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A sneak peek at Gates

I'm listening to the nomination hearing of Robert Gates, who has been nominated to replace Donald Rumsfeld as the Defense secretary, before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

We got an early peek at the advance questions posed to Gates. There is not a lot there. The advance questions are ususally culled over by staff and answers are designed to say as little as possible to avoid ticking off anybody.

During testimony, Gates was asked about the Future Combat Systems.

He said that he thinks it is very important, but that he has not been briefed on it or the trade-offs necessary as part of the budget. Nothing there.

Then he was asked about the National Security Personnel System, i.e., pay for performance. "I have not had an opportunity to take a look at the details."

There was some stuff in the advance questions. For example, the committe asked Gates about his priorities. He dodged a bit, but...

The department's current priorities appear to cover three areas: 1)Iraq and winning the long war against violent extremism; 2)Supporting the department's military and civilian personnel; and 3) Continuing the transformation of the U.S. military for the 21st-century challenges.

He was also asked about transformation:

If confirmed, I will build on the President's commitment to transform our forces to better fit the 21st century. Transformation holds the promise to ensure that our military forces are more agile and lethal when confronting the enemies of this new century.

While I need to learn more about the details, I am also committed to the continuing changes in the business process that the department has implemented to support that force.

The long and short of it: We'll have to wait and see.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Dec 05, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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