Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rumsfeld, Defence Industries, 911, & Corporate Government in Retrospect


On September 10, 2001 Rummy said this in a speech at the Pentagon

"Today's announcements are only the first of many. We will launch others ourselves, and we will ask Congress for legislative help as well. We have, for example, asked Congress for permission to begin the process of closing excess bases and consolidating the B-1 bomber force."

One month later...

Rumsfeld Visits B-2 Bomber Base as Afghan Campaign Heats Up

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., Oct. 19, 2001 – Amid news reports that U.S. ground troops are aiding anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld flew to this Missouri air base today to meet B-2 Spirit bomber pilots and support crews.

Speaking to reporters en route here, Rumsfeld praised the air base's service members and declared that the B-2's more than 40-hour missions to Afghanistan are "amazing."

The secretary declined to give specifics on reported U.S. ground operations in Afghanistan. He noted that providing operations information about U.S. air attacks or the involvement of U.S. troops could imperil lives, missions and damage national security.

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Jeremy Scahill mentioned the speech that Donald Rumsfeld made at the Pentagon on the day before September 11, 2001 in his book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. In this address Rummy outlined the streamlining of the DOD and changes in CIA policy, where radical changes would be implemented in the military, especially in the organization of the National Guard and the three branches of the armed sevices.

This speech can be found on the DOD web site and should be required reading for those who are interested in the history of what is now being called The Long War.

In this speech Rumsfeld said

"The adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy. Not the people, but the processes. Not the civilians, but the systems. Not the men and women in uniform, but the uniformity of thought and action that we too often impose on them."

"We know the adversary. We know the threat. And with the same firmness of purpose that any effort against a determined adversary demands, we must get at it and stay at it."

"Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself."

"Let there be no question: the 2.7 million people who wear our country's uniform -- active, Guard and Reserve -- and the close to 700,000 more who support them in civilian attire, comprise the finest military in the history of the world. They stand ready to face down any threat, anytime, anywhere. But we must do more."

"Our business processes and regulations seems to be engineered to prevent any mistake, and by so doing, they discourage any risk. But ours is a nation born of ideas and raised on improbability, and risk aversion is not America's ethic, and more important, it must not be ours."

"Those who fear danger do not volunteer to storm beaches and take hills, sail the seas, and conquer the skies. Now we must free you to take some of the same thoughtful, reasoned risks in the bureaucracy that the men and women in uniform do in battle."

"To that end, we're announcing today a series of steps the Department of Defense will take to shift our focus and our resources from bureaucracy to battlefield, from tail to tooth."

"Today's announcements are only the first of many. We will launch others ourselves, and we will ask Congress for legislative help as well. We have, for example, asked Congress for permission to begin the process of closing excess bases and consolidating the B-1 bomber force."

"But we have the ability—and, therefore, the responsibility—to reduce waste and improve operational efficiency on our own. Already we have made some progress. We've eliminated some 31 of the 72 acquisition-related advisory boards. We now budget based on realistic estimates. We're improving the acquisition process. We're investing $400 million in public-private partnerships for military housing. Many utility services to military installations will be privatized."

"Because the Department must respond quickly to changing threats, we're overhauling the 40-year-old Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System, or PPBS, the annual process of forecasting threats for the next several years, matching threats to programs and programs to budgets."

"In order to make decisions more quickly, we must slash duplication and encourage cooperation. Currently the Departments of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy operate separate but parallel staffs for their civilian and uniformed chiefs. These staffs largely work the same issues and perform the same functions. Secretaries White and Roach will soon announce plans for realigning the Departments to support information sharing, speed decision-making, integrate Reserve and Guard headquarters into Department headquarters. Secretary England is engaging a broad agenda of change in the Department of Navy as well."

"Maybe we need agencies for some of those functions. Indeed, I know we do. Perhaps a public-private partnership would make sense for others, and I don't doubt at least a few could be outsized -- outsourced altogether."

"Like the private sector's best-in-class companies, DOD should aim for excellence in functions that are either directly related to warfighting or must be performed by the Department. But in all other cases, we should seek suppliers who can provide these non-core activities efficiently and effectively. The Senior Executive Council will begin a review of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Defense Logistics Agency and Defense Information Service Agency."

"To transform the Department, we must take advantage of the private sector's expertise. I've asked the members of the Senior Executive Council to streamline the acquisition process and spur innovation in our traditional supplier base."

And even mentioned Health Care

"Department headquarters are hardly the only scenes of redundant bureaucracy. Health care is another. Each service branch has its own surgeon general and medical operation. At the department level, four different agencies claim some degree of control over the delivery of military health care."

"We've begun to consolidate health care delivery under our TriCare management activity. Over the next two years we will reform the procurement of care from the private sector. I've asked the military departments and Personnel and Readiness organization to complete a revamping of the military health system by fiscal year 2003."

"Finally, this effort will succeed because it must. We really have no choice. It is not, in the end, about business practices, nor is the goal to improve figures on the bottom line. It's really about the security of the United States of America. And let there be no mistake, it is a matter of life and death. Our job is defending America, and if we cannot change the way we do business, then we cannot do our job well, and we must. So today we declare war on bureaucracy, not people, but processes, a campaign to shift Pentagon resources from the tail to the tooth. All hands will be required, and it will take the best of all of us."

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