I was often jealous because he had four enlisted people helping him all the time.
— Former defense secretary Robert Gates explaining the perks of military rank that he witnessed while living next door to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He told a Chicago conference Thursday that he would complain about it to his wife: “Mullen’s got guys over there who are fixing meals for him, and I’m shoving something into the microwave. And I’m his boss.”
I have not been included in those conversations.
— Marine General Joseph Dunford, soon to command U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, on whether he has been involved in U.S. talks on how fast to draw down the 68,000 U.S. troops still there. “Boy, that's interesting to me,” Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., said at Dunford’s confirmation hearing Thursday before the armed services committee. Part of a pattern, apparently: Dunford has never served in Afghanistan, either.
There has been no real cuts yet to the Pentagon. There just hasn't been the hoped-for desired increases in spending, and so therefore if we didn't get the increase in spending, we call that a cut in Washington.
— Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., releasing a report Thursday called “Department of Everything,” where he says the military is spending too much money unrelated to national security. “On 16 or 17 bases in the United States, we have military-run schools,” he said. “The average cost to educate a child in that school per year is $50,000, almost four times what the rest of public education costs.”


Paula Broadwell stepped off the stage at the Aspen Security Forum on July 28, fresh from criticizing the news media for heedless disclosure of secrets.

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