New Army head - looks like interesting times...


May 9, 2003, 08:09 PM
From MSNBC (

Transforming the Army

Rumsfeld’s pick to head the Army isn’t likely to sit well with the generals

By Fred Kaplan

May 7 — It was thoroughly predictable that, after the swift victory in Gulf War II, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would wage his next war against the hidebound generals of the U.S. Army. Now that war has begun.

RUMSFELD FIRED HIS first shots last Thursday night when he let it be known that a man named James G. Roche will be his new secretary of the Army.

Roche is an extremely intriguing — and, to any senior Army officer, an equally shocking — candidate for the job. First, he’s a 23-year veteran, and retired captain, of the Navy. Second, for the past two years, he’s been secretary of the Air Force. It’s unusual enough for Rumsfeld to appoint a service secretary who’s had no experience with the service in question. It’s a blatant poke in the eye to pick someone who comes from a rival service. It’s a poke in the eye and a kick in the groin to name someone who’s built up years of allegiance to two rivals.


The Washington Post and Washington Times both highlighted the insult when they broke the news in Friday’s editions. However, neither paper noted another fact about Roche that makes his appointment not merely a symbolic slash but a profound and substantive statement on the Army’s future direction. For several years, Roche has been closely associated with a group inside the Pentagon that the Army top brass deeply abhors. This group advocates remaking the military — and especially the Army — into a lighter, faster fighting force.

The key figure in this group is a little-known — but, within the Pentagon, highly controversial — official named Andrew Marshall. Marshall is the director of Net Assessment, a position created by then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger in 1973. Even though it was a politically appointed post, Marshall has cultivated the bureaucratic savvy to remain on the job ever since.

From 1975 to 1979, while he was still in the Navy, Roche was Marshall’s chief military assistant.

Through these past 30 years, Marshall has been exceptionally adroit at carving out special projects — taking small strands of ideas scattered in various bureaucratic corners and stringing them together into coherent programs that would otherwise not have come into existence. For the past decade, Marshall’s main project has been what some call “military transformation” or “the revolution in military affairs.” (For a while, the latter was even ascribed an acronym — RMA.)


The premise of RMA is that, with the end of the Cold War and the rise of new technology, it no longer makes sense to keep large military forces permanently positioned in one place, especially not in Europe. Future wars will be in Asia or the Middle East. They will involve precision-guided weapons, which make heavily concentrated forces sitting ducks. They will be lightning wars, they could break out in any number of possible places, they might start with little warning, and they must be fought with great agility. One implication of this vision was that the U.S. military should focus more on buying missiles, long-range aircraft, unmanned drones, and “smart bombs.” Another implication was that ground forces would play a smaller role and that the Army must be reformed, made lighter and lither, so it can be transported more rapidly and supported on the battlefield with shorter, less vulnerable supply lines.

In the years when Roche worked with Marshall, the RMA concept hadn’t yet been fully hatched. But, according to associates of both men, they have stayed in close touch ever since. Roche also has a long association with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Both worked in the State Department’s policy-planning staff in the early ’80s and have remained good friends. Wolfowitz too is a strong RMA advocate.

After retiring from the Navy in 1983 and serving a brief stint as Democratic staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Roche went to work for the analytic center of the Northrop Corp. (which later became Northrop Grumman). Over the next 17 years, Roche (who, years earlier, had also earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School) rose through the corporate ranks, knocking once-moribund outfits into profitable shape at each step. Finally, he took charge of its defense electronics and systems sector. It was a position that gave him firm grounding in an important dimension of “transformation” theory — the idea that the electronics inside, say, an airplane are more important than the airplane itself. It was from this position that Rumsfeld recruited Roche to be secretary of the Air Force, in May 2001.

Around this same time, Rumsfeld — having taken the Pentagon’s helm just a few months earlier — started conducting a comprehensive review of the entire U.S. military. Rumsfeld had known Marshall from 25 years earlier, when he briefly served as secretary of defense under President Ford. Now he put Marshall in charge of a major swath of the review. To no one’s surprise, the review took on an RMA flavor.

The Army establishment hated Rumsfeld’s review, and many generals openly rebelled against it. After a yearlong fight, the culture of the Pentagon — where defense secretaries come and go, but four-star generals stay forever — proved too strong. Rumsfeld had to retreat, notching up just one significant budgetary victory (the cancellation of the Army’s Crusader artillery gun, which Rumsfeld had fingered as too big and bulky for the swift and mobile military of the future).

The Army generals who fought Rumsfeld on the Crusader and other issues two years ago were, in many cases, the same generals (and retired generals) who openly criticized his war plan two months ago during the heat of battle in Iraq. Some of these generals used their critique of the war plan to reinforce their long-standing campaign against the RMA school’s advocacy of a lighter Army. They said Rumsfeld’s war plan called for too few troops and tanks; it was too light. Then, to the surprise of many and for reasons not yet not understood, the critics were proved wrong.


Now, with his postwar political favor riding high, Rumsfeld is turning the tables, using the triumph of the “light” force in Iraq as a weapon — the rhetorical equivalent of heavy artillery — in his renewed battles against the Army brass. And in that battle, James Roche will be the wedge that breaches through the line.

Rumsfeld signaled his intentions a few weeks ago, when he told the Army secretary, Thomas White, that he wanted to replace him with someone new. Then, after White marked June 9 as his date of departure, Rumsfeld had Wolfowitz call White to tell him to move out by May 9. Already, Rumsfeld had made it clear that he would accept the resignation of Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, with whom he had tangled several times, most recently when Shinseki told a congressional committee that “hundreds of thousands” of U.S. troops would have to stay in Iraq after a war, a view that Wolfowitz was called out to denounce in harsh terms. (The new chief of staff is likely to be Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of Centcom, who directed Gulf War II and remained loyal to Rumsfeld throughout.)

Civilian service secretaries are often figureheads, but they have enormous statutory authority, and Roche is likely to exercise that authority with Rumsfeld’s blessing. Eliot Cohen, the author of Supreme Command and an experienced military consultant, notes, for example, that service secretaries have enormous influence over the appointments of new generals. A key ingredient of “military transformation” is the grooming of new military leaders, and Roche will take a hand in that. “If I were a creative Army captain, I’d find Roche’s appointment kind of exciting,” Cohen said. “If I were a three-star general, I’d be very scared.”

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May 9, 2003, 08:21 PM
Funny how those "hide-bound" generals just won a war and conqured a country with an obsolete heavy force.

Navy joe
May 9, 2003, 08:30 PM
I'm all for rapid movement forces, "From the Sea" warfare, and reduction in permanently deployed forces. I think where these modernization guys really step on their crank is when they insist that there is no need for heavy armored forces and want more infantry fighting vehicles and light fast air droppable recon type tanks.

RPG's aren't going away. Even backwater third world country can make them cheap and plenty. Infantry will always have to go on the ground, and when they are there they do not need the support of some smart cruise missile loitering over the battlefield. They do not need a cool plastic rifle linked to their laptop. They need big, ugly, slow, expensive to support heavy tanks and close air support( A-10). Organic mobile firepower that has the means to stand and slug it out without getting shot full of holes.

May 9, 2003, 08:44 PM
Gen. Franks and his staff are not the hidebound brass in the SecDef's sights. That target rich environment is at the Pentagon.

I was a sailor, but I follow procurement issues for all of the services with some interest because their spending priorities, like anyone's, reflect their interests, but not necessarily their best interests. All of the services have questionable projects, guarded like fiefdoms, that are borderline moronic.

For an eternity the Army has been advocates of weapons platforms, like the Comanche, that don't add capability over the current line unit, or are too massive for MAC, like the Crusader. Taking months to get set pieces into place is a luxury that brushfire wars will not allow. I feel for the troops at the Korean DMZ if they ever get into it with North Korea because they will be heavily outnumbered and the Army seemingly takes weeks to get anywhere in any force.

The Air Force has been highly resistant to drone aircraft and has a historical disdain for developing CAS or massive MAC assets. Even now they don't train enough FACs for the groundpounders to meet demand.

The Navy built the Seawolf when the Soviets/Russians already couldn't detect the current boats. The Navy never seems interested in developing a RO/RO fleet of any size or speed. Mercifully, they have been ensuring that all non-carrier warships can vert launch TLAMs.

The Marine Corps has their Osprey, which should be renamed to the Albatross. I appreciate the Corps' deployment flexibility, but the Navy doesn't fund them as well as it should.

All of the services could stand a prolonged bout of introspection concerning their relative missions and service overlap. The Cold War is over and resources should be shifted and doctrine adjusted to reflect that fact. It won't be Rumsfeld providing the resistance to that.

This is not to say that Rumsfeld is right about everything. The supply lines in GWII were too exposed and had too light security forces. However, old school paranoiacs like Shinseki have to go and go now. I have now doubt that if General Shinseki had planned the Iraqi invasion, we'd still be watching the build-up.:rolleyes:

Jeff White
May 9, 2003, 11:05 PM
Let's just hope that we never have to fight an army that's willing to fight.


May 9, 2003, 11:20 PM
I've always been a proponent of reducing the services to three, land, air and sea.

Everyone that I bring this idea to usually looks at me funny and thinks it absurd, and maybe for good reason. But I believe it needs to be given some serious consideration.

I spent 10 years in the Navy and I saw alot of duplicity and redundancy and in some cases it's necessary. But for example, for the Air Force to order the F-15 and F-16 and the Navy to order F-14's and F-18's is redundant when both aircraft can do the same thing save the F-14 and F-18 can land on carriers.

I'm sure the Army and Marine Corp have alot of the same equipment. The Air Force had the F-111 Aardvark electronic counter warfare aircraft and the Navy uses the EA-6B Prowler which I believe the Air Force is using as well.

I'd hate to see the Navy lose the air wings, but if the same job can be done with less bureaucracy and less money spent then it needs serious consideration.

Why not train all pilots to land on carriers? Why not train all pilots in close ground support as the Marine pilots are? Why not train all soldiers to Marine Corps standards? Sure, you might have less of them, but you would have a much larger Marine capable force.

There is a great potential to streamline the forces and still maintain or even exceed their performance all the while saving millions of taxpayer dollars.

Jeff White
May 9, 2003, 11:55 PM
There is plenty that could be changed in the military. For instance, how many C17s could we buy if we cancelled the F22?

How many fast roll on/roll off transport ships can we build for the cost of the Seawolf submarine?

Why can't we keep the F/A 18, F16 and F15 in production? Where is the Air Force that can challenge those aircraft in air to air combat? Does anyone know? Who is buildding a fighter that makes those obsolete?

Why do we need the V-22 Osprey when we could put the CH53 back into production? Why don't we replace the CH46 with the CH47?

Why not build a super Paladin instead of Crusader? Crusader was so expensive and so heavy because it had to have the capability of providing the same amount of steel on target as a much larger number of Paladins and M198s.

Why did the Apache do so poorly in Operation Iraqi Freedom? Well, it's not designed to fight pure. If those old school paranoiacs had been permitted to deploy the Corps Field Artillery assets that would have fired SEAD missions for the Apaches, the atttack against the Medina Division would have went much better. Of course giving the commander the correct force mix to fight doctrinally against even the 5th rate enemy that was the Iraqi army wouldn't have permitted the Secretary of Defense to prove his pet theories.

The recent victory in Iraq was not a validation of Transformation. I suggest that it won't be validated until we fight an enemy that wants to fight. The results might not be as good.

The Secretary of Defense better be concerning himself with the ability of our industrial base to sustain our high tech forces. We have been reduced to buying back CH47s from our allies to upgrade to MH47s to replace the ones we lost in Afghanistan and the Phillipines.


May 10, 2003, 09:34 AM
I just love it when warfare takes an evolutionary step the professional pundits and politicians think "new way to fight war" therefore forget everything we learned in the past and we'll just do what's new. Thankfully we have military leaders who know what its like to have one's bacon hanging in the fire to stop this nonsense.

Gulf II was unique for a lot of reasons; one of which was "light" forces. Change any number of factors and the story would be different. Examples? Iraq has an air force with teeth. Iraq has a force with mobile artillery. Iraq has mechanized forces. We lucked up when we opted to move fast vs protecting our supply lines. It could have been a disaster.

All the gee-whiz toys would be worthless in the Phillipines. Put Iraq in the mountains and life is different. Open desert warfare is ideal for mobile warfare. Mountains ain't. Jungles ain't. Was the Apache worthless in view of its failures? Don't think so. The Apache suffered from the wrong tactics. It was designed to operate at the forward edge of the battle area where everything behind it was swept clean with no enemy forces behind them. Apaches were not used as they were designed.

Does he army need to get light? Yep! That too. Does it need to look like Marine units? Nope. Different jobs, different environments. Can the army learn from combined arms operations? You betcha. So does other branches. Does that mean the US needs to get rid of its heavy units? Bad mistake. Remember well that a $50.00 RPG round can defeat a Bradley, stop an Abrahms, and drop an Apache. Who ever calls the shots on hardware had better have a good idea of tactics or a lot of 19 year old pimpled face grunts will pay the price.

Art Eatman
May 10, 2003, 09:21 PM
Waitone, doesn't it seem that we did what we did in Iraq, in the way we did it, just because of what the Iraqis didn't have? So: If we have an enemy who has what Iraq did not have, isn't it reasonable to think we'd do things differently?

SFAIK, our air power is unmatched. SFAIK, our competence in the use of artillery and mobile armor is unmatched. That seems to be the Israeli take, from what I've read.

Just because we go to a more mobile force-system and go for a faster deployment capability doesn't mean we'll totally abandon our other war toys and tactics...


May 10, 2003, 10:51 PM
>>However, old school paranoiacs like Shinseki have to go and go now. I have now doubt that if General Shinseki had planned the Iraqi invasion, we'd still be watching the build-up.<<

So they guy who, by force of personality, got the army to field the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams in 3 years and drove the development of the Future Combat System is an Old School Paraanoiac?

The reason why he got on bad terms with Rumsfeld is that he fought for the Crusader whyich we could have used very effectively in GWII. But nobody is allowed to stand up to Rummy's super ego.

If it wasn't for 911 and Rumsfeld's daily TV show, he would have been canned two years ago.

He's not too different from MacNamara is my book. Thinks he's smarter than all the officers with 25-30+ years service.

Jeff White
May 11, 2003, 12:27 AM
Careful about picking on Rumsfeld around here. He's right up there with Bush II with a lot of members here...he can't do any wrong. He's the greatest military mind since von Clauswitz. :rolleyes:

The sad part is that we'll pay in blood for his foolishness. I predict that history will put him him right up there with MacNamara.

The very idea that no enemy will ever figure out countermeasures to our technology is insane. Right now those who would harm us are reviewing our recent victory and looking for ways to nullify our advantages. They will come up with some. It's the way things are, and always have been. This idea that we are somehow omnipotent militarily is dangerous. Yet the public feels that way. I wonder how many young men and women will have to die before the people recognize Rumsfeld for what he is, a corporate executive who has no understanding of war or the men and women he asks to fight it for him.

Digital communications and fire control will not make lessons that were learned in blood obsolete. They may make it easier to mass forces at the decisive place and time on the battlefield, but they won't replace those forces. Weather will still interfere with our air ops. And we'll never be able to build enough aircraft to keep them orbiting the battlefield 24/7.


May 11, 2003, 09:30 AM
>>Digital communications and fire control will not make lessons that were learned in blood obsolete. They may make it easier to mass forces at the decisive place and time on the battlefield, but they won't replace those forces. <<


You are right on the mark.

Our major problem is getting to the fight, I feel that money would be better spent on C-17 like aircraft and the HSV (High Speed Vessel).

One this GWII showed me is that infantry is still the most important arm on the battlefield and there needs to be well protected veheicles to support them, transport them and provide firepower.

The FCS is a great idea except for one part, the requirement to fly it in a 50 year old airplane desgin: the C-130. Thje design trades to do so place too much of a weight burden on the vehicle.

The final straw on my feelings for Rumsfeld was when the press was reporting that "the plan" was failing because of the stretched supply lines and vulnerability to ambushes, what came out of DoD was that the paln was "Tommy Frank's plan." But when victory happened, it bacame "Rumsfeld's plan."

As the old saying goes: "Victory has 100 father while defeat is an orphan."

Art Eatman
May 11, 2003, 10:48 AM
Jeff & Blackcloud6: I got over any sort of "veneration" of VIPs when I watched multi-star generals quivering and pooping in worry about ICBMs. That was in 1957, during the Hungarian crisis. I was a peon at Hq US European Command, in Paris. I tend toward a "Hackworthian" view of the military...

That said, I think you're jumping a bit early at Rumsfeld, et al. You might well prove out to be correct, but my opinion is that it's too early to hold your views. MacNamara's "management" concept screwed up an entire military system and destroyed morale pretty much on a system-wide basis. So far, that's not our problem.

As for enemy figuring countermeasures, which enemy do you have in mind? Most of our current thinking, I believe, doesn't foresee any serious conflict with Russia, China or India before another ten or fifteen years--as near as I can tell.

Weather? That's a real problem if we can't pick and choose as to when WE attack somebody, or if somebody attacks us under cover of bad weather. Even so, a GPS doesn't care about the weather. It's sorta like the USPS motto...

My gripe with stuff like the Herc is that while the design seems okay, good to go, the age of the airframes means we oughta build brand-new critters. Osprey? Neat idea, but too much violation of the KISS principle in defiance of Mr. Murphy.

$0.02 and FWIW and all that...

:), Art

May 11, 2003, 06:45 PM
. . . . doesn't it seem that we did what we did in Iraq, in the way we did it, just because of what the Iraqis didn't have? So: If we have an enemy who has what Iraq did not have, isn't it reasonable to think we'd do things differently?That's a 10-4 there good buddy! It was real clear to me the military had its hands all over ther operation. Rummy was no doubt poking, prodding, irritating, challenging, infuriating, etc. the brass. Which in my opinion is his job. The brass knew exactly what the Iraqi's had and more importantly what they didn't have. The US was therefore able to use the required combat power to achieve its goals.

Now change the Rummy to Aspen; change Bush 43 to Clinton 1; change Iraq to Mogadishu (?sp). While the missions were completely different the principals were the same. Politicians created the mission to which the military planned and asked for certain hardware. The politicans knew better what the military needed than the military and hence created a defeat that echo's to this day.

Don't get me wrong. The Army in particular has to get lighter and faster but it can not allow well meaning but basically ignorant politicans to make hardware decisions which are not reflected in tactics to be used.

I am a cracker barrel Civil War nut. One of the many reasons why the American Civil War was so bloody is because it came about in the interection in history of rapidly evolving battlefield technology, lagging tactics designed to deal with changing technology, and inept military leadership on both sides. I say inept because the US didn't have the advantage of almost 600 years of constant large force battles. The US knew small unit tactics but not large scale tactics.

The danger we face in "transforming" the military is exactly the same danger we fell to in the 1970's when we decided human intelligence is messy and electronic intelligence is clean. We eventually took outselves out of the human intelligence game and it took 30 years for the effect to be seen. I fear in our desire to do war cheap we will do what we can to reduce boots on the ground thinking we can win war from the air. It ain't happened yet though we tried mightly. War for the future will always breakdown to feet on the ground. We are setting ourselves up for failure if we forget our lessons.

Art Eatman
May 12, 2003, 11:38 AM
I'm pretty much in accord with the view that a war ain't over until an 18-year-old grunt can sit on his helmet and eat his MREs without worrying about who's behind him. It ain't won until the victor can occupy the ground and have complete control.

With GPS controlling where a bomb hits, and with remote TV in drones, I think the classic field artillery is less needed than in the past.

The American automobile and the Abrams' fire control system have proven that computers can function in a harsh environment. Outside of that particular bit of complexity, I'm still a firm believer in the KISS principle and Mr. Murphy's 7/24 competency...

:), Art

May 14, 2003, 06:25 AM
I didn't know you were in the Army in the Eisenhower days:)

I was in two different 155mm towed howitzer F.A. units in 1967/68, and while they could sure put some hurt on the other took a long time to deploy the guns compared to a S.P. Gun, and forever compared to today's remote-T.V. drone or GPS-guided air-delivered ordnance...not to mention being relatively vulnerable to ground attack (Bravo Battery of the 5/42nd F.A. was overrun in Vietnam due to their mistakenly running a fire mission outside their infantry perimeter).

I agree with your evaluation...there needs to be flexibility to meld the old with the new and keep the edge...;)

May 14, 2003, 08:09 AM
Interesting times indeed. Word around the Pentagon is that Roche is Rumsfeld's axe-wielder, as in: "You want to shed 3 Divisions? I'm your man." Further, there is a "study" proposal being finalized that will be executed by Pete Aldridge right after he departs 5/23: "How to reorganize DoD (including the JCS and service staffs)." Watch this space.:scrutiny:

TFL Survivor

Shades of MacNamara

Art Eatman
May 14, 2003, 08:23 AM
fallingblock, in November of 1953 I got a (facsimile) signature on a letter from Ike, "Greetings:" and wandered off to Fort (un)Bliss(ful) to begin Basic on January 19th of '54. But who's remembering?

:), Art

May 15, 2003, 02:35 AM
But it was facsimile-signed by Lyndon "we've turned the corner' Johnson.:rolleyes:

Ft. Campbell and the 'temporary' WWII barracks sure made a change from the farm.:)

I bet it was cold at Ft. Bliss in January!

It sure was hot at Campbell in July:eek:
The Army was still trying to convince itself that troops could be 'hardened' to dehydration by denying them water :barf:

Art Eatman
May 15, 2003, 08:46 AM
Winters in El Paso are fairly short. We lived in five-man huts which had been condemned by the Red Cross during WW II against use for POWs. Still, better than squad tents or mud-walled huts.

Those years dramatically reduced my sympathies about complaints from prison inmates as to their "housing". Like a guy who'd done some Stockade time in Pusan once said, "They don't put ya in there for doin' right."

Thread drift...

:), Art

Jeff White
May 15, 2003, 11:13 AM
Looks like Rumsfeld is having a hard time finding an Army officer who wants to preside over the gutting of his service.
May 12, 2003

Sources: Franks Turns Down Army's Top Job

By Jamie McIntyre, CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Tommy Franks -- credited for coming up with winning military strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan -- has turned down an offer to be Army chief of staff, the highest job in the service, officials told CNN on Monday.

Sources said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld informally offered the job to Franks after his first choice, Gen. John Keane, the current vice chief of staff, bowed out.

The term of the current Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, ends in June, and Rumsfeld is expected to recommend a successor soon, sources said.

Technically, President Bush nominates the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are then confirmed by the Senate, but Rumsfeld's private recommendations are said the be the determining factor in who gets picked.

Last week, Franks sidestepped a question about his plans, saying: "The secretary and I have talked about the future. And that's, I think, probably the best I can do right now."

It is not clear why Franks turned down the prestigious assignment as a member of the Joint Chiefs Staff.

Although many senior officers are anxious to make more money in the private sector after a lifetime of military pay, sources insist Frank's decision is less about money and more about a lack of enthusiasm for the internecine battles in the Pentagon bureaucracy.

"This is a man, a combatant commander who has won two wars. He's not really excited about a desk job," one official said.

Sources said Rumsfeld might turn to one of Franks' deputies to lead the Army, Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, who speaks Arabic and was picked by Rumsfeld to work with Franks before the war.

Officials close to Rumsfeld said he has been unhappy with the pace of transformation in the Army, and just a few weeks ago fired the civilian in charge, Army Secretary Thomas White.

Publicly, the Pentagon announced that White had resigned, and Rumsfeld praised his service.

But Rumsfeld quickly moved to give the job to Air Force Secretary Jim Roche, a trusted friend who shares Rumsfeld vision for the military and is known for a sharp intellect and a penchant for "shaking things up," in the words of one official.

Sources said Rumsfeld is also unhappy with Shinseki, who drew the Pentagon's ire before the Iraq war by suggesting it would likely take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to secure the peace.

Art Eatman
May 15, 2003, 12:24 PM
Interesting about Franks. I can sorta relate to it, having decided long ago that I don't have the patience to be a good administrator.

Re: "...the internecine battles in the Pentagon bureaucracy." These have been going on since before Allen Drury began writing novels. (Have you read his "Pentagon"?) It take a certain sort of personality to function within this environment, particularly at the upper levels. I've always had difficulty figuring out whether or not I'd ever want to associate with somebody who had a talent for dealing with these battles. :)


Jeff White
May 15, 2003, 05:01 PM
I find it interesting that Rumsfeld is having a hard time finding someone who wants to be cheif of staff. Don't let anyone fool you...Tommy Franks had to be able to play the right politics and associated games to get where he is. I think all four stars want to be cheif of staff. What better way to end your career?

I found this article. Interesting about how it says that GW is concerned over Rumsfeld's relationship with the Army.

New York Daily News
May 4, 2003

Rumsfeld Gets Proud And Loud

Abrasive style irks some

By Thomas M. DeFrank, Daily News Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON - Even among his critics in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, there's little argument that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is entitled to some serious strutting these days.

But in the flush of Rumsfeld's military victory and personal vindication, some of his senior colleagues are quietly beginning to wonder if he's just a bit too full of himself.

As the architect of swift and successful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rumsfeld is the undisputed toast of Bushland, with poll numbers even higher than President Bush's.

"You have to tip your cap to the guy," one of his detractors inside the administration conceded. "He had a vision, he pushed it - and he was right."

The dire predictions of retired armchair generals and media noncombatants - who said his battle plan was too light on ground forces and would produce a quagmire and heavy U.S. casualties - were demolished almost as easily as Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard by a military offensive that was victorious three weeks faster than the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

As Rumsfeld himself gleefully put it last week in Qatar during a victory lap with U.S. troops, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, "Never have so many been so wrong about so much."

Even former President Bill Clinton praised Rumsfeld last week for his single-minded determination to transform the U.S. military into a leaner, lighter, less-conventional war machine.

Behind such bouquets, however, there's a sense at senior levels of the Bush administration that Rumsfeld's prickly, abrasive style has a policy downside.

Bush himself has told friends he's concerned by Rumsfeld's running feud with the Army - a clash of philosophy and style that recently climaxed in the graceless firing of Secretary of the Army Thomas White, a retired Army general close to Secretary of State Powell.

"The President thinks the relationship between Rummy and the Army is dysfunctional," a senior Bush source told the Daily News. "He's worried that it's starting to get out of hand."

Moreover, Bush and Vice President Cheney, Rumsfeld's onetime deputy who was instrumental in snagging him the Pentagon job, were irritated when Rumsfeld suggested the U.S. could go it alone in Iraq if British Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't help out because of political pressure at home.

State of turmoil

Bush - as well his father, former President George Bush - is also known to be unhappy over continued Pentagon sniping against Powell.

"Rumsfeld thinks Powell lacks strategic thinking and that foreign policy is completely adrift," one Rumsfeld ally acknowledged.

That sort of talk sets teeth chattering at the State Department and in some European capitals. "Rummy's had his hour and his moment," one senior diplomat said. "Now he needs to shrink down and let Powell and diplomacy carry the load."

That's not a safe bet. Despite a stint as ambassador to NATO in the 1970s, Rumsfeld has always been notably undiplomatic. His tart-tongued, micromanaging style has not endeared him to many of the generals and admirals who frequently feel his wrath.

"When you walk into his office," one of them delicately said, "you know you're going to get sandpapered."

"He's the most difficult person I've ever dealt with," echoed a senior Bush official who has tangled with him frequently.

"He's good, but he's ruthless," a senior official from a domestic cabinet agency added.

Despite some misgivings, Bush thinks Rumsfeld has done a brilliant job managing the war and asserting civilian control over a military establishment accustomed to having its way during the Clinton years.

"The President has a lot of confidence in him," said a Bush counselor who is high on the 70-year-old Pentagon boss.

In a jab at Rumsfeld's high profile, however, he added: "But some of us wonder if he realizes he's too old to run for President."

Jeff White
May 15, 2003, 05:21 PM
Then there is this perspective. It does seem that Rumsfeld has it out for the Army. The question is, is it wise to go down this road to transformation. The smaller our forces get, the less capable we will be. If we intend to disengage from the Balkans, Korea, and the middle east, a transformed (smaller) force will meet our needs. Perhaps that's Rumsfeld's plan. Make our forces small enough that we can't engage in some of the missions we are currently doing.


San Diego Union-Tribune
May 4, 2003

Rumsfeld Vs. The Army

Military needs reform, but smaller isn't necessarily better

By Robert J. Caldwell

For Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, America's victory in the three-week Iraq war counted as a double triumph. With U.S. military forces scoring a decisive victory in record time with minimal loss of life, Rumsfeld's controversial strategy and his futuristic vision of a transformed military seemed vindicated. Conversely, Rumsfeld's numerous critics among the armed service's uniformed leadership were undercut.

This does not, however, end the Pentagon's roiling controversy over military reform and transformation. Far from it.

Nowhere in the armed forces is that conflict over modernization more bitter and unresolved than in the U.S. Army.

The Army in particular was dissatisfied with the Iraq war plan, which abandoned the Desert Storm doctrine of using overwhelming force. Senior Army planners wanted more troops and more tanks on the ground in Iraq to assure a rapid victory and minimal casualties. Rumsfeld wanted to rely on air power, precision weapons, special operations forces and a "rolling start" with the three available Army and Marine divisions that could be reinforced later if necessary.

The arguably risky rolling start strategy carried the day in Washington and then won big in Iraq.

Score a major win for Rumsfeld in his struggle to transform America's military.

But the Iraq victory does little or nothing to ease the professional fears among top Army leaders. They worry that the U.S. military's senior service is being shunted aside by civilian theoreticians, meaning Rumsfeld and his deputies. Rumsfeld, for his part, is known to believe that much of the Army remains stuck in Cold War-era thinking, tolerating a force structure too heavy and too slow for the revolution in warfare now occurring.

The Rumsfeld-Army friction shows in mutually destructive ways.

When Rumsfeld cancelled the Army's cherished Crusader mobile artillery system last year, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki and Secretary of the Army Thomas White balked. The Army brass infuriated Rumsfeld by lobbying Congress behind his back (unsuccessfully) to restore the Army's top priority artillery program, then ready for production.

Rumsfeld compounds this atmosphere of mistrust by treating Shinseki, a decorated combat veteran who lost part of a foot in Vietnam, with ill-disguised disdain. Rumsfeld undermined Shinseki's authority by naming his replacement 15 months before the scheduled end of Shinseki's tour. On April 25, Rumsfeld summarily fired the conscientious Army Secretary White, whose chief offense was to side with the Army's uniformed leadership.

This is about more, much more, than simply whether the Army will modernize – that was never in doubt. It is how that modernization will occur and how much further the Army will be reduced in size that is at stake.

The Army has already been radically downsized. From 18 active duty combat divisions in the 1980s, it was reduced in the 1990s to 10 combat divisions. Rumsfeld is widely believed to favor cutting two or even three more Army divisions from the active duty force. That could shrink the Army from today's 480,000 troops (down from nearly 800,000 a decade ago) to fewer than 400,000 soldiers on active duty. That would be the smallest Army in more than half a century.

The Army is fully committed to modernization. It wants the lighter, more mobile combat forces appropriate to the technology-driven revolution in military affairs. Shinseki organized the Army's revolutionary new light armored brigades built around the 20-ton Stryker armored vehicle, which is two-thirds lighter than the Army's M1A1 main battle tank. These new 3,500 soldier brigades equipped with 300 Strykers each can be deployed overseas in days compared to the months needed for a heavy armored division.

Similarly, the Army is eagerly embracing all of the new technology that is remaking warfare. The Army's use of drone reconnaissance aircraft, night-vision gear, precision munitions, information warfare and communications, and combined arms operations were all on brilliant display in Iraq.

What the Army's leadership fears, and with good reason, is any doctrinal decision to de-emphasize ground combat forces. Cutting two or three more combat divisions out of the remaining force of 10 Army divisions amidst the continuing war against terrorism would certainly suggest just such a doctrinal leap in the dark.

For all the high-tech gadgetry on display in the Iraq campaign, it was still the Army's M1A1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and 155mm self-propelled field artillery that occupied an enemy country, overran his capital city and consummated the U.S. victory. Without American boots on the ground, there could have been no triumph in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Army leaders also wonder what happens if – or more likely, when – the United States goes up against a heavily armed enemy whose army will fight. Does North Korea come to mind? In that grim event, an American victory would require more than a few Stryker brigades, special forces and air power.

An Army already stretched from the Balkans to Iraq to Korea cannot get any smaller without unacceptable risks to America's global security interests. This should be especially obvious amidst a continuing war against terrorism that has already produced two shooting wars in 19 months.

Nor is this the right time to retire the Army's most lethal firepower even if it does take longer to reach the battlefield. Just ask Iraq's Republican Guards.

Caldwell is a editor of the Insight section.

Jeff White
May 19, 2003, 12:30 PM
Wall Street Journal
May 19, 2003

Rumsfeld Moves To Strip Services Of Power To Set Equipment Needs

By Anne Marie Squeo, Staff Reporter Of The Wall Street Journal

In an audacious move that seeks to capitalize on the success of U.S. military strategy in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is launching an initiative that would strip the individual services of the power to establish their military-equipment needs and centralize it within a newly formed Pentagon body.

Since taking his post in January 2001, Mr. Rumsfeld has pressed the Air Force, Navy and Army to work more closely, increasing coordination and communication to gain advantage on the battlefield. While military officials say that the war in Iraq demonstrated greater cooperation among the services than any previous fight, the defense secretary's new effort is intended to align equipment needs to avoid unnecessary redundancies and cut costs. Such changes could have a financial impact on companies such as Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp., which garner a huge amount of their sales from the military.

"The services think about their requirements and how they meet them internally and things only get integrated at the secretary of defense level," Pentagon acquisitions chief Edward "Pete" Aldridge said. Rather, Mr. Rumsfeld is seeking to "establish joint needs for the Defense Department in the beginning so military departments become the providers of those capabilities," Mr. Aldridge said.

Any plan that seeks to limit the independence and ability of military chiefs to decide how to equip and protect their troops is likely to spark criticism given the already strained relationship between Mr. Rumsfeld and the services. Bush administration efforts to realign the roles and needs of the military services already have spurred several high-profile disputes between the politically appointed officials at the helm of the Pentagon and career military officers.

Undeterred, Mr. Rumsfeld has asked Mr. Aldridge, who will retire from his official Pentagon post at the end of this week, to lead a 10-person, full-time team in crafting a strategy for realigning the Pentagon's organizational structure to meet this vision. The group includes a representative from each military service, as well as other Pentagon civilians. At least for now, the plan calls for moving quickly, with Mr. Rumsfeld expected to receive an initial status report by mid-June and a formal recommendation by Nov. 1, Mr. Aldridge said. He will serve as a consultant in this role.

Work already is under way. One possibility being considered is the creation of a new entity within the Pentagon that would include representatives of the services and would set overall military requirements, which are currently established and budgeted for by each individual service. Then the services -- and the defense contractors working with them -- would have a chance to propose a solution and "compete for the best way to accomplish the needs," Mr. Aldridge said.

The idea is to match needs with solutions before individual services spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing a new weapon system that turns out to be duplicative or no longer necessary. Often reviews of such plans take place after huge investments have been made, gaining strong congressional and industrial support along the way that makes changes difficult.

While the Pentagon doesn't expect the change in organizational structure to radically affect existing weapons programs, Mr. Aldridge said the overhaul "could change the mix of how many things you buy."

May 19, 2003, 01:40 PM
But for example, for the Air Force to order the F-15 and F-16 and the Navy to order F-14's and F-18's is redundant when both aircraft can do the same thing save the F-14 and F-18 can land on carriers.I disagree. Landing on carriers requires a lot of trade-offs that result in a heavier, less capable aircraft. For example, the F14 has a much poorer thrust-to-weight ratio than the F15. The F18 has a very short range. For the Air Force to have used those same fighters as is would have resulted in a significantly compromised aircraft.

May 19, 2003, 03:04 PM
1911: don't think for a minute the lessons of MacNamara's F-111B have been forgotten. The problem is more pervasive than that. The services are spending tons of money on systems that don't even recognize the existence of other, similar or related systems. There's little or no inter-service synergy as a result. The obvious symptoms of this are information systems that don't even communicate with each other. The root cause is lack of an overall archtecture, or vision for a future infrastructure. This is an ages-old problem, and Rumsfeld means to fix it. We'll see if he can overcome the powerful interests of the services and their pet congress critters.:scrutiny:

TFL Survivor

May 19, 2003, 04:47 PM
Leatherneck: I'm sure you're right. UAVs seem to be an example of that, with each service developing multiple solutions and no apparent coordination.

I was just taking issue with amprecon's suggestion that the Air Force should have used the F14 and F18. Sometimes the services should share equipment. And sometimes they need dedicated equipment for their particular needs.

Sergeant Bob
May 19, 2003, 05:44 PM
Art: My gripe with stuff like the Herc is that while the design seems okay, good to go, the age of the airframes means we oughta build brand-new critters.

Good news Art. The Herky Bird is still in production (C130 J-30) and it just keeps getting better! Arguably the most versatile aircraft ever built. Imagine landing and taking off from an aircaft carrier in a plane that size, without arresting gear or catapult!

Lockheed Martin C130J (

Sorry to get off topic but I spent 14 years in airlift and it doesn't take alot to excite me.

Art Eatman
May 19, 2003, 06:09 PM
Sergeant Bob, thanks for the update.

I guess my problem with some of Rumsfeld's ideas is that he seems one who believes that because he's got a high batting average for guessing correctly, he will ALWAYS be right. I'm more of a make-haste-slowly sort, I guess. I learned long ago to double-check my thinking before making important decisions.


Jeff White
May 20, 2003, 11:37 AM
Christian Science Monitor
May 20, 2003

The Man Chosen To Bridge Army-Pentagon Gap

He'll head the Army at a time of tense relations. His success depends on intellect and inner-circle connections.

By Ann Scott Tyson, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON – In the mid-1970s, when Donald Rumsfeld first served as defense secretary, a little-known group of iconoclastic military thinkers was toiling away in the obscure Office of Net Assessment on the Pentagon's A-ring.

One of those early mavericks, a Navy captain named James Roche, is emerging today as one of Rumsfeld's most favored and powerful agents for "transforming" America's military.

This month, the White House tapped Dr. Roche, who has served two years as Air Force secretary, to become the new secretary of the Army. Roche's expected nomination comes at a critical juncture for the 228-year-old service: The Army's senior leadership is in considerable upheaval, and relations between the Army and Rumsfeld appear tenser than ever. The Army, moreover, is experimenting with sweeping changes to its organization, weapons systems, and personnel structure.

Few doubt Roche's qualifications, say officials and analysts on both sides of the Rumsfeld-Army rift. A former Northrop Grumman Corp. executive with a Harvard Business School doctorate, Roche has shown a knack for successful corporate turnarounds. He has a broad range of defense experience - as a career Navy officer, congressional staffer, Pentagon analyst, and most recently Air Force secretary. Add to this a keen intellect, taste for sleek cars and exclusive clubs, and self-described "boundless ego," and Roche, according to those who know him, is a force to contend with.

Rock-bottom relations with Rumsfeld

Still, Roche's effectiveness in the job will depend at least as much on how he handles the bad blood between Rumsfeld and top Army brass as it does on his intellect and connections to the Pentagon's inner circle, say defense officials and analysts.

"Obviously, he [Roche] will have to reach out to the senior Army leadership and make the point that he is there to help the Army with its transformation," says Andrew Krepinevich, executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a friend of Roche. "But again, a lot of it has to do with how the Army views him."

For their part, Army officials suggest that relations with the Rumsfeld team are at rock bottom and have nowhere to go but up. Especially troubling is what they view as Rumsfeld's clashes with former Army Secretary Thomas White, who departed abruptly May 9, and the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, who retires next month.

"When the Army sees its leaders regularly disrespected by the Secretary of Defense, you have to assume he has it in for you," says an Army official. "Look at how he fired [Secretary] White. ... That was just an ambush." The Pentagon announced White's resignation on April 25, but officials say privately Rumsfeld made it clear he wanted White out. White, a former cavalry officer, had lobbied to retain the Army's Crusader artillery system, which Rumsfeld canceled.

Rumsfeld denied that he's at war with the Army. "It's just not true," he recently told reporters at the Pentagon.

In February, however, the Rumsfeld team criticized as "wildly off the mark" General Shinseki's estimate that hundreds of thousands of US troops might be required to occupy postwar Iraq. So far, no replacement has been announced for the outgoing Army chief of staff. Two leading candidates, Gen. John Keane and Gen. Tommy Franks, have declined the post, defense officials say. Meanwhile, a large number of the three-star generals from Shinseki's staff are either retiring or changing jobs this summer.

"It looks like it will be a rocky transition," says an Army official, who requested anonymity.

Moves toward a more lethal Army

Still, Roche's tenure as Air Force secretary suggests that, while he clearly embraces Rumsfeld's vision of transformation and joint war fighting, he can prove a strong advocate for an individual service, analysts say.

"Everyone thought his relationship with the Air Force would be terrible, that the Air Force would be merged into the Navy - those were the jokes at his swearing-in ceremony," says aerospace and defense attorney James McAleese, who has worked with Roche.

Instead, Roche has aggressively promoted priority Air Force programs such as the F/A-22 fighter jet, despite cost overruns, and has backed a controversial plan to lease 100 refueling tankers from Boeing to supplement the stretched fleet.

Similarly, Roche would be expected to support ongoing initiatives aimed at building a more agile, more lethal Army. These include the creation of six new Stryker brigade combat teams, the first of which is now undergoing its final operational test, as well as the multibillion-dollar future combat systems, which is expected to be fielded beginning in 2012.

Less clear is where Roche would stand on other pressing questions, including the balance between light and heavy infantry within the Army's 10 active divisions, the recapitalization of existing systems such as the Abrams tanks that proved their worth in Iraq, and the retention and rotation of Army personnel.

"The tension Roche faces is to be able to articulate his shared vision with Rumsfeld, and at the same time understand the very basic lessons [from Iraq] ... that Army forces need a certain amount of armor and artillery," says Larry Wortzel, a retired Army colonel and director of the Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation here.

'Detail man' and Shakespeare fan

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1939 as what he calls a hospital "charity case," Roche earned a bachelor's degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1960, a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1966, and a doctorate from Harvard Business School in 1972.

A 23-year Navy veteran, Roche commanded the USS Buchanan guided missile destroyer and was awarded the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for the Navy's most improved combat unit in the Pacific in 1974. He retired as a Navy captain in 1983, and often playfully calls himself a "dumb sailor."

People who have worked with Roche describe him as a highly intelligent man with a quick wit and sometimes quirky managerial style. "He's a detail man as opposed to just a big thinker. ... [H]e seems more like an engineering geek than a military leader," says Chris MeCray, a defense analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York who spent time with Roche during the secretary's 17-year career at Northrop Grumman.

Roche required the Northrop senior managers to perform Shakespeare plays on weekend retreats that served as a kind of bonding exercise, Mr. McAleese says. He also took them on tours of Civil War battlefields to help them appreciate the timeless concerns of men in combat.

Roche in a nutshell

Career history: 23-year Navy veteran; Democratic staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee; senior executive at the Northrop Grumman Corp.; Secretary of the Air Force

Education: Bachelor's degree from Illinois Institute of Technology; master's from the US Naval Postgraduate School; doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration

Hobbies: Cars, jazz, and military history

Self-described: As having a "boundless ego" and, playfully, as a "dumb sailor"

Jeff White
May 20, 2003, 12:19 PM
Defense News
May 19, 2003
Pg. 10

US House Reassesses Pentagon Priorities

By William Matthews

Victory in Iraq convinced the U.S. Defense Department it was safe to push harder for military transformation. But lawmakers in Congress say the war inspired in them new respect for some old weapons.

Thus the House Armed Services Committee decided that:

*The Army should get $600 million that it didn’t request for upgrades to M1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.

*The Air Force should get $20 million it didn’t seek to continue flying 23 B-1 bombers that it doesn’t want.

*The Navy should receive an additional $376 million to increase Tomahawk missile production.

The war emphasized the importance of heavy armor and deep strike, said Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, as his committee marked up the 2004 Defense Authorization Act May 13 and 14.

Those were not among the top priorities in the Defense Department’s version of the 2004 spending plan, nor are they reflected in the version that emerged from a closed-door markup by the Senate May 8. Differences will have to be worked out in a conference.

To help fund favored programs, the House committee voted to cut $2 billion of the $28 billion the Pentagon planned to spend on information technology in 2004. The Senate made no similar cut.

These and other changes would shift billions of dollars in the Pentagon’s $379.9 billion spending request. Hunter said the House committee is "striking a more careful balance" between "today’s critical combat capabilities" and "tomorrow’s innovative technologies."

Said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., "the Pentagon still got 99 percent of what they wanted."

Armored Impressions

House committee members clearly were impressed with the performance of M1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles in the Iraq conflict. And they were bluntly skeptical of the Army’s next-generation battlefield vehicle, the relatively lightweight Stryker personnel carrier.

Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., urged committee members to withhold $300 million of the $955 million the Army wants for the Stryker program in 2004. Saxton complained that the Stryker, though lightweight, is not light enough to be as deployable as the Army contends. And though armored, it may not be armored heavily enough to defeat even modestly armed foes, he said.

The Army favors Strykers because their lighter weight makes them easier to pack and transport. They’re at the center of the Army’s goal to become a lighter, more nimble, yet lethal force. Brigades composed of 366 Stryker vehicles and about 5,000 troops are supposed to be deployable anywhere in the world in 96 hours.

But Saxton and other lawmakers are dubious. They worry Stryker’s relatively light armor and rubber tires make it vulnerable to rocket-propelled grenades and even small arms. Saxton recalled that during the Iraq war, Marines in Stryker-like light armored vehicles "got pinned down" by Iraqi fedayeen fighters firing rifles and grenades from inside buildings.

The Light Armored Vehicles were stuck until M1 tanks "came swinging in," Saxton said. Soon, tank rounds "started taking down the walls of the buildings, and in a few minutes [the Iraqis] came out with their hands up."

The Iraq experience prompted Hunter to wonder if Stryker brigades might need to be augmented with attack helicopters or even tanks, but that would make them less deployable, he said.

Deployability already is a problem for Strykers, said Saxton.

The Stryker was designed to fit inside a C-130 cargo plane, but is so heavy the plane can’t get off the ground in certain atmospheric conditions, he said. To fly, the C-130 sometimes must unload fuel, cutting the distance it can carry a Stryker to as little as 50 or 60 miles.

The Army promised 1,000 miles when the Stryker was being designed, Saxton said. The Army also is having trouble developing an adequate gun for the Stryker, he said.

Saxton wanted $300 million withheld from the Stryker program until the Army and the Pentagon solve the vehicle’s weight and vulnerability problems. But Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., proposed withholding the $300 million, but only as long as it does not disrupt Stryker production or fielding of the Army’s fourth Stryker brigade. McHugh’s amendment also ensures the $300 million cannot be spent on anything other than Strykers. It passed 38-19.

The Senate supported the full $955 million for Stryker.

Bombers Up, F/A-22 Down

In another major spending adjustment, the House committee voted to keep a fleet of 83 B-1B bombers flying. B-1s, which entered service in 1985, were designed at the height of the Cold War to drop nuclear bombs on targets in the Soviet Union. They have been modified to drop conventional bombs and precision weapons. Air Force plans call for cutting the B-1 fleet from 93 to 60 to save money.

Bombing with precision munitions proved invaluable in the Iraq war and the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, and convinced the Armed Services Committee that "we need to bolster deep strike," Hunter said.

In addition to rescuing 23 planes from mothballs, the House committee voted to spend an extra $100 million on research and development of a next-generation stealth bomber to follow the B-2, and approved spending $19 million to upgrade precision munition targeting systems on B-52s.

The Senate included no comparable provisions.

While busy bolstering bombers, the House committee clipped the Air Force’s top fighter, and the Senate took an even bigger whack.

The House committee cut one plane and $161 million from the F/A-22 fighter program, then voted to withhold $136 million more until avionics software reliability problems are solved. The Senate opted to kill two planes, reducing the 2004 buy to 20.

Weldon, who chairs the House subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, made clear his colleagues’ unhappiness with F/A-22 troubles. Lawmakers looked closely at the fighter program, and "what we saw, we weren’t pleased with," he said. "Most of us support the F-22. … But most of us have problems with the performance of the Air Force and the contractor," Lockheed Martin Corp.

There have been development difficulties, testing troubles and production delays, he said. The current cause for discontent: The avionics software that runs the advanced fighter "is running at 15 percent of the standard set by the Air Force and the contractor," Weldon said.

Weldon and his subcommittee decided to "restrict obligation of $136 million" until the software problems are solved.

The $161 million cut came after Lockheed announced it had improved production efficiency enough to add an extra plane to the Air Force’s buy of 21 without increasing the cost. Weldon said his subcommittee decided it was wiser to take the savings — $161 million — rather than the plane.

Jeff White
May 20, 2003, 12:40 PM
Hmmm....there must be a 2LT in OBC somewhere who wants the job....

Shinseki successor may come from unexpected ranks

By Sean D. Naylor
Times staff writer

Anyone who’s put money on a long shot to be the next Army chief of staff might just make a bundle.

The sure money to replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, who retires June 11, was on Gen. John Keane, the Army vice chief of staff and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s preferred option. When Keane declined the post, citing his wife’s health problems, Rumsfeld turned to Central Command chief Gen. Tommy Franks. But Franks, who presided over victorious campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, also opted to retire.

That prompted Rumsfeld to take an unusual step: He asked Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to draw up a list of active-duty two- and three-star generals who might be considered for the two slots, as well as a list of retired four-stars who might be brought back on active duty.

One pair of three stars whom Pentagon insiders say has a good shot at taking the helm of Army leadership are Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, as the next Army chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Richard Cody, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, G-3, as his vice chief.

A retired Army senior leader who knows both generals said he was “90 percent certain” that Abizaid would be the next chief. The only reason he was not 100 percent sure, the retired senior leader said, was because “the SecDef can change his mind overnight.”

If Rumsfeld were to elevate a three-star general to the chief’s position, it would be an indicator of his dissatisfaction with the top level of Army leadership, as well as the reluctance of some senior officers to take the job.

“It’s not like there were people faxing their resumes in,” said the Pentagon source.

Rumsfeld’s chilly relationship with Shinseki has been an open Washington secret for more than a year. Rumsfeld also quarreled with Army Secretary Thomas White, leading the defense secretary to replace White with Air Force Secretary James Roche.

If no one is tapped for the chief’s job by the time Shinseki retires, it’s possible that Keane would stay on as acting chief until the post is filled.

However, Rumsfeld is believed to be trying to persuade Keane to reconsider his decision to retire and stay on to run the Army. Keane could not be reached for comment.

May 20, 2003, 01:42 PM
But Saxton and other lawmakers are dubious. They worry Stryker’s relatively light armor and rubber tires make it vulnerable to rocket-propelled grenades and even small arms. Saxton recalled that during the Iraq war, Marines in Stryker-like light armored vehicles "got pinned down" by Iraqi fedayeen fighters firing rifles and grenades from inside buildings.IIRC ongoing combat trials of the Stryker are demonstrating impressive performance IN MOBILE WARFARE scenarios. Seems the mobility is what makes them hard to defeat. My only problem is the future battlefield is more than likely to be urban where the advantages of mobile warfare do not exist.

Wool suits make the decisions by which the grunt bleeds and dies. I fully understand the Army's reluctance to jump on the bandwagon. If there is a failure a lot of soldiers will die and those responsible for those decisions will take their pension.

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