there may be an overreaction to clamp down on information dispersal because of the disclosures?

A: SEC. GATES: One of the common themes that I heard from the time I was a senior agency official in the early 1980s in every military engagement we were in was the complaint of the lack of adequate intelligence support.  That began to change with the Gulf War in 1991, but it really has changed dramatically after 9/11.

And clearly the finding that the lack of sharing of information had prevented people from, quote/unquote, “connecting the dots” led to much wider sharing of information, and I would say especially wider sharing of information at the front, so that no one at the front was denied — in one of the theaters, Afghanistan or Iraq — was denied any information that might possibly be helpful to them.  Now, obviously, that aperture went too wide.  There’s no reason for a young officer at a forward operating post in Afghanistan to get cables having to do with the START negotiations.  And so we’ve taken a number of mitigating steps in the department.  I directed a number of these things to be undertaken in August. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gates: the fight against corruption needs to be Afghan-led

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks during the US Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in Baghdad, Wednesday Sept. 1, 2010, as a new US military mission in Iraq was launched ending seven years of combat.(AP Photo/Jim Watson, pool)

“KABUL — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that while the fight against corruption must be led by Afghans, the U.S. is working on new ways to prevent millions of American dollars flowing into the nation from underwriting bribery and graft.

Gates spoke to reporters in the Afghan capital with President Hamid Karzai, who complained about the tactics of two Western-backed anti-corruption units that recently arrested one of his top aides on suspicion of bribery, likening them to heavy-handed Soviet tactics.”

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The Military Tradition of Sacking Leaders

Frigate John L. Hall

“…the Army has to return to its tradition of getting rid of leaders who are failing. The Navy has shown more fortitude; in the first two months of this year alone it fired six commanders of ships and installations. On Tuesday, it fired the skipper of the frigate John L. Hall, two months after it collided with a pier at a Black Sea port in Georgia. The Navy stated simply, as it usually does in such cases, that the officer’s superior had lost confidence in him. That is all that is needed.

The Marine Corps has also largely kept the tradition of relieving officers — most notably during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when its top ground officer, Maj. Gen. James Mattis, fired the commander of the First Marine Regiment. During his tenure, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has fired secretaries of the Army and the Air Force and an Air Force chief of staff.

General George Marshall

Back in World War II, the Army had no qualms about letting officers go; at least 16 of the 155 generals who commanded divisions in combat during the war were relieved while in combat. George Marshall, the nation’s top general, felt that a willingness to fire subordinates was a requirement of leadership. He once described Gen. Hap Arnold, chief of the Army Air Forces, as a fine man, but one who “didn’t have the nerve to get rid of men not worth a damn.”

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