Money Changes Everything


The Pentagon's hunt for money to pay for the Iraq war is evidently quite a bit deeper and broader than I supposed just a few weeks back. The Air Force faces not only cuts in the F-22 program, but cuts across all kinds of systems including intelligence-gathering and airlift. These are two things the post-9/11 "transformed" military is supposed to need more of, not less.

Then there are the manpower issues that have everyone scrambling:

"The Guard and Reserve were designed to be called up for a war of national survival or something of short duration like Desert Storm [in 1991]," the third official says. "They were not designed for the global war on terrorism where there's high operational tempo for a very long time. We need a bigger active-duty force and a smaller Guard and Reserve. But it will be a terrific problem to come up with the necessary money. One plan is to have the Guard and Reserve run the bases and infrastructure while the active-duty forces go off to war."

All kinds of politics are at play, of course, but it is interesting that old H&R friend Stephen Cambone is named as an enemy of Air Force long-range radar aircraft. The defense undersecretary seems intent on claiming intelligence assets long held by the uniformed military for the civilian bureaucracy.

Should Cambone win one wonders if the Pentagon suits will heed the intelligence they themselves gather or just continue to ignore it.