“There will be changes, some significant changes. There's no way around it. I would say also this is an imperfect process, and any decisions we make -- and we'll have to make some and will make some -- will be within the context of that imperfection. But we don't have any choices but get through a very significant analysis, back to why I asked the chairman and the deputy to lead a review on intensifying a review on everything. I mean, what do we really need? How do we protect those strategic interests? There are some opportunities in that, I think. I think everyone would agree we would just assume not have to find the high ground of opportunities this way, but we are where we are. So that's what we're going to do.”— Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, outlining his strategy for cutting Pentagon spending to reporters on Thursday.
What does Hagel know about managing a large enterprise with all sorts of personnel, technical and budgetary considerations?
We're about to find out. At least he has a brain, unlike the last politician in the job.
It's been done before. Robert McNamara, in the sixties, instituted systems analysis -- a new art at the time -- as a basis for making key decisions on force requirements and weapon systems.
The most notable example of systems analysis was the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS) instituted by United States Department of Defense Comptroller Charles J. Hitch. McNamara directed Hitch to analyze defense requirements systematically and produce a long-term, program-oriented Defense budget. PPBS evolved to become the heart of the McNamara management program. According to Enthoven and Smith, the basic ideas of PPBS were: "the attempt to put defense program issues into a broader context and to search for explicit measures of national need and adequacy."
It would help it Hagel concentrate on real issues if he would cease provoking new wars and focus on the business end of the Pentagon fiscal fiasco. He could make a good start to show he cares by cutting the Pentagon overhead fat, like all the useless generals and admirals, retaining the ones who actually do something. There must be some.