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Secretary of defense pushes smart streamlining

On Friday, the New York Times noted the unhappiness of Robert Gates when he learned that a request for a dog-handling team in Afghanistan traveled through no fewer than five four-star headquarters.

The secretary of defense wants to flatten the Pentagon bureaucracy, eliminating layers of officers, generals and admirals accompanied by long flanks of staff members.

This attack on “brass creep” has unsettled many at the highest ranks. Yet Gates is correct: The number of generals and admirals has climbed steadily the past five years. Erase 50 positions, and the department would return to the level of three years ago.

It also would send the right message about helping in the effort to reduce the country’s budget deficit, the financial element in national security.

Akron Beacon Journal