Running the Pentagon Right

Carter, Ashton B.
January 2014
Foreign Affairs;Jan/Feb2014, Vol. 93 Issue 1, p101
The article looks at the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, focusing on the ability of the U.S. Defense Department to rapidly identify and address military needs that arise during a war. The author, a former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense, says that the department carries out long-term planning well but that the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed its weakness in the area of addressing immediate military needs. He describes the case of roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), saying it took a long time for the department to recognize the need for more protective vehicles for U.S. military personnel and to develop and provide them. Topics include the department's procurement process and communication of battlefield conditions to senior officials.


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