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The Pentagon’s Greatest Challenge (And It’s Not ISIS or China)

Before the arms race with the Soviet Union came the hiring race among U.S. military bureaucracies.

It started not long after the National Security Act of 1947 established what became the Department of Defense (DoD). The Secretariat added staff and functions to ride roughshod over the services. In turn, the services added staff to meet all the department’s demands, as well as defend its own prerogatives. The cycle of adding staffs has never stopped. Even as defense downsizes, the massive oversight at the top stubbornly holds on. Despite numerous recommendations and attempts to tame the Pentagon bureaucracy-it remains largely unscathed. It is past time for serious strategy that rightsizes and realigns all the people telling the armed forces what to do and how to do it.

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