| Tuesday, January 17, 2006
| BUSH REARRANGES LINE OF SUCCESSION IN PENTAGON
|Shift emphasizes intelligence gathering over combat skills.
WASHINGTON -- The three military service chiefs have been dropped in the Bush administration's doomsday line of Pentagon succession, pushed beneath three civilian undersecretaries in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's inner circle.
A little noticed holiday week executive from President Bush moved the Pentagon's intelligence chief to the No. 3 spot in the succession. The second spot would be the deputy secretary of defense, but that position currently is vacant. The Army chief, which long held the No.3 spot, was dropped to sixth.
The changes, announced last week, are the second in six months and mirror the administration's emphasis on intelligence gathering vs. combat in 21st century war fighting.
Political motives questioned
Technically, the line of sucession is assigned to specific positions, rather than the current individuals holding those jobs.
But in its current incarnation, the doomsday plan moves to near the top three undersecretaries who are Rumsfeld loyalists and who previously worked for Vice President Dick Cheney when he was defense secretary.
The changes were recommended , said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, because the three undersecretaries have "a broad knowledge and perspective of overall Defense Department operations".
Thomas Donnelly, a defense expert with the American Enterprise Institute,said the changes make it easier for the administration to assert political control and could lead to more narrow minded decisions.
"It continues to devalue the services institutions", said Donnelly, saying it will centralize power, and shift it away from the services, where there is generally more military expertise and interest.
PENTAGON POWER STRUCTURE
This is the new order of succession for the Defense Department if something happense to the secretary:
** Deputy Secretary of Defense/Acting Deputy - Navy Secretary Gordon England.
**Undersecretary for Intelligence - Stephen A. Cambone
** Undersecretary for Policy - Former Ambassador Eric S. Edelman
** Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics -- Kenneth J. Krieg
** Army Secretary - Francis J. Harvey.
** Airforce Secretary - Gordon England; Donald Winter has been confirmed by the Senate, but not sworn in.
** Undersecretary For Personnel and Readiness and the Comptroller - David S.C. Chu and Tina W.Jonas
(Source: Associated Press)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 3:07 AM