- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2001

It took almost the first 100 days of the Bush administration for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to devise a plan that will send the Pentagon back to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara´s failed philosophy during the Vietnam War: the military as a business (“Rumsfeld´s Defense Inc.´ reasserts civilian control,” April 24).

Since the military makes no money, there´s no standard by which to determine whether the government-mandated control-economy at the top of his new “corporate” military is producing the correct doctrine, strategy or tactics.

And Mr. Rumsfeld has the gall to complain that the top brass took control of the military during the Clinton administration when, in reality, weak-kneed civilian liberals were in charge. We sure have interesting generals and admirals in the military. I suppose they wanted homosexuals in the military, sensitivity training for the troops, manpower cut in half, budgets cut to the lowest levels ever, constant “peacekeeping” meals-on-wheels activities, planes falling from the skies, no ammunition for standard sidearms and low morale.

The real killer is that Rumsfeld aides say he plans to “import proven corporate management techniques to a building that often gets bogged down in bureaucratic decision-making. The committee would make major recommendations and decisions on weapons-buying, finance and police.” What does this corporate genius think the definition of “bureaucratic” is? If anything epitomizes a bureaucracy, it´s a committee.

The military is not a corporation. We need leadership and decision-makers, not managers and committees. There´s already plenty of that.


DAVID A. LESSNAU

Bristow, Va.

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